Back in 2008, I remember walking into my first college course as a scared little freshman at a public university in Milwaukee. As many nervous students do, I sat in the back. In front of me were several students taking notes and posting Facebook statuses on their laptops. [“In history class, peeps!”]
Now, four years and one transfer later, I look around the room at Columbia College-Chicago and still see students with glowing screens. However, the amount of laptops has decreased… and instead I see more and more tablets.
Business professionals and casual readers are not the only people these days embracing the tablet trend. Students have also found tablets to be a useful tool in the classroom. According to a Pearson Foundation study conducted in March, tablet ownership among college students and college-bound high school seniors has more than tripled in 12 months. As of March 2012 about 25% of students are tablet owners, while only 7% of students surveyed owned a tablet in March 2011. And, according to the survey, nearly half of college students believe that tablets will take the place of paper textbooks by 2016.
More and more colleges are utilizing tablet apps because of the increase in students using the devices. Carleton University in Minnesota has created its own mobile app. The app is used to connect students to a school portal that allows students to view grades, receive university alerts, view campus maps, and even check out details for upcoming campus events.
Ohio State University in Columbus took their mobile/tablet app a step further. While you can find campus information on the app, students can also find information on local events, discover popular restaurants in the area, as well as check out local bus routes.
My growing curiosity led me to dig deeper into what types of apps out there appeal to college students to aid them throughout their college careers. Here’s what I found:
Blackboard Mobile-This app allows students to stay connected to their online courses that are conducted through the Blackboard software, which is used my many colleges, including the City Colleges of Chicago.
Dropbox-An online “cloud” to store and share files. Great for sharing files with students for a group project or to turn in homework to professors.
CourseSmart-An app designed for reading textbooks to prevent students from hauling around heavy backpacks.
iStudiez-An all-around organizer for the modern student. It allows students to summarize daily events including class schedules, homework due dates as well as test dates.
Evernote-Allows users to capture ideas in various ways such as pictures, audio, and written notes.
These are great examples of functional apps, developed for specific uses and targeted to an audience that is app-adept and large enough to support the development costs. All rules to follow when any business considers ‘needing’ an app.
The other interesting take-away from this is the fact that as this generation enters the workforce, they are more than just digital natives, they are tablet connected and app savvy.
by Erin ScheckShare: