13 iPhone 5 apps to make higher ed easier

Apple's iPhone 5 ships later this week, and if you happen to be picking up one of these smartphones for the first time, you may want a few pointers on which apps to download as you figure out how to integrate the device into your life.

Education Dive will be running two lists of recommendations this week, one for K-12 educators and one for readers working in higher education, which you will find below. Whether you run a department, a college or a few classrooms, you should find a handful of these applications worth including on your big, new smartphone screen:


If you already use this all-purpose app on your desktop, laptop or tablet, you know that its ability to keep text, photos and other types of notes stored and accessible across devices can be a lifesaver. The app has already been updated for the iPhone 5 and iOS 6, allowing additional notes to be displayed on Apple's expanded screen.


Remember the Milk syncs to-do lists across Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar and Twitter, helping users to stay on task throughout the day in a variety of ways. If you value handy reminders and live across multiple screens all day, this app can make your workflow run a lot more smoothly.


As far as document and multimedia cloud-storage options go, Dropbox is the service to beat right now. The app is free, and so is the storing, depending on how big your files are. For PDF documents, photos and lots of other file types, give Dropbox a shot. It's one of the most dependable apps you'll find.


Forget all your media files, fancy functionality and to-do list features. If all you need is an app that allows you to make lists and cross things off in a clean, superbly-designed interface, Clear is the app for you. It's all about keeping things simple and manageable.


Somehow, not everyone in the world knows that you do not need to own one of Amazon's Kindle devices to read Kindle books. The iPhone is a great option for pulling books out of your pocket, whether you find yourself en route to work on the subway or waiting for an appointment to start.


Want to see what other universities are up to by viewing their iTunes U courses? Does your school or department already use the service? If you work in higher ed, this is the Apple app you should be acquainted with, along with its 500,000 free lectures and other various resources.


The app is free, but the quality content and lessons on Lynda.com come with pricetags attached. The iPhone app brings video viewing to mobile devices and can be a great way to select and watch instructional videos to integrate into courses on all sorts of subjects.


This is CourseSmart's mobile extension that allows reading and note-taking for its e-textbook offerings. CourseSmart's prices can offer substantial savings over print editions, so be aware of what's available. The service could come in handy for a class or two.


Do you need a handheld, no-hassle way to take attendance regularly? This app will set you back $5, but it's engineered to do one thing quite well—get attendance-taking over and done with as fast as possible.


Blackboard is everywhere on college campuses, and its official iPhone app makes sure that certain features are available in a mobile capacity as well. If you use the service for your classes already, the iPhone app may be able to help you make things a little more portable.


One of Blackboard's biggest competitors offers its own iPhone app as well. It interacts with Moodle sites to enable communication and file exchanges on the go. If you use Moodle at all, this should be a fine addition to your new smartphone.


As a sort of Pinterest for educators and students of all types, Learnist delivers an extremely accessible iPhone app for exploring multimedia tutorials and curriculum examples from all over education. Whether you are looking to find a video to share with a class or just make yourself a little smarter about something, give this one a spin and see what you discover.


There are plenty of fine dictionary solutions around, but Wolfram's Words app hits a real sweet spot between Webster's and a full-fledged Oxford English Dictionary with word histories and usage stats to help you understand new terms and drill down into the meanings behind familiar ones.


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Filed Under: Higher Ed Technology Online Learning
Top image credit: Apple