It’s not long until the start of fall semester, which means students are preparing to head off to college campuses. And it’s not just dorm supplies they need to pick up.
Eric Griffith, features editor at PCMag.com, has students covered with apps, gadgets and more to save money, stay fit and be entertained while away at school.
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Hoping to scale back the cost of textbooks at school? Boundless, an app for iPhones and iPads, is described by its creators as “cloud-powered education.” For $20, users will get a facsimile that maps open-source content that matches an assigned textbook.
“It’s not the same information exactly, but it’s close enough in most cases,” Griffith says. “This is exactly the kind of thing the Affordable College Textbook Act wants to see more of.”
2. Khan Academy
This free app allows users to playback thousands of free video courses on their phone, create playlists and track their user history. The Khan Academy has hundreds of thousands of video tutorials on a variety of subjects, including art history, biology, medicine, finance, history, computer science and more.
“The site has thousands of video courses, and it’s for learning on your own time,” Griffith says.
3. Google Chromecast
Griffith says Chromecast is a great cable alternative for students that allows them to stream from a phone, computer or tablet straight to television.
“It’s the least expensive way to access online services like Netflix and Hulu on HDTV,” he says.
4. HP Chromebook 11 with Verizon LTE
Griffith says this is PC Mag’s leader for student laptops as far as price is concerned. The 11.6-inch screen laptop has a 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and aside from Wi-Fi, it has support for Verizon LTE so students never have to go “offline.”
“It’s a Chromebook, so users can only access web apps, but it’s more than enough for most work,” he says.
This app is a great way to stave off the “freshman 15,” by tracking calories and exercise on a mobile phone and computer.
“Freshmen should get this app and use it religiously,” he says. “It’s the best way to keep away the [weight gain] that comes with open access to delicious dining hall food.”