Boost Your Education with These 10 Apps for eLearning
Apps are great. They’re versatile. They’re diverse. And a lot of them are free! The ones available for education are countless, and come in handy whether you’re a student or an administrator. Regardless of whether you’re a new freshman living on campus and away from home for the first time or a grandparent returning to school for a second degree, the phrase “there’s an app for that” applies to you.
Higher education is fast-paced and keeping up with the demanding schedule requires being organized, especially if you also hold down a job or have a family. Keeping organized is the difference between success and failure. Or to put it in more literal terms, keeping organized can mean the difference between earning a degree and flunking out. Your schedule isn’t the only thing that you’ll need to organize, though. There is class information – like how to reach the instructor if you anticipate missing a class, organizing your textbooks, and organizing school in regards to other parts of your life. Here are some apps that can help you stay on task from day to day, regardless of what’s on your schedule.
- Evernote – This is my personal favorite. I recently used it on my smartphone while attending a webinar via my laptop. The app allows you to keep your notes organized whether you insert them via digital photo or other graphic, audio recording, or written text. You can also search through notes for later use as well.
- Gmail – I didn’t have a Gmail account until I upgraded to a smartphone. I only use it for education which means school-related emails are less likely to get lost in the daily barrage of writing-related communication, advertisement offers through retail shops where I hold membership, or social-networking updates that come through on my regular email address all throughout the day.
Studying and Homework Help
- myHomework – Allowing you to see both project calendars and test calendars, the homework app allows students and teachers to know what assignments are due which days.
- Word of the Day – I thought I had a stellar vocabulary before using this app, but it’s amazing how much more I’ve learned. For instance, mysophobia is the fear of dirt!
- Mathemagics – Even my friends who are math majors enjoy using this app for not only studying and becoming more familiar with mental math, but also for applying it to daily life.
- Sparky – If you’ve ever used SparkNotes, you’ll love Sparky, the mobile-friendly app version of the website. It has all the same plot analysis, chapter summaries, facts, and more about literature you’re most likely to need for school.
- gFlash – This app is so handy. You can use it to make flash cards for any topic! It turns your mobile device into a flash card machine. Memorization is one of the key ways to learn, whether you’re a K-12 student trying to memorize math or history facts, or a graduate student trying to remember things for upcoming finals.
What does social networking have to do with education? It has only just about everything to do with it, whether you’re part of a Facebook group to help schedule Skype study sessions for an online class, or a teacher using Twitter to share a summer reading list. Here are a few social networking apps that are not only popular with me, but also with my teenagers.
- Skype – This is my personal favorite. Across my family we use it to keep up with school, work, family, and friends. It allows instant messaging as well as video or audio calls. Our family is stretched out from the west coast of North America to Eastern Europe, and we all enjoy using Skype. Whether you’re attending school on another continent or taking online classes at a college for game design from the corner of your family’s dining room table, you’ll appreciate being able to stay in touch.
- foursquare – This handy app keeps up with where you’ve been, letting you earn points, badges, and pseudo-political status of different places. When my brother traveled from Virginia to Texas with his job, our family kept up with his current location through his foursquare updates. He shared pictures and comments that made us feel like we were right there with him, even though I’ve only earned status as Mayor of my home office.
- Instagram – Instagram allows you to share your life via snapshots you take on your phone. Share updates with your friends and follow their photographs. Filters allow you to transform the way your digital pictures appear, changing the hue and saturation from whatever quality of photo your phone would normally produce into something that rivals museum art.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” No matter how old I get, I hope I never pass up an opportunity to learn something new. And as long as technology keeps developing, there will be opportunities to use various form of eLearning to do just that.
Becky James-Muth is a freelance author who has written about everything from video game design to installing a Fathead mural in a child’s bedroom. Originally published more than two decades ago, she put her writing on hold to build a family with her firefighter husband and raise their two teenage sons. Now that her boys are teenagers she’s returned to the career she loves. When she’s not writing or researching articles for www.animationarena.com, Becky can be found attending events within her community, having coffee with friends, or making jewelry.