The first day of class is fast approaching — as some states have started school — and for new students, the list of things to pack only seems to get longer and longer. However, a little preparation on the first day of class does not require packing another box, does not cost money and can be done on a phone – apps.
As students enter a world where they have more freedom to explore and do things, sometimes an app can be helpful in balancing school and personal life. Some apps will help students keep track of their goals and incorporate lessons as college preparation, whether it’s academic skills, social life, organization, or day-to-day improvements. Other applications offer the advantage of taking specific courses and serve as additional tools like a scientific calculator or a quote generator. Everyone has their preference, but there are apps that every student should have.
Many students have to wake up early in the morning, but for some this can be a difficult task, leading to delays in class. Students who are not morning people should download the alarm clock app called Alarmy.
Compared to using ten different alarms with an interval of 5-10 minutes, Alarmy will help you wake up and stay awake to start the day. Unlike standard phone alarms, Alarmy requires users to perform a specific action when the alarm goes off. Actions can range from taking a photo at a specific pre-recorded location, completing a quick exercise, or solving a puzzle. It can be boring, but when used correctly it will help wake up the mind and body and prevent students from falling behind.
Official university app
Most colleges and universities have their own apps dedicated to everything happening on campus, and if they haven’t already pushed it during orientation, the marketing pitch will surely come during the first week of class. . In this particular case, it would be good to listen to the university and download the application.
Schools create these apps to help students acclimate to their campus. There will likely be helpful resources like an interactive campus map, transit routes for commuters (if the campus has its own transit system), event calendars, and more. The official university app can serve as a quick and easy guide that will help students readapt to campus life.
Flashcard fanatics or students looking for apps that help them with their lessons and provide more interactive ways to study should download the Quizlet app. The free study app offers a wide variety of study tools that can adapt entered information into more dynamic formats like a matching game, quizzes, and the standard flashcards.
Quizlet also allows users to program their course information into their profile and then generates study sets created by others who are currently in the course or have already taken it. If the app is downloaded to a mobile device, these resources will be readily available anywhere, allowing users to study until they enter the testing room.
Organizational skills are essential for submitting projects and assignments on time. Luckily, Trello is an app that lets users create personal, collaborative boards to divide projects into separate tasks and to-do lists that can then be checked off as they go. As a personal organization tool, Trello can help students stay focused on what they need to do for each assignment in a particular class, or they can create a workflow for a project that can be worked on a duration of a few weeks.
When working in a group atmosphere, a single Trello board can keep everyone in the group updated on everyone’s progress, and users can upload documents or links to their specific tasks. Before arriving on campus, students should try setting up a Trello board with things to do for the first week of class and see if the schedule works for them.
No matter what students attend school for, writing assignments will be part of the college experience. Grammar and spelling are not everyone’s friend. Even those who excel in writing need a second pair of eyes when it comes to checking their writing for errors. Grammar can be that pair of eyes for homework, presentations, and direct communications.
Grammarly is a free online writing assistant that can be used to check for writing problems, ranging from spelling and grammar errors to sentence structure and tone adjustments. When the Grammarly extension is added to Chrome on the desktop, it automatically checks for any typing errors that may appear while writing on the web. The app will check for errors when writing to other desktop apps and browsers.
Socializing at a new school is a challenge, but when that school has hundreds or thousands of other students with almost completely different schedules, it can be difficult to make connections. That’s why students are encouraged to attend campus events, join organizations, and interact with people in their class. A common application used for communication in each of these spaces is GroupMe.
GroupMe is a free group text messaging app that can be accessed via desktop, Android, or Apple device. Students often create GroupMe groups for each of their classes, and in these chat rooms, class updates, study information, and just general course thoughts are shared. This helps keep everyone connected, and if the need arises, there’s the option to chat with people directly in private messages. All of this can be done without having to share personal phone numbers with what could be hundreds of other students taking the same course.
Every university has a different way of organizing class and assignment information, but if Blackboard is listed in the course schedule, downloading the Blackboard app is a must. Everything for each class will be stored there, so grades, assignments, and course information can all be viewed in one place.
Instructors will assign discussion topics, quizzes, or tests in Blackboard. If the mobile app is downloaded, students will receive notifications of upcoming deadlines and can complete the assignment in the app directly from their phone.
Networking might not seem like a big deal in college, but it’s never too early to start. LinkedIn allows students to create a professional profile and network with other students, professors, and professionals in their chosen field. The app is completely separate from current popular social and dating apps, and actions taken on the platform should be strictly business-like.
LinkedIn is a professional networking app, so most students are looking for others who are studying the same thing as them to connect with. It’s a great place to find other students who want to form study groups and professional relationships. Job offers are also available in the application, so there is also the possibility of finding an internship or a part-time position.
Google Workspace/Google Productivity Apps
When it comes to organizing work for projects or working as a team to complete assignments, Google will take a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. Storing work in a cloud is a great practice to make sure you never lose a semester-long assignment. OneDrive is an option that comes with the school email students receive, but using Google ensures that students can always access work they might need as a reference for future work.
When students use the apps included in Google Workspace, assignments are saved automatically, can be accessed from any device that can access Google, and can be shared to collaborate on group assignments. Apps will need to be downloaded separately (i.e. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, etc.), but whatever is done in each app will be saved to the drive.
Online courses have grown in popularity since the pandemic began in 2020. So for students heading to class this fall, Zoom is a must. It is likely that in a 100% online course or a hybrid course, teachers use Zoom to broadcast their lessons.
For students who have avoided the video calling platform for the past two years, now is the time to change that. Downloading the Zoom mobile and desktop app will ensure it’s always available, so whether you’re running late for a lesson or enjoying the freedom that online classes provide, you’ll always have quick access to the program.
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