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25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive

25 Most Useful Websites And Apps For College Students That Will Make You Smarter And More Productive

Many people say that today’s college students have it easy. All information they need is at their fingertips, so they can easily complete all academic projects after browsing the Internet for a few hours. However, that’s not what happens in reality. The curriculums have become more rigorous than ever, so college students have to think of different ways of increasing their productivity and motivation.

Luckily, there are many apps and websites that will improve their skills of time management, planning, brainstorming, writing, socializing, and many other aspects of student life. In this article you will find a list of 25 websites, apps and tools that will immediately turn you into a smarter student.

1. StudentRate

Student Rate

    Among all the new responsibilities as a college student, budgeting may be the toughest one. StudentRate.com is a website where you can find great discounts and steal deals that range from textbooks, to travel, to technology.

    2. NinjaEssays

    NinjaEssays

      With the help of this website, you can always get your papers and assignments ready for submission. The company will assign your projects to real experts, so you can be sure that the results will be excellent.

      3. Koofers

      Koofers

        Koofers enables you to access flashcards and prepare for exams more easily. In addition, students use Koofers to get information about job and internship openings and to get hired in adequate positions.

        4. Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

        Alarmy

          Missing important classes is out of the question if you want to be a successful college student. Let’s see if you can sleep through this alarm! It’s annoying, but will get you out of bed for sure.

          5. OpenStudy

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          OpenStudy

            When you need to study hard for exams, you can access OpenStudy and become part of study groups for history, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and other courses you take.

            6. Sworkit

            Sworkit

              When you forget about the importance of exercising, this app will remind you that there is always time for investing in your health and fitness.

              7. Help.PlagTracker

              Help.Plagtracker

                When you write a paper, you have to make sure it’s perfect in all aspects before turning it in. At this website, you can easily hire a professional editor to smooth out the content and start getting better grades on your academic assignments.

                8. Audible

                Audible

                  When you’re too tired to read the book for your literature class, listening to an audiobook will help a lot. Now you can spend your time productively when waiting in line or taking long walks.

                  9. Half

                  Half

                    You can save a small fortune by buying and selling your textbooks online. There are other websites with a similar purpose, but Half is the easiest one to use.

                    10. Mint

                    Mint

                      Gaining budgeting wisdom takes time and effort, but everything will go much more smoothly with the help of Mint – a free app that will categorize and organize the expenses for you.

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                      11. InstaGrok

                      InstaGrok

                        At this website, you can research the topic of your interest and get a customizable concept map that will help you make the studying materials cooler. You will easily remember important information thanks to the interactive visual interface.

                        12. Studious

                        Studious

                          Sometimes you forget to turn your phone off during classes, and that’s exactly when your parents decide to call you. This Android app will help you avoid interrupting the class and getting on the professor’s nerves.

                          13. StudyBlue

                          StudyBlue

                            No matter how much you dislike taking notes and making flashcards, those learning strategies are important if you want to make your studying easier. StudyBlue enables you to make fun flashcards and take notes anywhere, anytime.

                            14. SelfControl

                            SelfControl

                              It is very important to stay away from distractions during studying time. This free Mac app will help you avoid Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other distracting websites.

                              15. Rate My Professor

                              Ratemyprof

                                When you are about to create your class schedule, you can check the reputation of different professors at this website.

                                16. iStudiez Pro

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                                Istudies

                                  This awesome planner will help you organize your life throughout college. You can use it on your iPhone, Mac or iPad to enter a smart summary of all planned events for the day.

                                  17. TED

                                  Ted

                                    The speeches featured at this website are not only motivational, but informative as well. TED is a reliable resource you can use to get ideas and resources for your projects.

                                    18. Dragon Dictation

                                    Dragon

                                      Instead of typing like a maniac, you can become more productive by dictating. Dragon Dictation will instantly transform your words into text.

                                      19. SugarSync

                                      SugarSync

                                        Your files and folders hold important information that needs to be protected from loss. SugarSync will make you feel safe, but will also make your work easier because it will sync the files on multiple devices.

                                        20. Quizlet

                                        Quizlet

                                          Quizlet enables you to study vocabulary, languages, and many other things for free. It supports effective study tools that will help you see learning as a fun activity.

                                          21. Dictionary.com Mobile

                                          Dictionary

                                            When you don’t understand what your eloquent professor is saying, you can access this smartphone app and translate his expressions into simple words.

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                                            22. Wolfram Alpha

                                            Wolf

                                              Wikipedia is really overestimated, and your professors don’t appreciate it. Thanks to this app, you can access expert knowledge and trustworthy information whenever you need it and wherever you are.

                                              23. Notella

                                              Notells

                                                When your professors drop important information unexpectedly, this app will prevent you from missing it. This is a super fast note-taker that will save you when you least expect it.

                                                24. RealCalc

                                                Realcalc

                                                  With the help of this scientific calculator, you may actually start enjoying calculating. You don’t have to invest in an expensive calculator to use in class when you have this brilliant software at your disposal.

