With back-to-school season in full swing, it’s time to stock up on the essentials. Notebooks, pens, folders, and…a new smartphone? Many high schools have decided to loosen their policies banning electronic devices in the classroom, creating ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies that allow students to become independent learners and incorporate technology into their everyday educational experiences, according to the Washington State School Director’s Program. App developers continue to create apps designed for high school students, transforming your phone into an essential learning tool.
When staying in bed until the last possible minute and stumbling out of your house bleary-eyed, you’re bound to forget something important. Transferring documents between school and your home computer is a hassle, and flash drives frequently get lost or forgotten. Dropbox acts as free cloud storage, allowing you to have non-stop access to that English paper you’ve been working on. The mobile app is available for Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire users. Users begin with 2 GB of free storage, with 500 MB increases for every friend you convince to join.
Actually consulting a real paper dictionary is a thing of the past. Now, everything you need to know about a word and its origins is available at the tips of your fingers. With the Dictionary.com app, supported by iPhone, Blackberry, and Android devices, you can look up unrecognizable words on smartphones. Sign up for ‘Word of the Day’ updates to brush up on your vocabulary — consider it free prep for the verbal section of the SAT.
Keeping track of your classes can be a challenge. You’ll never forget another class project again with the My Class Schedule app, available to Blackberry and Android users. Like other calendar apps, My Class Schedule allows you to visualize your course schedule. However, this app goes one step further by keeping track of your assignments, tests and other important course information. For example, you can set up alerts to notify you of upcoming homework that’s due. My Class Schedule also gives you the capability to input your grades, keeping you up-to-date on exactly how you’re doing in math class. For the forgetful, the app provides an option that automatically turns your smartphone on mute when you’re in class.
Evernote is one of the most popular note-taking apps available, with over 50 million users worldwide, according to Business Week. Available for Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and Windows, Evernote provides a way to organize your thoughts and materials. Students can load their handouts into the app and use it to take notes. By tagging items and including keywords, that old history notebook you’ve been scribbling in turns into a searchable, organized document. One of the best features of Evernote for students is its image recognition software. Just take a picture of that whiteboard full of your teacher’s notes, and Evernote will transcribe the image into searchable text.
Smartphone use isn’t just for texting your friends, checking Facebook, or using Snapchat anymore. New apps offer a range of utilities for high school students and can instantly increase your academic success.