Dialing In: Four Ways to Use a Smartphone for an Online Education

Smartphones create the ability to do almost anything on the go, even learning. Here are four ways to use a smartphone to while pursuing an online education.


One of the key benefits of taking online college courses is the ability to take classes and complete school work from anywhere. There are even ways a smartphone can assist a student with online coursework. Here are four ways to use a smartphone while pursuing an online education, including helpful apps, techniques, and tricks.

#1 Access Files

Gone are the days of traveling with an easily lost flash drive. Apps like Dropbox and Google Drive allow people to work on files in the cloud and access them from anywhere, including on a smartphone or mobile device. Dropbox has the capability to upload and save most types of files, while Google Drive is best used for word processing, spreadsheets, and images. With all your resources saved online, you can take advantage of the flexible nature of online college classes by accessing your work wherever you are.

#2 Stay Organized

Most people receive a flood of information throughout the day from a range of different sources, much of which is relevant to online college courses. Save time by storing necessary items ditching the rest. It’s easy to do this with an app like Evernote, which includes the ability not only to take notes but also to save web clippings, images, articles, and more with the push of a button. Searchable tags make it easy to access references and sources when it’s time to write a research paper or work on a big project.

#3 Take Advantage of Multimedia

Smartphone cameras and video make it easier than ever to add high-quality images and clips to presentations. There are apps for creating PDFs, developing virtual flashcards, and using a scientific calculator. Regardless of what someone is studying in their online college courses, a smartphone can be of educational use. Students can record and save videos and photos of their scientific fieldwork and experiments, interesting art they come across, or creative projects. Phones can also be used to find and conveniently view supplemental materials such as documentaries.

#4 Study on the Go

As smartphones get larger, the reading experience on a screen is becoming more comfortable than ever. Many online programs can be accessed from a phone, making it simple to download syllabi or access and read textbooks on a commute with a reading app like Kindle. In some cases, students can even use the phone’s browser to do relevant research while waiting in line at the bank. If online college courses offer recorded or video lectures, it’s easy to listen or watch on a smartphone anytime, anywhere. This makes it easy to multitask, a key element of online learning.

To learn more about Linfield’s online learning opportunities, check out our programs page or contact the Office of Admission at 503-883-2213.