Technology Tools for Learning and Living
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Technology Tools for Learning and Living

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

By Shannon Payne, Tutor

Finding apps that help with college and living skillsEducators and service providers are reaching for their iPads to help them meet the learning needs of the students they serve. An iPad isn’t simply another way to access Facebook or play Candy Crush; it is a nearly limitless educational tool!

My colleagues and students at CLE Costa Mesa can attest that when I show up each morning, it’s with my iPad in tow. I wouldn’t dare leave this incredible resource at home, because it allows me to have access to learning aids, lessons, instructional videos, and yes, even games, precisely when I need them. If I have a student in a college algebra course that needs a little extra practice, I tap the Apple Store button on my iPad. In seconds, I have access to loads of free or inexpensive apps that engage and motivate my students, while building the skills they need to succeed in their courses.

Here are some great apps for learning and living that I have found that helpful for our college students.

College Academics

Audible app

Audible. Students can use Audible to download and listen to nearly any required reading for English courses (and lots of other subjects, too)! The app is free, but the book downloads are not and run about 20% below the books’ list prices. Downloaded books can be listened to on a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone.

EasybibEasybib. This app is the answer to college students’ research prayers! All students have to do is scan the barcode of the book they need to reference, and the app automatically generates MLA, APA, and Chicago-style references for their bibliography pages. No barcode, no problem. They have a database of references to search and ways to manually enter citations.

StudyblueStudyBlue Flashcards.StudyBlue is an interactive tool that saves students time and space in their backpacks. StudyBlue is loaded with flashcards for any subject you can think of (biology, Japanese, theater history), and has tools for you to create your own deck of flashcards that is specific to your course.

Living Skills

30/30 App30/30.Thanks to Shani Bass, a Costa Mesa ILS/mentor, for bringing this amazing tool to our attention! 30/30 allows students to create timed lists of chores or study goals for easy transitioning and quick results. Just start the timer, and 30/30 sounds an alarm when it is time to switch to the next task.

Anylist AppAnylist. Use AnyList to create, literally, any kind of list you may need. You can create and store unlimited lists for grocery shopping, attractions to visit, chores to complete, homework assignments to do, and even holiday wish lists. You can also upload and input recipes you use frequently to make grocery shopping even easier. When you’re done shopping or completing your work, you can delete the list or restore and save it to use again.

Feeling a little app-shy? Almost all apps have instructional videos available on their websites or YouTube to help you learn how to access all of the app’s features. How-to videos can be especially helpful when trying to decide whether to purchase an app that isn’t available in a free format. Online reviews and testimonials may also be helpful in determining the usefulness and ease of operating the app in question.

The world of applications for learning and living support is ever-expanding. This means more success, more access, and more fun for all of us! Happy App-ing!

Newsletter Articles – November 2014

CLE Costa Mesa Film Exploration

Many CLE students have intellectual talents and aptitude in the area of technology; two of the most common interests being, 1.) film and 2.) video games. CLE has responded to these interests by finding unique ways to ensure that we support students pursuing vocations and needing skill development in technology and found how to utilize their passion to be common ground for social development. Both film and video games could have the connotation of being isolating to people and hinder socialization. It could also be seen as an opportunity; depending on the lens you are looking through. At CLE, we have chosen the latter and believe that it is our responsibility to figure out how to harness student interests and create potential. The question is how can we do that effectively?


Working in the video game industry can be a challenging, yet very rewarding career. Often, the hardest step is landing the initial job. You have to prove that you are capable of doing the work even before you’ve been given an opportunity to do so. Employers will also expect you to understand how the industry works and what the expectations will be. Here are some tips to help you get prepared and move in the right direction.

Caitlyn - CLE Monterey

These days our students use apps for all sorts of things. From help with academics and organization to planning their social lives, technology has been crucial in helping our students navigate their path toward independence. Here are some of the apps that our students at CLE Monterey find most helpful and fun to use.

Neil - CLE Denver - online class

With the development of technology, the possibility to take your college classes from anywhere has helped millions of students across the world. Online classes offer many benefits to learning and can be a great option for students with unique learning differences. Here are some of the advantages to online learning and steps to help you succeed in your classes.

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