The Right Apps Make All the Difference

The Right Apps Make All the Difference

I, like the majority of students, was extremely excited about receiving my new iPad for the school year.  Not only did it promise to make my school year more organized and my classes more efficient, but it was also really awesome to just have an iPad.

While I usually have the tech savvy of my 81-year-old grandmother, (sometimes I struggle when updating my iTunes) I was determined to embraced this new technology.  However, on my first day of school, I become slightly discouraged. I was surrounded by a variety of keyboards, styluses, classroom apps, and about 9,000 different ways to take notes.

Everyone had a different opinion on what was the best way to record the information he/she needed and on what apps are the most useful.  It has taken me about three weeks of soul searching, trial and error, and digging through the app store to finally find a system that works for me.  In order to save other students like me from this perilous and frustrating journey that could very well end in you chucking your iPad from the library balcony, I have given a brief summary of a few different apps and iPad accessories.  While I would not go at far as calling this “iPads for AES Technologically Backwards Dummies”, if I can do it, so can you.

GDrive – At the beginning of the school year, this app was my savior because it automatically downloaded any documents that were sent to my school email.  I used it every single day until I discovered the magical secrets of …

GoodReader – You may know this as the app that lets you write on documents your teachers send you. You are correct.  However, the residential iPad wizard (Mr. Carlson) has informed me of a way that this app makes GDrive obsolete, which I will now share with you.

1. Open GoodReader.

2. Shift your gaze down and to the right.

3. Press “Connect to Servers”

4. Press “Add”

5. Select “Google Docs”

6. Type in your school e-mail address

7. Press “Add”

8. Boom. Now you can download all your Google Docs directly into GoodReader.

Hot Tip: You can create files for each class and download your documents into those files to be even more crazy organized.

Notability – If you have avoided note taking apps on the iPad because when you try to write with your finger or stylus it looks like you’re writing left-handed, do not fear.  This app allows you to type your notes into different “notebooks” for each class.  Also, if you have dreams of taking notes of purple polka dot paper, this app is for you.

myHomework – This is hands down my favorite app.  You list all your classes, and then everyday you can enter in your homework for each class along with due dates, priority levels, and any others notes.  If you want to get an account ($1.99), you can receive homework reminders on your iPad and iPhone and all information will automatically sync between your devices.

The stylus – Personally, I am not a huge fan of using a stylus with your iPad, but many students and teachers swear by them.  If you wish to improve your handwriting when you annotate or take notes, maybe you should look in to purchasing a stylus.  The cheapest ones are available at

The keyboard – Every student I’ve talked to says that they love having a keyboard, and it makes their lives so much easier. But if you decide to get one, ask someone else how to set it up. I still don’t understand how bluetooth works.