25 Important Apps And Digital Learning Tools For University Students
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Apps And Digital Learning Tools For University Students

The smartphone has become one of the most valuable tools for students in higher education and has come to play an important role in in-class learning, study organization and management, student/community life and planning, dealing with finances, and personal safety and security. Below is a list of 25 valuable apps for (university) students to make the most of their educational experience.

All of the apps lists below (in no particular order or ranking) are entirely free, but can be upgraded for enhanced performance at a cost. Still, the free versions are more than sufficient and can be expected to play at least a small role in your overall achievement in higher education. These apps, however, are by no means limited to student-use; in fact, there is a good chance that instructors of all levels will find these to be equally useful teaching and learning tools as they are enlightening and entertaining.

Recording/Collecting

1. Office Lens

One of the most popular apps that students can use to make instant scans with the camera on their smartphones. Office Lens can be synched with OneNote and OneDrive, for example, so scanned documents such pictures, texts such as readings/outlines/tables of contents, business cards, and whiteboards, among others, can be saved with ease and efficiency.

The app identifies the dimensions of the document you wish to scan, crop, and make the image crisp and tidy. Images on whiteboards can be turned into Word documents and information from business cards can be instantly turned into contacts on your mobile. Google Lens is a similar app that detects and interprets objects, offering actions to the smartphone user based on its visual analysis of the object. This app is similar to Google Googles and Bixby Vision.

2. Notability

Notability has been ranked as one of the best note-taking apps available. More than a note-taking app, students can annotate PDFs/images/GIFs, brainstorm their ideas and make quick and easy note of them for future reference, record lectures, and many other functions. Students can often find it difficult to follow lectures while attempting to take notes. This app lets students manage their own lectures and notes, plus share, connect, and synchronize with other students. Notability can sync with Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.

3. Dragon Microphone

This app is more than five years old but still provides students with superlative quality speech-to-text options for turning ideas into notes in a second. The app allows students to dictate their papers and note for other assignments such as presentations. Dragon Microphone recognizes the speakers voice with use and so overall accuracy improves over time. Putting thoughts down on paper is laborious in many ways and can put thought barriers up easily. This app allows students to get their ideas down quickly and offer them with a workable draft to edit and polish over time.

4. SoundNote

Another in-class assistant is SoundNote. This app is like a study buddy. SoundNote follows as you type and sketch, recording audio along the way. Not exclusively for the classroom, students can also use SoundNote during group work or discussion and while conducting interviews for assignments or research. This well-designed app lets you export your notes and audio as well.

Management

5. Uni Calculator

Keep on top of your grades and overall assessment with Uni Calculator. This app is pretty straightforward; it allows you to calculate what marks you need to achieve your desired grade in a particular class. Uni Calculator lets you input whatever units of grading you like.

6. iStudiez

Track it all: student/life schedule, homework/assignments, and grades. This student-planner app helps you keep on top of your plans at any time with easy-to-follow organization and presentation. Build colorful block-style calendars/timetable and to-do categories. You can also track your progress using the simple grade-graph feature. This app has received wonderful reviews by students from all over and it has been consistently ranked above other organization and planning apps.

7. SimpleMind

Mindmap away using SimpleMind. Highly illustrative, this app provides the perfect place for mapping your thoughts and mulling them over as your leisure. Brainstorming has no limits here with unlimited page size and the ability to create more than one mind map on a single page. User can also plug in useful images, video recordings, and voice memos. SimpleMind is user-friendly and even fun to use, and can assist in the creation of complex mind maps in over a dozen languages.

8. SelfControl

Studies, as with any other responsibility, is a challenge so long as there are distractions around. To get some SelfControl, just download this free app and put a block on any and every website distracting you from those important studies. This app allows you to time blocks, set them for certain periods, and access those fun websites when the readings are all done.