                                                  25. BenchPrep

                                                  BenchPrep

                                                    This extensive library of interactive test prep courses will help locate all exam study material you need. BenchPrep also provides an impressive base of flashcards, practice questions and study lessons.

                                                    Featured photo credit: World Bank Photo Collection via flickr.com

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                                                    Last Updated on November 5, 2019

                                                    5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                                                    5 Learning Management Systems (LMS) for Effective Learning

                                                    Businesses rely on talent to generate and sell value. Without skilled people to create its products, manage its operations and execute its strategies, a business would inevitably fizzle out of the game and leave better-staffed competitors to take the field.

                                                    This is the reason why ambitious companies go great lengths to attract top talent,[1] shelling out millions of dollars in the process and bending traditional work policies just to bring highly skilled but demanding candidates into the fold.

                                                    Clearly, the contours of business are changing. But so are the demographics of work.

                                                    Millennials have become the dominant generation in the job market in terms of population, and some have already transitioned into leadership roles. Most millennials consider opportunity to learn and grow more important than overall compensation.[2]

                                                    Companies also today expect employees to come equipped with razor sharp business acumen.[3] Unfortunately, there is an alarming discrepancy between the actual skills businesses need and those currently possessed by job candidates.

                                                    To stay in the game, employers need to continually upgrade their training and skills development strategies to cover the entire employee lifecycle.

                                                    What are Learning Management Systems (LMS)?

                                                    Learning management systems are software-based solutions for authoring, presenting, consuming, storing, and tracking educational content and training materials. These systems aim to centralize all instructional content (e.g., lessons, training modules, instructional videos, presentation slides, worksheets, online quizzes, ebooks, takeaway notes, etc.) in one place.

                                                    LMS enable instructors to design and deliver learning experiences to students, with the added capability of evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional materials and grading the learning progress of students.

                                                    On the other side of the equation, learners use LMS to develop skills and acquire new knowledge virtually anytime and anywhere via the different channels and content formats made possible by digital technology.

                                                    Over the years, a wide range of features and technologies have been integrated into learning management systems to help enhance the experience of training designers, instructors, and learners. These include cloud and mobile technology, artificial intelligence, responsive design, scheduling, gamification, data analytics, and interoperability with other applications.

                                                    5 Best All-Purpose Learning Management Systems

                                                    There are dozens of LMS vendors catering to the general market or to specific segments such as K-12 learning, higher education, and corporate training.

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                                                    With so many options available, selecting the right LMS solution for your needs can be complicated and costly, especially when you end up adopting a platform that doesn’t exactly match your goals or requirements.

                                                    Short of conducting a comprehensive audit of your needs and finalizing a learning roadmap, the safest bet would be to adopt full-featured but affordable LMS solutions.

                                                    Based on user reviews, here are the 5 best LMS to help people gain knowledge, build skills, and achieve mastery:

                                                    1. Canvas Network

                                                    Launched by Instructure as an open source software in 2011, Canvas is an end-to-end cloud-based service originally engineered for the education sector.

                                                    Widely adopted for K-12 and Higher Ed learning, Canvas can be repurposed for anything that involves an instructor, a subject matter, and a student.

                                                    Used around the world by people of all ages and organizations of all types, Canvas arguably has the largest learning and support community in its class. It works on desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones.

                                                    To get a glimpse of the platform’s fresh interfaces, you can visit the Canvas Network, a learning community that provides educational and instructional materials created by colleges, universities, corporate businesses, independent course developers, and other knowledge-sharing entities around the world.

                                                    Hosting hundreds of interesting topics from data science to horticulture, the learning network also serves as evidence to the scope, capabilities, and popularity of the Canvas LMS platform.

                                                    Canvas is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, which enhances the platform’s reliability, speed, scalability, and overall online performance.

                                                    Additionally, platform adopters enjoy a low-risk environment since cloud-based solutions require no hard stops for version updates, upgrades, or system migrations.

                                                    The Canvas website does not show a price matrix but says the service adopts a simple formula for computing fees: a one-time implementation fee and an annual subscription fee based on total number of users. It also promises free basic services for teachers who want to use the platform.

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                                                    In addition to Canvas, Instructure also offers Bridge (an LMS designed for corporate environments), Arc (a video platform for online learning), and Gauge (an assessment management system).

                                                    Check out this video if you want to learn more about Canvas Network:

                                                    2. Google Classroom

                                                    This free service from Google aims to improve the teaching and learning process using cloud technology, web apps, workflow simplification, and seamless communication between students and instructors.

                                                    Using Classroom, educators can easily create and schedule classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and grade quizzes all in one place. By streamlining processes, Classroom helps teachers save time and organize classes more effectively. Both students and teachers can also work using any device anytime and anywhere.

                                                    Classroom works perfectly with other Google tools, having been launched initially as part of Google’s G Suite for Education. This LMS solution taps Google Drive for content storage and distribution, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for the creation and sharing of instructional materials. Meanwhile it integrates Google Calendar for scheduling and Gmail for communication.

                                                    With G Suite, other communication channels such as chat messaging, video conferencing, and a dedicated website are enabled.

