By Thomas DeVere Wolsey
School is starting for students across the country. Encourage your students, after they have purchased backpacks, pencils, and notebooks, to also stop by the App Store. Here are four great apps to help them through the new school year:
Flashcards are an old standby in schools everywhere. They are useful in helping learners make connections and in reviewing information that is best committed to memory. Flashcards+ is the creation of Conner Zwick, who came up with the app when he was 16 years old. The decks of flashcards span many topics and are used throughout the world. Flashcards+ depends on its users to keep the decks current and accurate. It is available for iPhone and iPad, and the basic app is free.
Watch the developer talk about his product here.
I have written about Evernote before because it is so useful and syncs across devices. Students can use Evernote to sort and tag online references via bookmark, as a screenshot, or in full page format. Using tags and notebooks, it is easy to organize those references by topic and project or assignment. Teacher Buffy Hamilton provides several suggestions for students’ use of Evernote, worth reading here. Evernote has both free and paid versions. It works on iPad and iPhone, as well as on PC or Mac. Get it in the Google Play Store or from the iTunes App Store.
Students always have their smartphones, and carrying around an additional planner just doesn’t make sense. Several apps allow students to keep track of assignments. MyHomework works across several platforms, including Kindle, and is available in school versions in addition to the free or paid versions. It even works when students are offline. Never lose track of an assignment due date again.
Everyone needs a dictionary, and which better than Merriam-Webster? Merriam-Webster has been in the word business since Noah Webster first published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language in 1806. It is no surprise that their 21st century app includes speech recognition capabilities. Just tell the app the word you want and it will do the rest. Certainly this is a helpful improvement for students who have heard a word but have not seen it in print, or cannot remember how it is spelled. The app includes versions for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Android. Free versions with ads or paid versions are available.