At the University where I teach, the Spring semester is in full swing. Students, Faculty, and Staff are settling in and getting into a good routine. One of the things I’ve noticed is that tablets are becoming a lot more popular among students, and for good reason! You can download textbooks, take notes, and stay organized; and there are tons of apps out there to help! While I won’t cover the basic/common apps (like Kindle or Google Books for textbooks), I do have 10 apps designed for both students and Android tablets.
I’m going to start with what I consider the best. Studious is a fantastic student planner app that seems to do it all! You can put in your classes, add homework and tests, and even add notes. It’s got a beautiful design/UI and it even has some extra features for silencing your device (admittedly, this is built for the Android phones, but it’s useful on tablets too).
Skedule is actually a super new app (500 or less downloads) that can use some polish, but upon first use, it looks very, very promising. Dubbed a “time tabling” app, it lets you add courses, instructors, homework, and todos. It’s also got a really clean, very nice interface and calendar function. While the labels aren’t localized (they seem to be in German only) the context clues are good enough to get by. I’m really excited to see where this app goes.
Price: Free Requires: Android 4.0 or above Google Play Link:Skedule Developer:gidix.de
My GradeBook is a Holo-themed app with functionality that’s just as great as its look. On top of keeping track of homework, categorizing them by class, and type (test, project, assignment, etc), and setting reminders, you can weight the category types so that My GradeBook automatically calculates your grade for you. You can also assign status to each item — not done, submitted, or graded.
Body XQ Heart is a very interesting app that takes a new approach to learning on tablets and I really hope it takes off. The app takes you on an interactive tour through the heart, allowing you to see what happens during a heart attack, interact with a pumping heart, see the affects of other chemicals on the heart, and much more. It’s these sort of apps that really demonstrate the power of tablets over static textbooks!
Write has been covered on this site with the twist of it being a great app for writers, which it definitely is. However, it’s also a great app for keeping track of lecture notes. The interface really creates a distraction-free note taking session so you’re less tempted to stray during class — as a teacher, I feel obligated to mention that. You can organize your notes into folders, easily browse and search, and even sync with Dropbox so you can view your notes on any device you own.
At this point, we’ve all likely heard of Evernote; while we do like to reserve spots in roundups for lesser known apps, I feel obligated to mention Evernote as in my opinion, it’s the best note-taking app out there. Sync across multiple platforms, add images and voice notes, and much more with this incredibly robust, widely popular app.
PDFs are a staple of an student’s academic life. Syllabi, notes, assignments, and more are distributed in this format, so it’s good to have a solid app to help you organize them — add them to folders, read, search, and most importantly, annotate them. Highlighting text, writing notes, circling, marking, and more options are also available through the app.
Dictionaries are a classic staple of school-related lists. They were on every single one of my supply lists in grammar school and high school, and numerous roundups include them. After all, they are an important part of the learning process. While there are many major dictionary apps out there, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the app I found to have a better tablet experience in order to easily search, favorite, and review terms. Also included is a Word of the Day and a list of your recent lookups. The app will also read the word aloud to you. When you switch to landscape mode on your tablet, a full list of terms is brought up on the left.
I’m going to be honest here: handwriting apps on Android pale in comparison to those on the iPad. There are a lot of great resources out there for iOS that simply aren’t available, for whatever reason, on Android. The best app on Android hands-down is S-Note, which is only available on select Samsung devices. After that, I have liked LectureNotes the best. You can create notebooks, draw and write notes, and use different pens and other tools. Its stroke-detection seems to be pretty smooth most of the time, which is incredibly important. If you want to try your hand (teehee) at your own written notes, I’d recommend looking here.
Microsoft Office is another staple in the life of a student. Undoubtedly, you will need to write a paper, create a presentation, or make a spreadsheet for something. While Google Drive has you covered for 2/3 of those, you might be looking for something more robust. That’s where OfficeSuite Pro 7 comes into play. It’s a well designed, rock solid app that allows you to open and create Office documents, including presentations. While it is one of the more expensive apps here (and maybe even in the Play Store), if you plan on working with Microsoft Office a lot, it is worth the money.
So there you have it! 10 great tablet-optimized apps for students! There are definitely a great deal more I haven’t covered here, as well as general productivity apps that would also prove useful to students.
Are you a student? If you have an Android tablet, what are your must-have apps?