There are so many apps on the market these days that the options are endless. There are a large number specifically for students, apps for managing time, taking notes, and apps enabling students to stay up to date with everything going on around campus.
The smartphone is the new student’s next best friend. Today there are so many options for apps, relevant and helpful for the college student. It is possible to find an app for practically everything, from ordering meals to hailing a taxi to finding a good online casino to brushing up on virtual flashcards for college lessons. But are they all equally valuable?
How To Find The Correct And Most Suitable App
Jessica Shelley, head of the curriculum at Dailies App, which is a self-learning platform, says “I think with any application, it’s not a one-size-fits-all.” Just because it works for one student doesn’t been that it will be the same for his fellow students.
According to William Watson, professor at Purdue University-West Lafayette, Indiana, and the director of the Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments, it is important that students ask themselves “What do I need the most help with?”
It is important to find the correct apps for college students. It is possible to find apps that will help students with organization skills, time management, homework, and much more.
It can take time for new students to become settled so apps that help keep them focused are really useful. Watson says “I think the biggest challenge for most learners today is that they really have underdeveloped self-regulated learning skills and the reason for that, by and large, is that our educational systems – particularly our K-12- are very teacher-centered.”
Watson also emphasizes that college students need to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are so that they know what kind of help they need. Jenna Sheffield, involved with curriculum innovation at the University of New Haven Connecticut, also stresses that “Students need to identify areas they want to work on, such as time management”. She goes on to say that from there students “can look into researching the effectiveness of different apps or platforms” which will answer those needs.
It is definitely worth reading reviews about the usefulness of any app and also checks the number of downloads. Of course, speak with other students and teachers to learn about their experiences.
Top 11 Useful Apps for Students
12 apps specifically for college students recommended by technology experts, listed alphabetically. Unless otherwise noted in the specific app below, all of them are free to users.
1. AnkiMobile Flashcards
According to its website, this app supports multimedia and scientific markup. It is listed at $24.99 in the App Store for iOS but is free for those with Android devices.
2. Blackboard App
Blackboard is a popular learning management system and is used at many colleges all over the US. The app enables students to access coursework associated with online lessons or in-person lessons with virtual components. It allows students to peruse course content, carry out assignments and tests and view their results, and more.
3. Canvas Student
Like Blackboard, Canvas Student allows students to go into their coursework, complete assignments, and view grades. Depending on which platform the student is using, they can choose to download either of these two apps.
Duolingo markets itself as “the world’s best way to learn a language”. The app provides lessons in more than 35 different languages. It helps users with speaking, reading, vocabulary, writing, and grammar. Duolingo has a free version and also a paid one. The paid version is ad-free and provides offline access to lessons. Duolingo is also considered a ‘test of English proficiency’ and is recognized at a number of colleges.
This is a task-management and note-taking app that enables the student to sync between a number of devices. Evernote enables users to put together to-do lists, save different web pages, and to digitize documents using the camera on their device. The app is free but there is a premium version that has a number of extra features. The price for a year is $69.99 or for a month $7.99.
6. Google Calendar
It is very likely that students are already familiar with apps like Google Calendar as it is so commonplace today. It has some really useful features and is very popular to mark down upcoming events, reminders, sharing availability, and much more.
7. Google Drive
This is very useful for students as it can be used for free Google Cloud storage. It is great for students when writing up papers across a number of devices and for doing collaborative work with other students when sharing documents is necessary.
Mendeley offers the student the ability to make notes and highlight PDFs. It can also create references and quotes and allows the student to and sync their work across a number of devices access to a huge online library. Mendeley’s first two gigabytes of storage are free of charge, after which there are plans from $55 – $165 a year for more capacity.
MindMeister enables students to create idea maps; it is an excellent tool for envisioning ideas. Features include project organizing, taking notes, meeting management, and much more. There is a basic version that is free of charge. However, personal planning and professional or businesses would pay between $4.00 to $12.49
This app is basically what is says: enables users to task management. Organize tasks into manageable goals, sort things out and manage them according to their priority and make daily schedules. There are free and paid options for this app. The cost for a professional account on mobile devices is $29.99.
This is a flashcard app that enables the user to create their own personal decks. They are then able to share them with other users. It also helps students with memorization as it allows them to play time-based games. The app is free of charge but it does have an option to upgrade to Quizlet Plus, which is ad-free and has offline access but costs $24.88 for a year.
College Mobile Apps
These apps have become popular with many students using them. They may differ from college to college but usually, it is possible to find campus maps, college news and events, and other types of information.
There are many apps that are free so it is understandable that students are reluctant to download apps that cost money. Perhaps it is worth trying out the “free trial period” that many of them offer before laying out any money.
Shelly says “For myself, I’ll try out probably between three and five apps, doing the same thing, and then I’ll invest in the premium version if I see the features being something that’s worthwhile for me.”
For Sheffield, academic integrity is important, “I think it’s important to be aware that there are websites and apps that sell themselves as legitimate study aids when really they are providing answers to quizzes and tests. I won’t name names, but I would encourage students to do some research and consider that if it feels like cheating, it probably is cheating.”