Rise of technology brings advantage to students

Technology is everywhere. Kindergarteners are learning addition on iPads. A grandmother is having Skype chats with her grandchildren. There is a table of high school students at Starbucks staring at their phones instead of talking to each other.

For better or for worse, we live in an age that is increasingly reliant on technology. The question for college students is how to make it work in their favor.

Almost every college student has a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet.

“I do pretty much everything on my phone,” said senior Ally Waller. 

It’s a sentiment shared by many. Technology companies and app developers are aware and trying to cater to those needs.

Most recently, the iPhone 5C was announced. The newly redesigned phone was designed to appeal to Chinese markets, according to CNET, but it seems as though it was tailored for college kids.

The iPhone 5C is $99 with a two-year contract for the 16-gigabyte model. That is significantly cheaper than its predecessors.

It also comes in vibrant colors, which is a design change that wasn’t seen in previous iPhone models.

Along with all of this technology come the applications that are used on them.

It is the five-year anniversary of the Apple App Store. Gartner.com has just released new research predicting that in 2013, 102 billion apps will be downloaded, and 90 percent of those will come from the Apple App Store.

Out of all those billions of downloads, a large proportion will be for study apps. There is quite a selection of different apps to choose from for varying tasks relating to school.

There are apps like inClass, which is a free app for the iPhone and iPad that allows students to make voice or video recordings of lectures, take notes and store images of slides.

If students are having trouble with their homework, there are apps like OpenStudy Mobile, which provides free tutoring from other app users or volunteer tutors. There is an app for all types of scholastic needs.

Another constant struggle for people attending school is money. Whether they have a job or not, most college students struggle to even scrounge up enough money to eat.

There is only so much Top Ramen that can be consumed before going insane. Money-saving apps can prove invaluable.

The best offense is a good defense; budgeting apps are the first place to start.

There are many options that allow students to input their income for the month and keep track of where it all goes.

Students can add purchases to different categories or see how much money needs to be set aside for paying bills with apps like moneyStrands.

Groupon, Grocery Smarts Coupon Shopper, and the Target app are all examples of apps that can provide coupons and ways to save money at different stores, restaurants, or activities.

They allow college students, along with everyone else, to do more while paying less.

One of the biggest chunks of money taken out of college students’ wallets is for textbooks. There are some options of how to save money on those too, thanks to technology.

There are several different ways to rent textbooks without having to worry about returning them to the campus bookstore at the end of the semester.

Many textbooks can be rented through Amazon.com in the Kindle Store and delivered straight to students’ Kindles or Kindle apps for a set period of time.

This can cost a lot less than buying the book, and students don’t have to worry about being charged for not returning them on time.

Websites like CourseSmart.com also provide similar rental options for textbooks that are online. 

College can be stressful, but if students use technology to their advantage, it can be the best four to six years of their lives.