Apps and websites to help you be a better student
Studying need not be so traditional anymore. Technology’s rise alleviates the classic study essentials students often rely upon to improve their learning. In fact, traditional study resources — such as paper notebooks, cumbersome organizers and scientific calculators — are devolving in popularity. Instead, today’s students easily access hundreds of more facilitative phone apps and Internet websites to address their educational needs, from organizing class schedules to networking with prospective job employers. Here is a categorical smattering of the most technology-friendly tools to help you be a better, more time efficient student.
You get a syllabus here, a course schedule there, a homework assignment due tomorrow and a capstone project due at semester’s end. After a while, all of that haphazard cramming of correlating paperwork results in an overstuffed (and sometimes forgotten) folder. Students can chase away disorder with the following:
Documents to Go — (all handheld devices and smartphones) — This app allows students to download the DataViz® software to view, edit and create a variety of documents from Microsoft® and Adobe®. This software also allows students to access files in Dropbox, Box.net, iDisc® and SugarSync®, among other features.
Grade U Need — Ever wonder what you need to get an A or a B in your class? Students can turn to this $.99 grade management app by Quercus Software that not only tracks grades, but tells them what grades they need for an upcoming assignment in order to achieve the final grade goal.
iStudiez Pro — This award-winning app coordinates with iPhone, iPad, and iPod® products, providing students with the ability to manage grades, schedules, homework and other events in real-time mode. The app, available in 25 languages, incorporates color coding features, the ability to input instructors' info and also cloud syncs between Macintosh®, iPhone, iPod, and iPad.
myHomework — (iPad®, iPhone®, and soon for Android™) — “myHomework tracks your classes, homework and projects so you never forget an assignment again.” This slogan says it all about the complimentary app that coordinates calendars, due dates and course schedules and alerts you to upcoming deadlines in a single location. For just $.99, students can further sync the same name website with the app for added convenience.
We went from composition notebooks to voice recorders for our note taking needs, and now the modern method is on laptops and, most recently, handheld devices. These versatile and convenient apps and websites seem to be gaining the most attention among current students.
Shorttext.com — This website is a convenient online option for students wishing to share text or visuals for classes without starting a wiki, Facebook® page or a personal website. Simply enter the desired content, click on the button to creat an URL, and a classmate or instructor can view the webpage.
YouNote! — Available at no cost or for a $2.99, more bells-and-whistles option, YouNote! allows students to take audio, picture, drawn, text, Web or multi notes complete with a customized color, tag, etc. option for more comprehensive (and easier) filing.
Can’t do trigonometry in your head? Need a better graph to visually grasp a mathematical concept? These two apps are the go-to calculators for your number-crunching and graphing needs.
PI83 Graphing Calculator — ios app maker Piglit’s iPhone app is not your Texas instruments TI-83™ calculator. This calculator app does away with the usual, clunky device, but offers 100-plus math functions, including graphing, statistics, complex numbers, algebra and more. It also timestamps screenshots to help teachers eliminate potential cheating.
SpaceTime — (Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPod, iPad and soon Android) — “SpaceTime is the only cross-platform mathematics software available for computers and mobile devices,” claims the SpaceTime website. Ieee Spectrum notes this app, created by a game designer, is more impressive with its 3-D graphs and animated displays.
The best studying occurs when the student understands some basic concepts, including how to research. These tools streamline research and subject matter comprehension.
Information Literacy — This website teaches students Web research skills, including locating, evaluating and sharing Web-based information.
Genetic Decoder —This app is more geared toward the science-minded, specifically biology students and researchers, according to the app's description on Apple.com. Users can input RNA codons and get amino acids.
Findarticles.com — This site provides a good alternative to browse for articles by newspaper or topic to find information relevant to one’s studies.
Finances and courses are intertwined for most students, who only have time for a part-time job or take on the enormous task of working full-time while taking classes. All that stress can inhibit learning. Balancing one’s budget or making money off your grades through these stress-free tools are great ways to clear the mind.
Mint.com — This website (and app for Android and iPhone) offers complimentary downloadable software that brings all of a person’s accounts and transactions into a central location for review. The self-described secure site helps students create budgets, as well as spending graphs, among other financial tracking and management options.
GradeFund — This website helps students who get good grades to acquire cash through personal and corporate sponsors that wish to help fund their education via giving to the students (for items, such as textbooks) or directly to an educational institution (for tuition). GradeFund verifies student grades before collecting pledged funds.
Local networking is no longer enough to propel one’s career. Therefore, college students find it helpful to join social networking sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn®, to take advantage of a broader, global network that can connect members to internships and, eventually, jobs. Yet there are many other helpful networking sites, including the following:
Collegerecruiter.com — This site links students with open internships and entry-level jobs. But check it out even if you aren’t a newbie. A random inputted search shows there are also many jobs requiring five-plus years of experience for certain positions.
The CampusCenter.com — This is a student- and professor-oriented social networking site that puts people in touch with others in their major. It also offers a research center of validated, peer-reviewed links to facilitate student research, according to the site.
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