Most college students would unanimously agree that laptop computers are essential for success in higher education, but are smartphones on the same level? Technology is moving at such a rapid pace that many of the latest gadgets are considered “luxury” items simply because they cost more to make and thus, cost more to buy. However, smartphones can open up a world of helpful opportunities for today’s college students that can help them stay on track, generate academic success, and maintain independence without falling behind with respect to the demands of higher education.
Keeping a calendar or whiteboard available can be helpful for keeping track of assignments, but when students spend all day at classes and the library, they may not even consult this schedule until the end of the night. Smartphones give students constant reminders of when their assignments are due, so they can plan accordingly. In addition to the general organizing features that come with smartphones (notes, calendars, alarms, etc.), students can also take advantage of especially helpful, student-friendly apps, including iStudiez Pro, Evernote, and myHomework. With these apps, students can record text, video and audio notes, and keep track of assignment due dates—all while getting more out of each lecture.
For most college students, social networking isn’t just useful for reconnecting with your long lost friends from youth, but for finding study buddies, keeping up with professors, sharing notes, finding out if class is canceled and more. One of the best apps out there for helping students network is Bump, which makes it easy to share contact information with professors, project partners, study groups and other people you want to stay connected with on campus. The Google Groups app also helps students share documents more effectively and stay up to date on the progress of an assignment.
Convenience may sound over-rated, but for college students it’s essential for accommodating a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. For example, say a student is on her way to a study group session and receives an email that the session has moved to another location and that her portion of the project has changed. Without a smartphone to alert the student immediately when this email is received, she can waste valuable time due to misinformation and miscommunication. Smartphones provide a more solid guarantee that time won’t be wasted and that students will remain up to date on their schedules and responsibilities on a minute-to-minute basis.
Adapting to technology not only fosters a more effective learning environment, but also allows students to keep up with trends that will likely affect their success in the professional world. Recognizing the value and importance of these technologies early will give students a sense of innovation and technical proficiency that will aid in their development both on and off campus.
This is a guest post by Lindsey Harper Mac.