Thursday, 5 April 2012

Best Apps for Students

The school year is winding down, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your books. Exams, papers and projects are the buzz words as April slowly gives way to May and students start drinking coffee and staying up far too late in preparation for finals. If you’re feeling a little stressed, sit back and relax. There are five amazing apps you can download to help ease the burden. Mobile application development has come a long way since IBM Simon, the first smartphone, was released in 1992 and there are tons of apps to get you through the final stretch.

  • Blackboard Mobile Learn is an offshoot of the popular Blackboard software used in high schools and colleges around the nation. It’s available for iOS and Android. Use it to complete any Blackboard assignments, watch videos, read syllabi and interact with your class on the go. You must have a Blackboard account through your college to use BlackBoard Mobile Learn, so check whether you’re eligible before you download.
  • gFlash+ is an app that lets you make flashcards and use them right on your phone. Forget about needing a partner or dealing with the papercuts that come from quickly rifling through a stack of index cards. Just add information to your phone and start flashing knowledge into your head. You can get it for iOS or Android.
  • No notebook? No problem. Install Evernote so you always have the ability to take notes in the palm of your hand. Most people don’t forget their phone when they leave the house, but how many times have you had to borrow a pen? Evernote is available on iOS and Android, but it can also work on your computer at home.
  • If you don’t feel like taking notes, try Share Your Board. The app takes a photo of a whiteboard in your classroom and changes it into a PDF file. Once you have it, you can send it to friends or use it for your own studies. The app is available for Android users.
  • There’s no reason to get a backache from lugging heavy books around when you have the app. Combine it with an already-installed reader and you have a mobile library capable of delivering up facts at the click of a button or swipe of a touchscreen. The app can save you from misspellings and misunderstandings in any classroom. It’s available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry.

As a bonus, download Angry Birds. It isn’t the most popular app in the world for no reason. Use it to take a break between classes or on the bus. There’s no harm in having a little fun; if anything, it’ll make you happier and more productive. You can get Angry Birds on any platform—even the new iPad with Retina display.

So don’t let your phone or tablet be a drain on your time or grades. Instead, use it to enhance your education. By downloading apps that make you more productive, you’ll get your work done sooner and be out with friends before you know it. Isn’t that better than sitting at your desk, flipping through a notebook and trying desperately to remember where you left the notes from math last week?

Laur Niko has a Master of Science in English from a liberal arts university in Virginia. She’s been a freelance writer for three years and specializes in mobile applications, 3D gaming, education and finance.

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