7 Ways to Use the iPad to Help Students Excel at School
We are approaching the era where students don’t have to carry stacks of thick heavy books to school anymore. Everything will be digitized and available at the tip of students’ fingers, inside the iPad (or whatever other tablet can stand alongside the iPad in the future). Not wanting to waste any more time, some schools have already adopted the iPad as their learning tool, while students and educators are slowly figuring out the best way to utilize the iPad for education.
Even though everybody has their own preferences of using the iPad in their studies, allow me to share 7 iPad usages to help students excel at school.
Replace Physical Books
This one should be obvious. Other than saving the environment by preserving the trees, there are several advantages to using digital versions of books instead of physical ones. These include being able to put lots of digital books inside your device and taking them everywhere easily, you can quickly search for any information from those books, you can add notes and annotations without damaging the books, and the books will always be in mint condition so you can keep them forever.
There are lots of book readers available for iOS. The one I use is Apple’s iBooks as most of my digital books are in PDF and epub format.
A Quick Source Of Reference
Again, there’s lots of iOS apps out there that can help you find definitions, facts, statistics, and other things you want to know. Since you can’t have too much help in this department, you can have as many apps as you want. Here are a few that I use:
Find & Collect Data & Ideas
Even though finding and collecting data and ideas can be done from any gadget, doing it on an iPad will add a fun factor to the process. My personal favorites are:
- Safari for iOS – to browse and find quick information
- Flipboard (iTunes link), and Pulse (iTunes link) – to read news and find ideas to write about.
To save the information, I could quickly email it to myself or send it to Instapaper /Read It Later using the share feature on these apps.
Jot Down Notes
When it comes to taking notes, there are only three names that come to mind: Simplenote (iTunes link), PlainText (iTunes link) and Evernote (iTunes link). Simplenote is perfect for jotting down quick notes while PlainText can accommodate a hierarchy of text files inside folders. But if you love to collect snippets of text and images, use Evernote.
All of them are capable of synchronizing your text collection to other devices. Simplenote is using its own server while PlainText is making use of the more established Dropbox environment. As an alternative, Dropbox itself is capable of viewing and editing plain text. If you prefer to literally write down your notes, you should try Bamboo Paper (iTunes link).
Do Actual Study
Since choosing apps that can help you do your studies will obviously heavily depend on the actual subjects you’re taking, it’s a bit difficult to make a specific list for this point. You have to go out and find apps that fit your needs. The choices range from apps that teach letters and numbers, sign language, basic math and advanced algebra, to the ones that help people write and memorize Chinese characters.
But for general purposes, you can perhaps try flash cards apps like Evernote Peek (iTunes link [No Longer Available]).
Manage Classes, Assignments & Social Life
There are so many things happening at school that it’s difficult to get everything under control without the help of a time manager. The first app that I would recommend for this is InClass ( ). This app will help students put all the chaos into a more manageable order.
In the social department, there are an abundance of apps you can use, such as Twitter,Yahoo! Messenger, (iTunes link), and Skype (iTunes link). Facebook still hasn’t released its iPad app, but you can use MyPad (iTunes link) and/or Friendly (iTunes link) to access your account.
All work and no play makes you a dull person. Every student needs to take a break and have fun once in a while. You can use your iPad to listen to music , watch movies , play games , or do other fun activities . There are plenty of games for the iPad that can keep you occupied for as long as you want.
Do you also use an iPad to help you study? Please share your experiences and lists of apps in the comments below.