Back to School: Must Have Apps

The laptop is going the way of the dinosaur for a great many students from Kindergarten through college. According to Pew Internet more than half of all teens aged 13 to 17 in the first half of 2015 had access to a tablet, while 87 percent could access a laptop or desktop computer. Even outside of those two devices 91 percent of teens use the Internet on some sort of mobile device, whether it is a tablet or a smart phone, and 92 percent of them use the Internet daily – 24 percent admitting to using it almost constantly. And as kids head back to school tablets are increasingly becoming a part of their school day. Help your kid get a boost by hooking them up with these work friendly apps that won’t hit your bank balance.
The Future of Learning Now

Tablets are lightening the backpack load of many students, regardless of age. According to Statista’s recent data, even in elementary school students are using tablets to complete their school work at least a few times a week with usage currently the highest is in middle school. In a recent article in the Washington Post, advocates in education reform are seeing tablets as a chance to rethink schools and bring them out of the 19th century and into the 21st. Tablets allow teachers to engage students with rich content and self-directed study that appeals to the generation that has never known life without computer access. So to get your child ready for school, you may want to download some of these helpful apps.

1. Appcylon’s Graphic Calculator: Any parent who has priced a graphing calculator lately will love this application. However, it is only available for iOS or the Windows Phone 7 operating system. It’s almost impossible to get a calculus course without one of these, but at $2.99 can save big and not have another item of electronica to drag around the campus.

2. Easy Bib: For students whose papers require citations, check out this app that allows you to format papers in over 7000 different international citation styles. You can either enter the name of the publication, or even take a photo of the book’s barcode with your device’s camera.

3. Evernote: This organizer app is going to organize the world, and may even get most procrastinating procrastinator off their butt. This app is cross-platform and can help you stay organized across every device you have. Create task lists so that you won’t forget that important paper or assignment, and collaborate with the basic free edition. Upgrade to Plus in order to access notes when you’re off-line, save emails, clip anything from anywhere on the web. Parents may wish to spring for the premium version in order to keep the family entirely on the same page and access additional features. 

4. Khan Academy: This app offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and personalized learning for all ages. This app can help parents and kids brush up for the upcoming school year, or even get them over the rough spots during the school year. Parents please take note, that if you have been out of the classroom for some time, you might want to buff your chops before helping your kids with schoolwork.

5. Nook: It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a tablet or e-reader, there’s an app for that. Book reader apps like Nook solve the problem of reading while on the go. Whether you are using Windows, IOS, or Android, if you’re looking for reading apps, or want to access additional rich content such as Audiobooks or video presentations such as documentaries, this app is one of the best, and there are no subscription fees.

6. Quizlet: Students can create their own tests and study games as well as flashcards on Android or iOS for mobile devices or on a laptop or desktop.

These are just a few great apps that every student should carry on their tablet, or even on their smartphone. As more schools invest in technology in order to keep their students competitive, parents too will need to get with the program. Getting involved with technology and helping your children is a lot easier than most parents think. While there is a digital divide between the generations, tablets and their intuitive interfaces are often more family-friendly and for everyone to access. Who knows? You might just end up with a tablet for everyone at all ages. Of course, should also check with your children’s teachers to see what apps they might be using for classwork, communication, and collaboration.

Remember, technology is reshaping the world in new ways every day. And your child will experience technologies that your own parents never dreamed of. Technology is part of your children’s future, and making sure that they are comfortable and on good terms with it only makes sense.