Long gone are the days like when I was in college. There were no "suites" in the dorms with their own bathrooms back then. In my freshman dorm, there was a common bathroom for the entire floor (yes, that's true!) and it took a little while to become savvy enough to link the sound of flushing toilets with a scalding surge of shower water. As far as personal communications went, there was a single pay phone on the wall right outside the RA's (Resident Adviser's) room, which offered all the privacy of a Manhattan bus stop. Not very conducive for declaring sweet nothings to one's girlfriend.
Of course, that's ancient history. Today's modern college student is equipped with a blinding inventory of technological wizardry. Wireless networks covering almost every square inch of sprawling campuses (or is that "campi"?) enable iPads, tablets, laptops, desktops, and who knows what else to reach out and engage the Internet galaxy. The BIG (note the all caps) and hottest item carried by almost every single student is the smartphone. Today's smartphones contain more (and more reliable) computing power than NASA had at their disposal for the Apollo moon shots back in the Sixties. Thus, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the learning curve for these intriguing devices can be steep.
Aside from the blizzard of techniques needed to take advantage of all a smartphone's features, there's also a significant knowledge base needed to pick and choose among what has become commonly known as "apps." That's short for "applications." No, not applications as in "college applications," but the kind that allow you to do almost anything (space travel coming soon, I think) with that little device in your hand.
Here are some cool ideas about apps. I think you might like to look them over, especially if you're heading back to campus anytime soon. Even current high school students (and their parents, even) can benefit from these way-cool apps. Let's take a look.
Five Apps You Need For Back To School
inClass: — inClass is a free iPhone and iPad app provides students with the tools to keep up with material in the classroom without missing out on their professors' lectures. Using inClass, students can record audio, take text or video notes, and create images of slides or handouts. Students can also use the app to share materials with friends through Facebook and iTunes.
Clipix— Clipix is a free online tool that easily organizes the digital content in people's lives. Clipix was created out of a need for a tool that would allow people to save and share links, documents, photos and video with one click, and provide a visual and organized environment for all of the things they want to keep track of online. Users can categorize items into different clipboards which can remain private or public. Clipix is available online and across iOS and Android devices.
Quizlet— Quizlet has more than 10 million free sets of digital flashcards, Quizlet offers students a variety of ways to study course materials. After choosing a flashcard set or creating a new set, students have the option of four study styles, along with two varieties of flashcard games that strive to bring an entertainment factor to studying. Quizlet is available to students through the Web as well as via more than 50 mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android-powered devices.
Friendthem — Friendthem is a revolutionary location-based connectivity app, with fine-grained and easily-configured privacy controls, which is changing the way the world connects in a seamless and fun manner by helping them send Facebook friend requests to people they meet in the real world. A great tool for connecting with people you meet along the way.
StudiezPro — StudiezPro is a powerful scheduling app won't get you an A in bio, but it will help you ace time management. iStudiezPro allows you to input your class schedule and homework into a built-in planner, then alerts you of approaching deadlines, keeps track of your grades, organizes your extracurricular schedule, and counts down to your next class. Now if only it counted down to happy hour.
So, "app"ly yourself and check these out. If you're having trouble getting motivated, do some research. There's probably an app for that, too.
Be sure to check out all my college-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.