9. StudyBlue

StudyBlue is a massive and powerful study assistant that helps you cut the stress when it comes to studying and learning quicker and more efficiently. This app lets you study anywhere and access approximately 500 million study materials, including flashcards, notes, and study guides. StudyBlue can assist with putting you in touch with other students, ideal study materials, and engage actively with quizzes. Alternative to StudyBlue are Quizlet, Cram, and Brainscape.

10. GoConqr

Retaining the mass of information that you accumulate over the course of a semester or even the first few weeks of it can be a challenge. GoConqr assists with this challenge by providing users with interactive functions such as courses, mindmaps, flashcards, notes, quizzes, slides, and flowcharts. This is education and learning management at its best. This app feature an extensive digital library for learners, the means for educators to create their own learning materials and create an interactive community among their students, and can provide institutions with the create campus portals, campus groups, and community announcements.

11. My Study Life

When it comes to studies, exam preparation can be the most stressful of all university experiences. Time management and organization are keys to solid exam preparation that can lead to success and achievement. Keeping focused and organized can be done using a number of apps, notably My Study Life, which allows students to synchronize their university life with their calendars. Having input all the vital information about your semester, you can keep on track, receiving notifications and reminders about classes, assignments, and exams that are quickly approaching. My Study Life connects all your devices and allows the option of cloud storage. Similar free apps include: Exam Countdown, Pocket, TCY Exam Prep, and ACCA Student Planner.

12. Timetable

Time management overall is no less deserving of attention than assignment and exam organization and preparation. My Class Schedule is one of the easiest ways to keep your schedule organized in a clear and simple manner. This basic timetabling app sends you reminders about your classes and lets you know when you are about to face an exam and even when an assignment or two has slipped your mind. Timetable delivers a number of great features to help students manage their daily and weekly studies through the semesters.

13. EasyBib

Referencing and citation generation can be a daunting task for students entering university for the first time, and even for students taking classes from professors who insist on the use of a variety of different citation styles. EasyBib, the free bibliography generator, can reinforce those all-important referencing rules from which students cannot escape. EasyBib lets students generate citations from a lengthy list of formats and choose from dozens of source options. Other functions include book search by title or ISBN, book barcode scanning, and citation sharing.

14. Google Drive

By now nearly everyone should have heard of Google Drive in one form or another. If not, you are definitely missing out on an incredibly useful file storage and synchronization system. Launched about six years ago, Google Drive offers a good amount of storage space and is very simple to use. A good alternative to Dropbox and OneDrive, which only offer about 2GB and 5GB of storage space respectively, Google Drive offers 15GB of storage space, requires you to simply drag and drop, and delivers solid platform support. It then syncs your documents to the cloud automatically. This app also has built-in image search technology that is sure to impress with its ability to identify objects, including people.

15. Pinterest

Pinterest is just amazing, simply and squarely. This is an incredibly popular website with a good app. Pinterest is basically an enormous ideas constellation. In addition to just plain fun to browse, Pinterest is full of inspiration and provides an unlimited range of visual content to get you moving on projects and assignments. Each and every “Pin” shows you the website where it was found. With more than 100 million active users, there is no shortage of images to sit through, grab, and share with others.

16. Coursera

Not all learning needs to take place in the classroom and or even through online degree programs. Coursera offers hundreds of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to anyone interested in gaining basic understanding of a wide array of topic and subjects. Courses offered through this educational company are organized and taught in together with hundreds of universities and companies. 24 million users cannot be wrong.

Coursera offers online studies in 12 different categories and learners can receive verified certificates for their online achievements. Many universities today have even recognized Coursera credit and allow students to complete online courses as part of their regular degree programs at university. Other sites offering a host of interesting MOOCs include: FutureLearn, edX, XuetangX, Udacity, Udemy, and Miríada X (Spanish). MOOC-based credentials through these education-based companies and initiatives are diverse, ranging from auditing, to certificates, to Master’s degrees.

17. Google Duo

A simpler version of Skype, Google Duo is a handy little app for making audio and video calls to people in your contact list. High definition video calls are of exceptional quality and callers can leave previews for the recipient prior to accepting the call. Google Duo allows the user to make call using his or her existing contact list. This app is perfect for students on a budget and looking to reduce their calling costs. Similar apps include: Skype, FaceTime, Tango, Whatsapp, Viber, and Amazon Alexa.

