UTA Mobile Apps
Posted on August 23, 2012 ยท Posted in College

Last week was my first week of classes here at the University of Texas at Arlington but in the weeks before that first day I have been busy researching how I might use technology to keep me organized and informed while on campus. I’ve been told going to college is about dedicating yourself to the opening up your mind to new ideas and the process you go through to do that successfully. Universities like my current alma mater use a lot of technology to accomplish that mission and I am hoping to partake in that crossing of the digital divide when it comes to making the best of my education here at the University of Texas at Arlington.

So here on this blog I plan to start writing about some of the benefits and great advances my university is making on the technology front when it comes to a digital life as a student getting a quality education. I hope to be able to share something useful to someone out there even if they are not attending the same University that I am.

Let’s start this series of blog posts off with Apps I recently discovered and have started using to keep me organized as I start my classes for the semester. Note I am primarily an Apple user so most of these tips, apps, and suggestions may lean towards Apple devices but not in all cases.

iStudiez Pro

I picked up the FREE lite version of this app a few months ago while getting my thoughts organized about the start of the semester. I believe its even in Apples recommended back to school apps on iTunes. I downloaded the lite version and used the demo data to see what it was about and liked how it worked. I started over fresh with my own class schedule in preparation for the first day of class but quickly found out that the FREE Lite version only allows you to keep track of three courses. For those full time students out there like me I had to buy the pro version to keep track of my entire schedule.

If you are a full time student looking for a complete bolts to nuts solution this app seems to do it. I highly recommend downloading it right now because as of writing this blog post the iOS version for iPad and iPhone is only 99 cents thanks to a back to school sale. The App even displays events already posted in your iPhone calendar along side your course related events like homework due dates or exam test days. The app does sync and back up your data through the cloud once you create a free account on the developers website and if you go ahead and download the desktop version you can stay on top of your studies no matter the device you have.

iStudiez Pro iPhone Today Screenshot iStudiez Pro iPhone Today Screenshot iStudiez Pro iPad Today Screenshot iStudiez Pro iPhone Calendar Screenshot

Available on the App Store Available on the Mac App Store Official App Website

UT Arlington App

This one might seem like a bit of a snoozer to most but its good one to recommend none the less because of the discoverability factor. For example I for one didn’t know the campus had a glass blowing studio and I found that out while perusing the many panoramas made available within the app. It is a good app to recommend to new campus visitors and parents so share this app with friends and love ones so they can discover the UTA campus through the use of their iPhones and/or iPads.

Available on the App Store Official App Website

The Shorthorn Mobile App

If you have been to any university wide events lately you might have noticed that the UTA newspaper, The Shorthorn, has decided to go digital in a big way. Starting this Fall semester they will produce a print paper once a week while posting the bulk of their news stories on their website TheShorthorn.com while making that content easier to read on popular mobile devices. They are simply responding to what many on campus voices have been asking for sometime not to mention following the wider publishing industry trend towards more online up to the minute publishing with an increasing focus on mobile publishing. In fact according to a recent Pews Research study a significant number of online viewers are spending more of their time on the internet on their mobile devices. The Shorthorn is not missing out on this front and has already mentioned further development is coming as the school year progresses.

The Shorthorns website already has a mobile web app that works quite well on your smart phone or tablet computer. This comes in handy if you are subscribed to their daily email newsletter. That way no matter what device you open up one of their articles on you will get that content in a readable format just right for your device. The key here is if you’re using a popular iOS device like the iPhone or iPad you can bookmark the mobile site to your homescreen for quicker easy access. Look for the bookmark button on your device to take advantage of this tip. Make sure you do that though because the next time you click The Shorthorn icon on your iPhone/iPad home screen the web app will load without that annoying url bar across the top and bottom of your screen leaving you more room to read The Shorthorn articles unencumbered. It works almost like any other app on your iPhone except that you will need to remain connected to the internet while using the app for it to work properly.

Mobile Shorthorn Web App

Blackboard Mobile Learn

This one might sound familiar because it seems like the entire educational world uses Blackboard in some form to manage and distribute class room instructions, syllabi and assignments online. I know at least two of my professors have decided to do so I downloaded this free app and followed the on screen instructions for logging into my schools Blackboard network. After getting through the initial setup I can now access all of my teachers materials at the tap of a finger. I found it really help on the first day when my english teacher announced that he had just recently added the syllabus and I hadn’t had time before class to print it out. This way I was able to read along with him and see what other documents he had posted out there for my perusal as he described them to the class.

The app has some interesting navigation so dont be shocked when something flys off to the side unexpectedly. Once you figure it out it works rather easily as very helpful tool in and out of the class room. Just make sure you check with your teacher that its ok to use a mobile device in their particular class room. My English Composition teacher simply told me that it was ok to use my iPad for this purpose in their classroom. Every teacher might have a different rule so be sure to check with each one individually.

Available on the App Store Official App Website

About the Author

I am William Addington a native Texan, a lover of the arts and a Eagle Scout. Good Design and Urban Planning are my passions particularly when referring to Dallas. I saw who shot JR and Walker Texas Ranger is still the baddest mother in the state of Texas.