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Eight useful mobile apps for online college students

Eight useful mobile apps for online college students

Sometimes you don't realize you need something until you have it and can't believe you ever lived without it.

For some, this describes mobile apps. Whether it's being able to quickly check your bank account or knowing who the band playing over the mall speakers is, mobile apps have made our lives easier and more interesting. Even colleges, like Stanford University, are starting to use them, to let students do things like access coursework, read news and find their way around campus. Many apps, not only those directly from a college, can make the college experience more convenient or fun.

Here are eight mobile apps that are useful for online college students.

1. GPA-mE!

GPA-mE!, that's right you guessed it, GPAs you. Meaning, this app calculates your grade point average. Sure, you could do this on your own if you have basic math intuition and a calculator, but this app makes it much simpler to keep up as you go along and organize your grades. Plus, sometimes teachers or professors seem to take forever in getting you back your current grade, so why wait around? Be proactive.

2. CourseSmart

If you don't have a Kindle or iPad, or even if you do and don't have it on you at the time, CourseSmart has a mobile app that lets you read e-textbooks on your phone. Not only that, but you can search through words and phrases in the book, take notes and access study tools. No more backpacks! Wait, no, you already enjoy that perk. No more Kindles or iPads?

3. Dropbox

A list of useful mobile apps for college students without Dropbox is an incomplete list. Allowing you to store your photos, documents and videos on your phone, Dropbox's excellent mobile app puts an online student's mind at ease that their work is stored and secure. Not only does the app itself store it, but you can also access any file you save through Dropbox on your computer, iPad or the Dropbox website.

4. Blackboard Mobile Learn

With so many online schools and online courses using Blackboard to post assignments, tests, discussions and grades, it makes sense for online students to be able to access this on the go. That's exactly what Blackboard Mobile Learn offers with this app. The app even sends notifications (like new grade postings) and has Dropbox integration to manage critical course documents.

5. StudyBlue

Few things compare to flashcards when it comes to pulling off an efficient study session. But it's not always possible (or, some would argue, environmentally friendly) to make flashcards for every test. This is where the StudyBlue mobile app comes in. This app lets you make flashcards on your phone, through text, photo and audio (speaking into the phone). The app even tracks how you're doing, with study statistics, so you're not just estimating your progress.

6. Wi-Fi Finder

It's not tough to figure out what the Wi-Fi Finder app does: It scans where free wi-fi is near you. This is especially useful for the online student, when their wi-fi goes out or when they're not home. Since not all coffee shops offer free wi-fi and some other unexpected places do (McDonald's, for example), this can be a very helpful app for the online student to have.

7. Graphing Calculator

Even if you're not pursuing a science or accounting degree, the Graphing Calculator mobile app is bound to come in handy at some point in college or life. This is not just good for a phone calculator, but any calculator. Offering equation, graph and table formats, as well as basic math buttons, the Graphing Calculator app most likely covers the entire math spectrum of your college years (and beyond). And it won't cost you nearly the price of a good, physical calculator.

8. Chegg

If you have a short summer or winter class and don't want to buy a textbook, then you can rent one by using the mobile app Chegg, if it's available. If it's not available, then this app lets you buy textbooks as well, even showing you how their prices compare with other bookstores and letting you read the book on your phone (if it's an e-textbook).

Even though you probably did fine in school before these mobile apps came on the scene, they may prove to be so useful and fun that you can't believe you ever lived without them. Appreciate the technology, using these apps merely as convenient tools to help further your online education and career.