                                                    Easy to set up and manage, Google Classroom is free to use. One of my very first courses was actually hosted on Google Classroom.

                                                    Going beyond the classroom environment, Google offers G Suite Enterprise for Education for large institutions. This suite provides enhanced search and analytics capabilities as well as advanced tools for enterprise communications.

                                                    3. Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment)

                                                    If budget and capability equally top your list of LMS adoption criteria, then Moodle might just fit the bill. Which is to say there’s none (i.e., bill).

                                                    Moodle is a free and open-source learning solution for distance education, workplace training, flipped classrooms, and other pedagogical environments.

                                                    It is also a full-featured LMS supported by a robust community and a thriving developer ecosystem. Not surprisingly, Moodle is used in more than 15 million courses by more than 130 million users in 230+ countries.

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                                                    Among other things, Moodle enables administrators and educators to create a dynamic and dedicated website to host organic, easily accessible, and highly customizable courses that can be experienced on desktops and mobile devices anytime and anywhere.

                                                    Moodle provides a personalized and intuitive dashboard as well as a host of collaboration tools for content designers, teachers, and learners. A universal calendar, an efficient file management system, an automatic notification system, multimedia integration, and a progress tracking tool all come with the package.

                                                    Check out this video if you want to learn more about Moodle:

                                                    4. Absorb

                                                    This platform recently bagged PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice Award for Best LMS.

                                                    Co-designed and built by former course authors, Absorb takes learning experience to the next level. This turnkey LMS solution is responsive, full-featured, and highly customizable for maximum impact.

                                                    Course developers can orchestrate a wide range of experiences depending on audience or learning situation. In addition to surveys, polls, and e-commerce integration, Absorb supports formal online learning and certifications standards such as AICC, SCORM, and Tin Can.

                                                    The user interface can also be modified to match the learner’s location, group, or department, allowing for a different look and feel for customers, channel partners, management trainees, and newly hired employees.

                                                    Absorb supports all personal computing devices from desktops to mobile phones. There are also native or hybrid apps for iOS and Android.

                                                    The only possible drawback to the platform’s powerful feature set is its pricing. The service reportedly implements a flat, one-time setup fee depending on your business and training requirements. According to the site, any plan comes with a dedicated success team for your account.

                                                    Although small companies are welcome to try, midsize to enterprise-scale organizations are probably the best segment to readily adopt this LMS solution.

                                                    Take a look at some examples of Absorb in this video:

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                                                    5. Watershed Collaborative

                                                    Created by a group of educators, this nonprofit rethinks the priorities of an LMS, asserting that too many systems miss the most essential elements of what makes learning stick. They promise a better user experience – emphasizing Learning before Management and System.

                                                    Watershed aims to support an inquiry-based learning experience through an integrated mix of online and in-person learning strategies and interactions designed expressly for teams – including collaboration, reflection, and dialogue.

                                                    While Watershed was founded initially to serve the K-12 education market, the company has since expanded its scope to cater to all types of teachers and learners with its video-rich, state-of-the-art platform.

                                                    If you’re a mission-driven educator, content creator, institution, or business, this LMS may be the one for you.

                                                    Watershed specializes in assisting you with the instructional design of courses and provides content production services to ensure top-quality video assets with lasting value. Their LMS makes it easy for course creators to continuously update and tailor content to support small and large groups, while ensuring the technology and instructional strategy supports communities of learners.

                                                    Pricing varies based on products and services, but revenues support the nonprofit’s ability to make its platform and courses available at little or no cost for high-need educators and educational settings.

                                                    Honorable Mentions

                                                    There are dozens of LMS vendors in this growing market and the brands included in foregoing list are by no means the only viable options for companies or learning institutions looking to upgrade their learning infrastructure.

                                                    Many other excellent services are worth checking out. These include:

                                                    1. Docebo is an LMS designed for hyper-engaging students, employees, customers, and other learners. The system helps organizations identify and resolve competency gaps with strategic learning interventions.
                                                    2. Cornerstone OnDemand is a talent, training, and performance management solution offered as an SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). This service enables learners to create personalized playlists of instructional content.
                                                    3. Lessonly is an LMS solution that makes it easier to recall and reinforce whatever skills or knowledge you have learned through quizzes, coaching, and constant practice.
                                                    4. Skillsoft is an online training and corporate learning platform developed by a two-decade old and billion-dollar company with the same name.
                                                    5. D2L BrightSpace is a learning management system that has all the basics for delivering excellent, rich-media experiences for classroom or workplace training.

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    There are many ways to learn but some are more effective and meaningful than others. Whether you are a teacher looking to enhance classroom learning or an HR manager creating a long-term talent development plan for employees, the key to impactful learning is to understand and bridge the needs of learners, the goals of your institution, and the actual capabilities of the learning tools you are considering.

                                                    Note that using multiple LMS platforms is possible although not recommended. On the other hand, adopting other learning solutions beyond LMS (such as podcasts, mentoring, and onsite in-person workshops) may significantly improve learning outcomes. Always go for products and plugins that seamlessly integrate into your core LMS tool.

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

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