BY ANTON LUCANUS
In an age of instant information, computers and computer technology are inextricably woven into our daily lives. Computer scientist Ralph Johnson said, “Software is not limited by physics, like buildings are. It is limited by imagination, by design, by organization. In short, it is limited by properties of people, not by properties of the world.”
With information technology and the rise of popularity of the mobile phone, and, later, the birth of the smart phone in 2007, “applications,” better known as “Apps” came into being. Apps are the software allowed to run on smartphones. The number of apps in the world, their quality and purpose are an irreversible and rising trend. In fact, tech writer David Pogue says smart phones should be known as app phones emphasizing the importance of apps in smartphones.
During the 28 years following English scientist Tim Berners-Lee’s introduction of the World Wide Web, the world of information technology has passed several milestones. According to the Global Digital Report 2017, more than half the world now uses a smartphone and almost two-thirds of all people in the world own a mobile phone. Studies also show that 99.8% of college students have either mobile phones or smartphones. Most students primarily use their phones to text and run apps. They rarely make phone calls.
As different needs arise in endless succession, companies in many countries are engaged in app development today. Among the communities who zealously pursue apps are college students who have realized the vast potential in developing apps that make life more comfortable and less challenging. In fact, Apple recently launched a new app development curriculum for students desiring to pursue careers in the rapidly surging app economy. In the US, six community colleges that include a total of 500,000 students, hope to introduce this new cutting-edge curriculum on app development designed by Apple engineers and educators.
On the other hand, there are also apps available to make college life less challenging for college students in the US.
Here are five such apps –
- Exam Vocabulary Builder – this is an app focused on improving and enhancing English language vocabulary of college freshmen, graduates entrance exam takers, those engaged in professional advancement and for students seeking language proficiency. It is a tremendous help to students whose first language is not English. The app uses “spaced repetition” for greater retention. Apart from search and organize features, it includes Study, Flashcard and Quiz to nudge the students forward.
- Coursera – mobile app helps students to study a selection of courses to supplement their college studies. This app also introduces students to subjects before they begin a new semester. This boosts the students’ chances of getting excellent grades, getting on the Dean’s Honor List, and winning awards and scholarships.
- Flashcards+ – This app was created by the 19-year old whiz kid tech entrepreneur Connor Zwick, during his senior year of high school. It includes pronunciation assistance for 22 languages, millions of flashcard decks from the Quizlet app, deck shuffling etc.
- Dragon Dictation – helps students digitally type up anything when they talk into the app. What the Dragon Dictation app types up, can be pasted onto other apps, send as an email message or save for later.
- Google Drive – helps students take notes, draw diagrams, create spreadsheets, build presentations and keep them all in the cloud and access them from a mobile app.
Some might say that the brain is the only study tool a student needs. However, as the Minion quote goes, “My brain is like the Bermuda Triangle. Information goes in, and then it’s never found again.”
Apps developed especially for students will ensure this does not happen.
Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.