Smart Student Meets Smartphone
October 08, 2012
Smartphone ubiquitous. Sounds cool, right? But it's true. They are EVERYWHERE! I just upgraded to a smartphone this past April, and I haven't looked back since. I'm in my last semester of my undergrad degree, and I've been using my phone pretty much, exclusively, as my laptop. Sure, the screen is small, but it's a great study tool!
So as a student, what apps might I recommend? There are cool apps, fun apps, organizational apps, handy apps, broken apps, and apps that I'm not quite sure I'll ever use again (though I've left them on my phone, nonetheless). For college, high school, and possibly even middle school students (or possibly their parents), here are my app recommendations for this semester:
- First, you'll probably need the MCPL app. It's available on the App Store and the Google Play Store. I'm not tooting our own horn; it just makes being a student, scholar, researcher, and finder of random facts a whole lot easier. I can look for books on the catalog; if I'm in the library and don't have time to wait in line, I can check out my books with it; and I can renew books by scanning them from the comfort of my own home...er dorm room! There are lots of other really cool things you can do with this app, but I'll let you explore it and figure them out for yourself.
- How about getting some tutoring help? I know that tutors are hard to come by at 12:03 a.m.; trust me, been there done that! But they're easy to find if you have an iPhone (sorry Android users, so far there is no app version for you. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will come soon). Tutor.com To Go is a pretty fantastic app that lets me get the help I need on math, language arts or English (whichever term you institution is calling it), science, and many other school subjects. The app also allows you to get live tutor help. Yes, I said it. Live Tutor Help from your phone!
- Learning a foreign language? Mango is now in app format (again, sorry to my Android readers, this is one more app that is so far only available to iPhone users, but you can still use the database from your computer, laptop, or browser). Mango Languages app works just like the website, but a little more streamlined for the phone screen. You can learn a variety of languages including Spanish, German, Italian, French, Greek, Hindi, and many more! You just download each small lesson, and you've got a lesson you can take with you anywhere.
- Looking for some organization for your class assignments? Sure, you can plug each assignment into a calendar app as an event, but I've found this really nice and neat inClass app that helps me stay organized by allowing me to see a calendar view of assignment due dates but also a list with a color coded system for priority level.
- Maybe you're looking to keep your family and friends posted on the activities you're involved with or the things you're doing while you're locked away in your dorms. How about Instagram? This app is on both the App Store and Google Play Store. With this app, you can take pictures and put cool filters on them, very seamlessly and easily, and have them uploaded to a variety of social media websites including Facebook and Twitter. I've taken pictures of new food dishes I'm trying (to show people that despite my small frame I do eat), I've taken photos of club meetings, club activities, etc. And, this app isn't just for the social savvy college kid, but anyone that just wants to stay in touch in a more personal way. A picture says a thousand words, right?
I've left you with just a few apps to try for now. Check back periodically to get recommendations for apps that may just go to helping those looking to get help during November's NaNoWriMo competition.