Ten Ways Your Smartphone Can Help You Learn

By Ellie Walburg on August 14, 2018

The invention and popularity of smartphones has dramatically changed the way people communicate and gain information.

With a single device, you can Google a random question you have, text your classmate about the assignment you missed and call your spouse that you'd like to take them out for dinner. But the purpose of a phone has incorporated so much more than just the ability to call someone while connected to a cord.

While the youth of today may not be able to remember a time where there were not cell phones, others have had to learn and adapt to using a smartphone and all its many functions and capabilities. And with the increasing dedication to technology and innovation, it seems that there's something new you can learn every day.

In addition to helping you communicate, smartphones can also be very useful tools in continuing your education. They may even offer opportunities to learn in ways you may not expect. Since chances are, you probably almost always have your phone with you, you'll have an opportunity to learn no matter where you are. An article from GoConqr by Andrea Leyden shares some great ideas how to use your phone to help you in the classroom.

Here, we share 10 ways that your smartphone can help you learn so you can be better equipped to pursue your goals.

1. Stay Connected To Your Assignments

Woman holding a smartphone while sitting in front of a laptop computer

With the power of the internet, you're able to stay connected to your learning management system whenever you have access. Whether it's a list of assignments, an online Dropbox or writing out a paper on Google Docs, you can have access to what you need to do whenever and wherever you need it.

For example, Cornerstone University uses the system Moodle where you can find all your assignments, resources and discussion forums. And, since Moodle is optimized to be mobile-friendly, you can access the resources you need when you need them, whether on a laptop or simply on your smartphone.

2. Record Lectures

Do you have a difficult time keeping track of your notes and fully paying attention to the professor at the same time during class? This is where your smartphone's recording functionality can come in handy.

Using your smartphone, you can record the lecture or discussion for you to listen to later if needed. By having it recorded, you can be sure you don't miss any details.

Be sure to ask the professor before your class if it's okay to record the class discussions.

3. Use Notetaking Apps

Make a new folder aside from your Facebook, Bible and Solitaire apps and get some productivity-focused apps. There are numerous apps designed to help you stay organized and keep your notes in a convenient and safe location. Apps like Google Drive, Evernote and Dropbox help store your important files on your phone so you can access them whenever and wherever you are.

Better yet, these apps can also coordinate with your work on your computer. You won't have to remember if you completed work on your phone or computer because your work will be in both locations.

Smartphones allow the opportunity to match learning with trends in culture. Here's what Ray Kurzweil said about the influence of mobile learning: "Technology is enabling our need to be mobile. We want to ensure that learning matches our lifestyle."

With an increasing focus on being mobile—accessing what we need from wherever and whenever—the way we learn is also affected.

4. Listen to Podcasts

Audio player connected to headphones

With the opportunities of smartphones, the opportunities to convey information are numerous. Podcasts are becoming highly popular in sharing ideas, information and stories to interest and inform others.

You can find podcasts on practically any topic. From business to health to technology to science and so much more, there's sure to be a podcast that you can both enjoy listening to and learn from.

5. Use Video to Record Presentations

Especially in online programs, you may need to record yourself doing a presentation for an assignment. But what if you don't have a camera on your computer or it stops working somehow?

Good thing your smartphone has a video function.

With your smartphone, you can record quality video quickly and easily and submit your video presentation in no time.

6. Keep Track of Your Calendar

Hand holding a smartphone to use it for organization

While a sturdy paper calendar has its benefits, keeping your calendar on your phone allows you to always be aware of upcoming assignments, appointments, meetings and other events. Knowing what you have coming up can help you prepare for what's next so you don't fall behind.

With your smartphone's calendar, you can also set reminders for yourself to ensure you don't miss a thing.

7. Read Your Books

If you get your books electronically, you can easily take your reading with you wherever you go. With the Kindle or other eBook apps, you can catch up or get ahead on your reading for class or just read a book for fun.

If you still prefer the traditional printed textbook, you can still use a combination of both printed and ebook varieties to suit your preferences. Audiobooks have also greatly grown in popularity.

According to a study by Pew Research, almost one out of five Americans listen to audiobooks. While this study also shows that traditional printed books are still the most widely read, it also notes that there is increasing diversity in the medium used in reading (or listening to) books.

8. Get Your Research Questions Answered

When you can't make it to the library for a research project, you can still connect with a librarian for help. At Cornerstone, you have access to chat with a librarian via email, phone or text. With just a few taps of your finger on your smartphone, you can get your questions answered and get on your way to writing an excellent research assignment.

Even if you're wondering about a random fact or detail you just have to know, a search engine is just a question away.

Tony Bingham said that "mobile sets learning free, and we can now learn virtually anything, anywhere and anytime—and that's amazing."

The ability to learn what we want when we want is truly amazing.

9. Set a Timer

Woman holding a smartphone at a desk while sitting in front of a laptop computer

Do you have trouble staying focused on an assignment, whether it be for work, school or home? Your smartphone can help you stay on task by using the stopwatch feature. Set a timer for a duration where you'll stay committed to working on one single task. When the timer goes off, you can take a break or switch to something else. With a timer, you can work hard and know that you'll get relief when that alarm goes off.

10. Contact Your Professor

Whether you have a question on an assignment or will be missing a night of class, there are times where you'll need to connect with your professor at the earliest convenience. In such cases, a smartphone comes in handy as one of its main functions is for communication! Depending on your professor's preferences, you can call, email or text him or her when you need help with something. At Cornerstone, our team of faculty is committed to assisting you and being available to you so that you can succeed.

A Smartphone For So Much More

Yes, a smartphone is great for calling your family when you're running late. It's useful for texting your teenager to remind them to finish their homework.

And a smartphone can also help you practice being a lifelong learner by assisting you in your work, assignments and enhancing communication. See what practices you can start today to use your smartphone for more than intense games of Solitaire.

Category: Academic Resources