For busy students, not having the right file on hand can be a major setback when working away from home. You may try to have your flash drive with you at all times, but what about the times that you forget to save an important document on the drive or forget to bring it with you at all? Cloud-based apps are designed especially for situations like these, so you can have all of your important documents fully accessible, whether you’re working from your home computer, laptop, tablet, or even your smartphone.
For students enrolled in technology degree programs, understanding and gaining personal experience with cloud-based apps can not only improve your convenience and organization for your classes, but can help you become more familiar with the technology you will likely encounter in a future career.
The following list compiles the top five cloud-based apps for fostering student learning and performance.
There’s a good chance that you already use Gmail or another online email service without realizing that it qualifies as a cloud-based app. Anything that can store files and information on the Internet is considered cloud-based, because information is always accessible in “the cloud.” Gmail is one app in particular that is free to use and comes with helpful features, such as search toolbars for finding the right messages, stars and labels to organize messages, conversation view for quick understanding of the message context, spam filtering, and more.
Dropbox is a free app that allows you to take photos, documents, and videos with you everywhere you go. You simply save your needed files to your Dropbox app on whatever device you’re working on, and it will automatically save to all of your computers, your smartphone, tablet and even the Dropbox website. If one of your devices becomes damaged or missing, you can rest assured that your important files are always safe with the Dropbox app. This device is perfect for an on-the-go student lifestyle, where you may write half of your paper at your home computer, head to class or work with your tablet, and finish up the rest with your laptop at a nearby coffee shop.
Share documents with other students and keep all of your important files fully accessible with the Windows Live SkyDrive app. SkyDrive makes it easy to upload and edit documents, while applying privacy settings to documents you wish to share with friends and classmates. For example, if you’re working on a group project in your online class, you can upload Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and more to one designated folder and grant permission to all other group members to access and edit these files as needed.
SugarSync is similar to Dropbox, but offers more storage opportunities and organization abilities with areas for storing music, as well as documents, pictures and videos. SugarSync also allows users to designate the folders they wish to sync to the cloud, which saves all your changes and new files without having to drag each one to the app to ensure an update on every computer. This makes it easier to write notes during class and have them fully accessible when you’re working on homework assignments later in the day.
A must-have app for college students, Evernote allows you to store and organize information for carefree studying wherever you go. Evernote can sync every file and folder you designate, so you can access all essential information from any device you use. This convenient app also memorizes your favorite webpages and can save bookmarks for more personalized web surfing from every device. A note-taking system helps you better interpret and review complex information addressed in college courses, while a bonus trip-organizing function helps you keep track of tickets, tours, currency rates, and everything you need for an adventure abroad.
When the Internet is your classroom, cloud-based apps provide optimal convenience that allows you to become a better student. With these apps, you can stay on top of your assignments and access essential educational files from virtually anywhere. This valuable feature ensures that your online learning experience will be more organized and more fruitful no matter where your busy schedule takes you.