Sep 15 2015

5 Apps to Empower College Students' Study Skills

Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, but which apps can actually help students in their college work?

Thousands of new students are exploring their new campus, armed with some of the latest smartphones and tablets the market has to offer.

The average college student brings seven internet-connected devices with them to campus, according to re:fuel Agency’s 2014 College Explorer reportOf course, students who use tablets and smartphones on campus aren't working exclusively within their college's official learning management system. They're using apps for social media, music and games. Millennials are even using these handheld devices more than desktops, according to a recent survey by Domo

From this concentration of usage, an emerging market is developing for apps that help students be more studious.Here are eight apps that could serve to augment a college student's ability to cope with the pressures of class.

Evernote Hangs Onto Your Every Note

Evernote is a cloud-based note-taking app that has grown tremendously since its launch in 2008. The elephant depicted in the company's logo is a clever nod at the app's capability of remembering everything you throw at it, whether it's a quick note, photos or even audio clips. The marriage of those three functions helps Evernote become an essential tool for staying on top of notes, assignments and research papers for class.

Evernote is free to use, with paid plans for users seeking more cloud storage.

Google Drive Offers Unlimited Space for Students

Google's Apps for Education productivity suite has caught on quickly across the spectrum of education. From Docs to Sheets and Slides, Google offers a solution for nearly every type of assignment a college student might have. And all files created by these apps are stored in a cloud vault with unlimited storage capacity named Drive for Education.

Dictation Apps Like Dragon Bring Class Notes to Life

For students on the go, sometimes jotting a quick note can be too time-consuming. The capabilities of dictation apps have grown tremendously in recent years. Most smartphones and tablets come with built-in dictation functions. Apple's iOS has Siri, Microsoft's Windows 10 has Cortana and Google's Android has Google Talk. But a dedicated app like Dragon Speech Recognition can do speech-to-text or read text back to you — perfect for reviewing class notes while cleaning up your dorm.

Dragon is free to use.

Mindmup Helps Students Create a Web of Notes

Mindmup bills itself as "mind mapping" software. This simple, powerful app helps students develop a complex web of ideas with a graphical user interface. Students can also use this app to take abstract notes instead of long-form notes in class, which might be more efficient in certain subjects.

Mindmup is free to use, with paid options to unlock more features and storage space.

Google Translate Gives Students a Glimpse Into Another Language

Google's answer to the language barrier has become a popular tool for students seeking a quick deciphering of their foreign language homework.

A blog post by Steven Wenz on the education technology site Hastac says foreign language instructors "understandably fear" students' use of the tool, as it fosters laziness. While the resulting translations aren't always perfect, that's not the kind of warning one would issue for an ineffective translation tool. The tool is free to use, but students are urged to not become reliant on it.


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