Hybrid learning at the University of Pretoria encourages an immersive learning experience that incorporates technology into traditional studying. With smartphones being a staple for many students, apps can be helpful in various ways and when utilised, add to the hybrid learning experience.

Apps to help with studying:

UPMobileApp

Free on Android and iOS A must-have app for all Tuks students. The app provides a centralisation of all UP services. It allows students to find lecture venues and keep track of books lent from the library and when they are due. It also provides students with all UP related news, allows them to directly log into their student portal and access blackboard as and when needed. It has a 4.0 rating on the App Store, and a 2.7 rating on the Google Play Store.

Blackboard

Free on Android and iOS Students can get all ClickUP notifications directly on their phone without having to physically log into the ClickUP platform. Marks, lecture notes or past papers released will be available to you within seconds. ClickUP is the central platform where announcements and documents relating to modules will be made and released. The app has a rating of 4.6 on the App Store and a 4.2 rating on Google Play Store.

Forest

Free on Android and R29.99 on iOS This app helps to keep you focused by allowing you to plant virtual trees. As the user, you can select an amount of time to stay focused for. If you stay focused for the full amount of time your tree grows but if you give up or leave the app your tree dies. This app is specifically designed to keep you focused and off of distracting apps on your device. For the time that you stay ‘focused’, you get points for completing it. These points can be used to buy different tree designs. The app also comes with white noise sounds to set the productivity mood. All the virtual trees you plant make up a ‘forest’ that you can view weekly, monthly or yearly. The app also allows users to add ‘tags’ to their trees, such as “study”, which allows you to keep track of what you are spending your time on. The minimalistic and simple design allows for an easy way to keep productive and focused. This app has a 4.5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4.8 rating on the App Store.

Quizlet

Free on Android and iOS This app is a useful studying tool for any type of student. Quizlet allows users to create their own virtual flashcards which it calls ‘study sets’. The sets can then be sorted into folders for each subject to be studied. The app also allows other sets made by its users worldwide to be viewed. The readily-available sets range from definitions to vocabulary for other languages. The study sets can be shared which makes it especially useful for study groups. This app is a useful tool for any memory-based subject or visual learner. For auditory learners, the app has an option for the words or sentences to be said out loud. The ability to log in to several devices allows you to always have your flashcards with you. This app is great for studying on the go and quickly recapping before a test. The app has a 4.7 rating on Google Play Store and a 4.6 rating on the App Store.

Duolingo

Free on Android and iOS This app is perfect for any language student or any student wanting to casually learn a second language. The app offers easy lessons in a wide variety of languages, including all western languages that the University of Pretoria offers to students. The lessons start with the basics of the languages and then progressively get more difficult. For any language student, the app is also an incredible tool to pick up new vocabulary. The lessons are very quick and easy to do in your downtime. The app provides a friendly and unintimidating approach to learning a new language. The app has a rating of 4.7 on both Google Play Store and the App Store.

Khan Academy

Free on Android and iOS Khan Academy is the app offshoot of the famous YouTube channel. The app provides lessons on a variety of subjects including maths, science and economics. The lessons come in instructional videos, written form and practice exercises. The lessons are designed by experts and are given in an easy-to-understand way. Khan Academy is a useful tool for students who want to brush up on some basics or learn new concepts they are confused about. The app has a 4.5 rating on Google Play Store and a 4.6 rating on the App Store.

YouTube

Free on Android and iOS Every serial procrastinator knows that YouTube can often be the death of any study plans, but YouTube can often be a useful study tool as well. YouTube offers thousands of videos that can help students study or understand a confusing concept. The platform offers concepts in a creative and fun way, making it an easy and palatable way to study. Channels like Khan Academy, TedEd and Crash Course cover a wide variety of subjects. There are also a lot of channels dedicated to particular subjects. For example, MinutePhysics makes short videos explaining scientific theories and Numberphile is a channel that makes math fun. YouTube can be a valuable resource for any student, and for any problem encountered while studying, there will no doubt be a video to help. YouTube has a 4.3 rating on Google Play Store and a 4.6 rating on the App Store.

Apps related to lifestyle:

Uber Eats / Mr D Free

on Android and iOS These two food apps are a must-have for all students. Mr D offers an array of discount codes to use each day which helps to cancel out the delivery fee. These two apps are especially useful during exam season and test weeks. Make sure to keep an eye out for discounts and offers during exam season. The ease of delivery allows a lot of time-saving. One can configure card details on the app or pay upon delivery. Uber Eats has a 4.6 rating on the App store and a 4.1 rating on Google Play Store whereas Mr D has 4.8 rating on the App Store and 4.3 rating on Google Play Store.

Alarmy

Free on Android and iOS This alarm clock app provides innovative ways to get a person out of bed. For instance, one kind of alarm requires you to stand in a certain location such as next to a desk to disable it. This is just one of many creative ways that the app requires to turn the alarm off. In some instances, a set of tasks needs to be done to disable the alarm, like shaking the phone vigorously or taking a picture of something specific. It is an app guaranteed to get you out of bed for that early morning lecture. The app has a 4.7 rating on the App Store and a rating of 4.5 on the Google Play Store.

Sleep Cycle

Free on Android and iOS As the name implies, Sleep Cycle monitors sleeping patterns. It requires the user to clock in their sleeping time and as per their movements during the course of the night, wakes them up the next morning during their lightest sleeping phase. This app may not necessarily be of use on weekdays when you have early morning lectures but can be beneficial on days that you have a few extra hours in the morning or on weekends. Getting the right amount of sleep can equip students with a clear mind that can sustain longer periods of academic studying. The app has a 4.6 rating on the App Store and a 4.5 rating on the Google Play Store.

Superbalist

Free on Android and iOS Superbalist is a one-stop where one can get clothing at reasonable prices. Buying clothes for an occasion or merely purchasing casual clothes? Superbalist gives you a range of offers that don’t dent your student budget. The app has a rating of 3.0 on the App Store and a rating of 4.0 on the Google Play Store.

Circle of Six

Free on Android and iOS For every group’s social butterflies, this app enforces a strict sense of safety. It allows ease of communicating safety needs to six trusted individuals. When going out with a group of friends, it is important to have each other’s back and this app reinforces that. The app allows you to register each friend’s live location and contact details and sets off a notification if one of the members in the circle needs help. This can be in the form of vibrations or flashing lights. Even when the six individuals are not in contact or in the same space, it keeps them connected and allows monitoring via live locations. The app has a rating of 4 on the App Store and a 4.3 rating on the Google Play Store.

EMILY HARRISON and SUSANNA ANBU