As yesterday's infographic post illustrated, the days of just book in the backpack for students is long gone. Students are hooked up on tech, hooked in with social networks, and downloading a plethora of different apps to do their homework, complete assignments. Here are some of the best student-classroom apps to help get those assignments done like student of the 21st century...
1. Adobe Acrobat Pro: Reading PDF files is almost essential in university, but when you can print out files into PDF, collate documents into one PDF file, edit and create your own PDF files, that's even better.
2. Encyclopedia Britannica 2012: Wikipedia has got a lot of material and has become the default way of accessing encyclopedic knowledge, but from time to time, it makes sense to double-check with a fact-checked and expert-sourced encyclopedia. We used to consult MS Encarta quite a bit before it was discontinued in 2009. Britannica continues to be updated every year and costs $39.95.
3. Solar Walk: This app is available for $2.99 at the Mac App store and it will please any students who have an interest in astronomy. It's quite complete, and nice to explore. It will please younger students as well, since it's 3D.
4. MATLAB: If you're studying engineering, mathematics, or certain types of computer modeling, you're probably familiar with MATLAB. The strong numerical simulation component of this software makes it a must for students in this field. It definitely makes a difference when you can program on your laptop instead of always hitting the school computers. The software is expensive, so your best bet to have it installed onto your laptop is to visit the IT people in your department. A lot of them will simply install a few programs, like MATLAB, Maple and Mathematica for free if you're a registered student.
5. Microsoft Office: MS Word is no longer our default text editor, but for any class assignments, research proposals, and academic papers, we still use Word. Naturally, there are alternatives to Word, especially if you are taking notes during class. The one we use is iA Writer. It's minimal, and doesn't use up too much memory. It also easily runs in full screen mode, which is distraction-free.
(Images: Flickr member David McLeish licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Brain POP licensed for use under Creative Commons and Flickr member Eric Hart licensed for use under Creative Commons)