Category Archives: Student APPs & Tools

Supportive And Learning Tools for College Students

Being a student has never been easy, but let’s admit it: technology really helps a lot.
With the advent of smartphones and tablet computers, we can take notes, read books and study anywhere, anytime.
Who needs to lug tons of books around? All you need is a laptop bag or an eReader case to carry your electronic devices.

There are, then, the so-called apps, which have become popular thanks to Apple and its best-selling product: the iPhone.
Other brands are trying to keep up with Apple, which is why many apps are compatible with several operating systems.
Let us take a look at the most useful learning tools for college students.

Evernote: The revolutionary note-taking method

Evernote allows students to take notes, adding voice, photos, tags and information such as location. It even enables you to share notes with your college mates.
Evernote comes with the Evernote trunk, a feature that includes a number of learning tools aimed at helping college students excel during lessons.
The application is compatible with Apple’s products (the iPhone and iPad), Android’s devices, Blackberry, Palm Pre and Windows Mobile OS.

Wikipanion: Say goodbye to textbooks

Wikipanion allows you to access open source information just like Wikipedia. Needless to say it is a real must-have for any college students and among the most useful learning tools you may find out there. Wikipanion grants you access to content on any topic. The only problem is that it is supported only by iPhones.

GoDocs: the application you need manage your documents

GoDocs allows you to download, view and send Google documents from your iPad or iPhone. The app costs 3.99$. As good as this app may be, it does not allow you to edit documents, which may be a problem when it comes to modifying essays and case studies.
It is compatible with Apple’s products only.

Cliqset: Stay in touch with your professors and friends
Cliqset lets you keep tack of your streams on Buzz, Twitter, Facebook and other 70 popular social networks which you may use to keep in touch with your professors. This amazing application can be used by iPhone owners only.

MyHomework: an efficient digital planner

This app helps you keep track of your assignments so you do not miss a deadline. My Homework has been designed for students to submit their essays on time and reminds them when a deadline is approaching. Moreover, it notifies students when they have upcoming assignments. This app is a great alternative to your old paper planner. It can be benefited from by iPhone users only.

Rate My Profs: protect yourself from bad professors

Rate my Profs is a website where students can comment about their professors. You will find over 10 million comments and feedbacks on 1 million professors, so you know which ones you had better stay away from. The app can be download for free and is compatible with the iPhone.


There are dozens of eReaders on the market nowadays. The most popular is the Kindle, which however supports only a limited number of colors, ranging from black to white. The latest eBook readers, on the other hand, feature full color displays that allow college students to view images while reading, which is great for those who have a photographic memory.
eReaders are excellent learning tools for college students as there is huge amount of eBooks available on-line, so students may replace their old textbooks with digital eBooks.

Sleep Cycle: Keep track of your sleep schedule.

Sleep Cycle can not do much for you if you suffer from insomnia, but it can function as an alarm clock that helps you feel relaxed by waking you up when you enter your light sleep phase. It is compatible with the iPhone.

6 Ways to Improve Listening Skills for Student

Listening skills are the most difficult part of learning the English language for the ESL student. When listening to a recording in the classroom, learners can easily get lost and stop paying attention while the tape goes on. Almost every ESL student agrees that listening is the hardest part of learning the new language. Here are six ways to improve listening skills.

1. Demonstrate ways for students to ask someone to repeat a phrase or word that they don’t understand. This may sound very basic, but teachers should not take it for granted that their students know how to ask for someone to repeat a phrase or word that they don’t understand. Learning English can sometimes be overwhelming to a learner. As the learner advances, he or she may be too embarrassed to ask for help in something so basic. Learners can practice with others who work as partners. They should also work with the teacher to be sure that they are using the proper words and grammar in their requests.
2. Require the ESL student to rewind a recording if he or she gets lost or doesn’t understand. The instructor can be sure that learners are stopping and listening to an unknown word or passage by doing several things. They can require them to jot down where they stopped the recording in their learning journals. They can then assess understanding through verbal questioning as well as with written questions. Finally, teachers can incorporate words from the recording in oral practice to help learners master the vocabulary.
3. Schedule speakers to come to class once a week for 30 minutes. This can be from a pool of teachers in the building who volunteer to visit on a rotating schedule. They should purposely speak slowly and enunciate clearly so that beginning and intermediate students have a chance to understand what they are saying. This should be a fun, casual activity for students to learn to enjoy listening to live English speakers, even if they only understand a portion of what is being said. As the school year progresses, learners will begin to have a much better understanding of what the classroom visitors are talking about.
4. Using an iPod or other device, learners listen to a song for 5 or 10 minutes. This is a good warm-up activity that an ESL student can do daily at the beginning of class. When a timer goes off, he or she should write new words that they heard in the music in their learning journals. Some days, students can get into small groups and discuss which words they heard and try to discover the meaning of the words. They can draw pictures or sketch symbols of the new vocabulary words to help them remember the meaning of the word. Other days, the entire class can work together on a group of new words for an interesting activity for middle school and high school students.
5. Listen to a 10 minute nonfiction article on an MP3 player or other device. Afterwards, students write a one paragraph summary of the article, including main idea and supporting details. This activity is for intermediate and advanced learners who will write more paragraphs in their summary as their English skills develop.
6. Play a circle listening game. Form a circle in the classroom, if possible. Teacher stands in the middle of the circle and calls a student to her. She then gives the learner a particular directive, such as, “Go over to Gizelle and tell her that it is time for lunch.” Everyone is eventually given a turn to be both the giver and receiver of a variety of messages.
These six activities will definitely improve the listening skills of the ESL student if they are incorporated into lesson plans on a regular basis. Listening should be for short amounts of time, such as 10 minutes or less until learners proficient in listening to basic English.