18. Monzo

The Monzo banking app has been called the Facebook of banking and puts financial management at your fingertips. Studies can be difficult enough without worrying about the major financial burdens involved. Students who find it difficult to manage their spending can keep on top of it all with Monzo. This app provides instant notification, assists in budgeting, and allows users to make payment overseas without any costs. Notable app functionality is also supplemented by reputable customer service. The app also has enhanced security through the use of fingerprint identification. Anyone interested in this app might also like to check out Loot.

Security

19. bSafe

Personal safety has become a paramount concern on university campuses these days. Campuses--while often patrolled and observed using CCTV cameras--can be quite large, quiet, and dark, and a litter uncomfortable for anyone walking alone at night or unfamiliar with his or her surroundings. The bSafe app helps provide some security by putting virtual eyes on you as you walk home through live GSP tracking (a function called “Follow Me”), featuring an SOS alarm, automatic video and audio recordings that can be instantly sent to other mobiles.

20. Circle Of 6

The app was designed for university students as a security devise against potential sexual violence but can be used by anyone for enhanced safety and security. Much like the bSafe app, Circle Of 6 lets you tap your location to anyone, communicating your position and possible need for help. As the name suggest, users can create (security) circle of friends who can receive texts, GPS locations, phone calls, and chat icons from anyone in the circle. This app gives you direct access to information about important issues like sexuality, relationships, and personal safety, and even allows you to make a “phone out” to hotlines.

Knowledge Building

21. TED Talks

Students are without a doubt bound to recommend TED for other students – and rightly so! With TED you can explore thousands of inspiring and motivating talks and ideas from extraordinary people, even if you have never heard of them. TED is illuminating, pushes your thought limits, and helps expand the boundaries of thought and imagination for every single age. Great for students, instructors can make use of TED for their classes. TED provides some of the most empowering messages for my students. Check out “The most powerful talks of all time.”

22. Behance

Students, whether in design or just interests in design and visually stunning things, will likely find the Behance online platform nothing short of mesmerizing. Behance features new work from incredibly talented individuals in design, fashion, architecture, photography, motion graphics, and many more fields of work and passion. It is easy to spend hours on this site, where you can follow creators and expressionists of beautiful things that are sure to stimulate your creative side. The site also provides options for connecting with student and professional communities associated with specific organization and institutions. You can browse through and share the work of artists using such tools such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Photoshop Mix, Stock, and Dimension.

23. Duolingo

I cannot resist suggesting current and prospective language learners from taking a look at the Duolingo language-learning platform. Having explored dozens of other language-learning sites and apps, Duolingo, with its 68 languages courses (more than 20 currently being developed) to be, bar none, the best. Duolingo is really interactive, fun, and feels like a game more than anything else. Language courses are high quality, designed and implemented with experts and native speakers to create a great approach to language learning. Want to step out of reality and into fantasy? You can even take courses in Klingon and High Valyrian. Best of all, Duolingo is the ideal price: 100% free!

24. Dictionary.com

By far one of the most popular dictionary apps, Dictionary.com offers loads of features and is simple to use. Providing quick access to definitions and their pronunciation, this app also provides users with access to dozens of language translations and even offers colloquial language and idiomatic expressions. For those interested in building their vocabulary, Dictionary.com also offers a word of the day. For students needing to access the millions of words in the English language, this app is an invaluable digital learning tool and can be used without an Internet connection.

25. Exam Vocabulary Builder

Build it! This app helps build a stronger vocabulary through games, quizzes, and such functions as audio pronunciation. It is actually a stimulating and fun way to build your vocabulary irrespective of the learner’s language level – beginners to native speakers are likely to benefit to no small extent from this app. Other effective vocabulary-building apps include: PowerVocab, Magoosh Vocabulary Builder, A Word a Day Widget, Word to Word, and Word with Friends.

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