For my last blog, I really want to share with you a tool I have recently discovered thanks to my university colleagues. Indeed, one of them wrote an interesting article about an app I did not know anything about before (http://brittanylavigne.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/going-paperless-huh/). Her article convinced me to try it out and let me say it is an amazing discovery that has already helped me a lot in my life as an student.
The app is called iStudiez. It is quite simple to describe : it is like an electronic agenda. I have talked before on this blog about saving paper and helping the environment, and this is a great way to do so. Instead of buying a new agenda every year or even every semester, this application allows you to store every piece of information that can be useful for a lot of school years (as many as you want, as I understood). There is a “Lite” version available on every App Store (on mac, on iPad and on iPhone – basically all Apple devices) that is completely free. However, as it only lets you fill information for 5 courses, I decided to switch for the Pro version, the complete one, that only costs 9,99$ (and I believe it is cheaper on the iPhone). However, if you do not desire to pay for an application, the Lite version is perfectly usable, you will only need to clear your agenda at the end of every semester, or when you have finished a course.
So I start by installing the application, and open it. The design is simple, clear and even beautiful (I especially love the little icon that appears on my Dock – it is a black board on which an apple is drawn with a white chalk – but that’s just me, and I love these little details). The main page is basically your agenda, where you see your courses of the day and the tasks that are to be handed in. But what is amazing is the level of detail you can go into (http://www.cultofmac.com/112686/headed-back-to-school-istudiez-pro-is-the-essential-mac-and-ios-app-for-students-review/). When entering your data, you first start by creating a semester, and then you enter the courses that are in this semester. Once your course is created, you can assign it a specific color so it is easily found, and then add a class. When you add the class, you can write when it is, from what time to what time, in what room, with what teacher, how much time it repeats (if it is a one time occurrence, like a meeting, if it occurs every week), and you can even specify the start and the end date (often the dates of your term – but sometimes classes only last a couple weeks, and iStudiez allows you to note it down).
The second main tab is called “Tasks”. That is my favorite part. In this area of the app, you can add the tasks that you have complete in your courses. You simply write the title of the assignment, and then you can pin it to a specific course so it is easily found if you have a long list of tasks. You also have a description box, in which you can enter, for instance, how much points the assignment is worth, and you can enter the due date. Finally, you have the possibility to specify the priority (low, average, high). The high priority tasks have two exclamation points beside it so you can see what you have to do first. You can even add a partner if you want to make sure you won’t forget. And of course, you can set your tasks list by either due date, priority or classify it by courses. It is super easy to manage.
iStudiez has another option which is great : grades (http://iphone.appstorm.net/reviews/productivity/istudiez-pro-an-a-grade-education-app/). You can enter your grades in the app and it will add up the numbers to tell you what is your average, for example. It is a great way to keep track of your evaluations and make sure you won’t fail a course. iStudiez really is there to help you in your daily life as a student. I have been using it for less than a week and I am already in love with it. It is well organized, easy to use (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdQURg8fssY) and it is in a place where I have great access and I’m sure not to lose : my dear computer.
But I can see you wondering : how can iStudiez help me as a teacher ? Well, I believe for the same reasons (http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/12/12-must-have-ipad-apps-to-in-your.html). As a teacher, you will have more than one class to manage and iStudiez is a great way to keep track of everything. Instead of adding “courses” in which your study, enter the names of your classes. You will always have access to the agenda to see which class you are seeing when (for example, you can specify that you see X’s class every 9 days on Monday mornings, and there you go !). You can also use the tasks option to add projects for the students, when will the exams take place, or even use it as a to do list. What is great about iStudiez is that you can build it to your own image and use it the way you need it. As a teacher, you can also use the “grade” option to keep track of your students’ results ! And it will be cheaper and more eco-friendly to use the app than to keep a huge pile of paper on your desk, lose important information or maybe forget things.
I strongly recommend you iStudiez, because it will simply make your life easier (http://mashable.com/2013/08/08/apps-for-college/).
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check this assignment off my “task” list for today. 🙂