Succeeding at UCCS: there’s an app for that

Sept. 30, 2013

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

The distance between the classroom and living room is becoming shorter than ever. Smartphones and tablets are making it possible to do just about anything from anywhere, whether turning in assignments and checking email to receiving alerts from campus.

Still, many are unaware of the apps that can be used to help with college. Here are some popular apps for students to use on a regular basis both on and off campus:

My Homework

This app is available for free and is one of my favorite apps for academic use. The homework app planner turns your phone into an all-in-one organizer. It can sort dates for homework, set reminders for quizzes and give late notices.

Blackboard

Admittedly, this is not one of my favorite sites to use on or off campus for UCCS. It seems to run slowly at home, and the website’s layout is a steep learning curve for those who are new to the system.

This year, changes have focused on making Blackboard easier for communication between students and teachers and allowing users to create a custom profile. This transfers right to the app.

The price of the app is unimpressive with a 1-year subscription at $1.99 and unlimited for $5.99. However, UCCS has no control over its initial price.

If you can look past the price, the app works very well on the phone. It has an impressive, simple layout that rivals the cramped website version.

One can quickly navigate the app, find classes and see assignments needing completion or submission. Acts, such as discussions board, are available, and students can easily check grades once posted.

iClicker GO

This app is surprisingly easy and convenient for those who need to use it in the classroom…when it works. This app transforms your phone into the device needed for iClicker technology.

Many times students may attend class and forget their iClicker, a remote used for taking attendance, answering questions on tests and taking surveys. With this application, the phone becomes the clicker and there is no need for an external device.

It seems like a great idea, but the app stalls out. Other reviews mention the app does not support an Android-friendly layout and won’t work over Wi-Fi.

The app’s price starts at $9.99 for 180 days and comes with a 14-day free trial for those unsure about the investment.

Check that the instructor is using the current version of iClicker GO and test it in class before purchase.

Doodle

This app is for those looking to schedule events with ease. Doodle, free, allows one to coordinate meetings or group projects and have others respond to surveys by selecting times or responses.

It also works with many external applications, such as Google Calendar and Yahoo Calendar. Others don’t need to have Doodle for the user to submit polls or create events, either.

All information received is stored in the application and available for viewing at any time.