Do you have an “app capable” device? If so, you should be taking advantage of the apps which are very useful for many of your classes. Cost is one of the primary barriers for most students in obtaining something such as an iPod, but they are well worth the investment. If you don’t have one, now is the time to put it on your holiday wish list or possibly ask several family members to chip in together on one rather than getting several smaller holiday gifts. Used iPods (iPod Touch, 4th generation) can be purchased frequently on sites such as Craigslist for around $100. These will work on campus or any free Wi-Fi area without a monthly service contract.
Apps that have proven very useful for many students are: Flashcards+, iTalk, Chem Pro, Mahjong Chem, Laws of Physics, and anything by Khan Academy. Flashcards+ allows you to either download flashcard sets or make you own and upload to share with classmates. Great for quick memorization on the go. The iTalk app allows you to make and play back audio recordings. This is very useful for recording lectures if your professor doesn’t mind audio recordings. Then if you are going back over your notes later and realize you missed something, you can just go to that lecture and re-listen. Chem Pro: Chemistry is a very useful app for any of the general chemistry series classes at WSU. It is listed in iTunes as being for the iPad, but it works just fine on the iPod touch (4th gen.) The lessons are mapped out by concept/ law and it plays audio/ video of the lesson much like lecture. Mahjong Chem is just as it sounds. It’s the Majong tile game, but with a chemistry spin. Its useful for making memorization of chemical information fun. Laws of Physics is a great tool for basic descriptions of physics laws and their accompanying equations. Last but not least, Khan Academy has numerous apps which contain video lessons on numerous subjects such as chemistry, statistics, math and biology. All of these apps are completely free.
Do you have a great app that isn’t listed in this article? Email me and I will check it out to feature in future Dear Freshmen articles.