Back-to-School Apps for Instructors and Students

In the spirit of back-to-school season, recently published lists of recommended smartphone apps for students and instructors. We’ve decided to share a few of their favorites–as well as some of ours–with you here:

For Instructors:

  • Bento – This organizational app keeps tabs on a user’s events, tasks, projects, passwords, and nearly anything else you need to keep track of.
  • Air Sketch – Use Air Sketch with an iPad to create a DIY SmartBoard. If you want to take it up a notch, use them both with Dropbox to annotate your PowerPoint presentations live.
  • SpeedGrader for iPad – If you have an iPad and are planning on using Canvas as your course’s LMS, this app is for you! SpeedGrader allows instructors to quickly grade assignments on-the-go, automatically transferring them to the course and gradebook.
  • Voice Recorder and iTalk Recorder – High-quality recording apps that could be useful in creating audio recordings of lectures.
  • Smart Dot – A presentation tool that will act as a remote and laser pointer for PowerPoint and Keynote presentations.
  • ASL Ultimate – Basic American Sign Language vocabulary app. Could be very helpful in classrooms with hearing-impaired students.

For Students:

  • myHomework – A very nice organizational app that keeps track and reminds students of assignments, classwork and important dates.
  • Flashcards* – A clean, easy flashcard app that integrates with popular study aide website Quizlet.
  • Wolfram Alpha – Handheld access to answer engine Wolfram Alpha’s collection of data. Great for looking up quick facts, numbers, dates, and performing calculations.
  • Penultimate – Although it is only available for the iPad at the moment, Penultimate is a fantastic app for those who prefer to take notes by hand, but like the convenience of digital documents.
  • CourseSmart – This popular digital textbook provider now offers an app so that students can access their books and notes from multiple devices.
  • Free Graphing Calculator and Algeo Graphing Calculator – Why carry around a graphing calculator when you can download one on your Apple or Android device?

For Anyone:

  • Blackboard Mobile Learn and Canvas – Download whichever LMS you are using to have access to your course away from your computer. Great for quickly checking in with your course on-the-go.
  • Dropbox – We’ve blogged about Dropbox before, but if you haven’t tested it out yet, it’s really worth a try! Dropbox allows you to sync your files to your Dropbox account and access them on any of your devices. So far, Dropbox mobile apps are available for the iPhone/iPad, Android devices, BlackBerry and the Kindle Fire.
  • Documents To Go – An app that allows users to sync their Microsoft Office Documents to make them accessible across devices. If the $9.99 cost is a bit pricey for you, Google Drive is an excellent free alternative that hosts the Google Apps Suite (includes Docs).
  • Evernote – Yet another app you may be familiar with if you follow UWB Learning Technologies. There’s a reason it’s so popular, though–Evernote allows users to take notes using images, audio, text and attachments and then makes them accessible across devices.
  • Instapaper – Ever find an article online that you would like to read, but don’t have the time to right then and there? Instapaper allows you to save articles to your account for offline reading later.

What are some apps you are planning to use this school year? Let us know in the comments!


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