With the arrival of smartphones, high school and college students are no longer being told to put their electronic devices away in class. Cell phones are not only being used for conversations and games, but as important educational tools within classrooms. Technological advances are now, more then ever, transforming the everyday lives of students in their quest for academic success and there are thousands of apps aimed to help them. Here are nine must-haves that can make the bumpy educational road a whole lot smoother.

timerActivity Timer is a time-management app that can be used to keep track of all tasks within a 24-hour period. This Android app, produced by LiteDroid Studios and available on Google Play for $1.99, enables students to incorporate their daily activities—from homework to game time—in order to make every second count.

Breaking News delivers hard-breaking news stories in real time, for free. Developed by NBC News Digital LLC, this app sends out notifications about the biggest current news stories headlining the world. Useful for people with a busy schedule, the app also allows users to track specific topics and stay informed about current events, as they happen.

noteNote Everything enables students to create and share text, voice and even paint notes. Users also have the option of combining note styles and enabling links. Created by SoftXperience, the free app also lets notes be imported from Palm Desktop or Microsoft Outlook.

myHomework Student Planner allows students to keep their class schedule, homework calendar, organizer and student planner all in one place. Created by Instine, this free app also reminds students about assignment due dates and exams. Available on iTunes, Google Play, Kindle Fire and the Windows 8 Store, this app has been listed as one of the best school apps every year since 2009.

Flashcards Study Helper, created by David Skelly, was created for students who have to study on the go. This app ($3.99) allows users to create their own flash cards and organize them according to subject matter. It also quizzes users (in four difficulty levels) on the flashcard materials.

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nfcPuzzle Alarm Clock (free on Google Play) promises to solve the first problem many students have in the morning: getting out of bed. Created by Wro Claw Studio S.C., the app provides random puzzles (math equations, memory cards, captcha, patterns) that open after every alarm. You’ve got to be on your toes, though: The only way to shut the alarm is to complete the puzzles.

Dictionary.com gives students access to more than 2 million definitions, synonyms and antonyms. This free app by Dictionary.com includes audio pronunciation, the words’ origins and a thesaurus. It’s useful for building vocabulary and spelling.

langu50 Languages provides roughly 1,600 language combinations and includes 100 lessons aimed to teach students simple phrases, such as “How are you?” in a foreign language. Audio lessons are available on www.50languages.com. Learning a new language is now more accessible then ever.