Top 10 Apps For A Smart Start To The School Year
What’s that buzzing sound you haven’t heard for a blissful few months: your alarm clock? If it’s your first day back at school and you want to keep hitting the snooze button, we have a fun solution.
Why not download the free Alarmy app, which sets a daily challenge to get you leaping out of bed. For example, you might have to take a photo in your kitchen to stop the alarm buzzing, or solve a maths problem. You’ll be up and firing on all cylinders in no time!
Alarmy is just one app that will help you get into gear for the new school year. While returning to a study routine can be challenging after a long break, technology makes the transition easy. Here’s the Tutors Field guide to ten apps to ensure a smooth ride back to school.
Top Apps To Organise You
Being well organised is the key to establishing good study habits. There are dozens of apps that help you schedule your time and plan your semester.
- AnyDo: The AnyDo planner is like having Mum and Dad inside your phone reminding you of what is coming up in your busy life (except without Dad making his bad jokes).
With AnyDo, you can set up lists and reminders for tasks and activities. Because you can sync the app to your Google calendar and Facebook, it’s like a “one-stop shop” for all your daily events.
- Like AnyDo, myHomework is a planner. However, this “virtual organiser” was purpose-built for students to replace the good old-fashioned school diary. myHomework helps you plan for classes, assignments and exams. Your teacher can also add links to homework and assessment details for you to access easily.
With both AnyDo and MyHomework, you can use the app to collaborate with other learners or your tutor. There are more advanced planners like Evernote, which allows you to take web clips and photos while you’re working. But as many schools don’t permit smartphone use in class, check to see if you’ll get the most out of an app like Evernote before you invest in it.
Top Apps To Make Study Easier
At Tutors Field, we are experts in tutoring and private teaching, and use a lot of different tools to help our students boost their study outside the classroom. There are many useful apps that make breaking down complex assignments and structuring your essays a breeze.
- StudyBlue has a wealth of useful materials like quizzes and flashcards that are created and shared by students, including from Australian schools. Users consider StudyBlue an “amazing” resource, partly because of the way you can customise flashcards and add media. Flashcards have long been a great tool for helping students memorise concepts or practice speeches, and in the digital age apps like StudyBlue, Tinycards and Brainscape make them extra fun (and helpful!) learning resources.
- SimpleMind is a mind mapping tool for planning and structuring your thoughts and ideas. This makes it ideal for assignments like book summaries and speeches. You can use SimpleMind to order your ideas and put them in a logical sequence, creating an effective visual template for your essay, presentation or other homework.
Top Apps For Your Subject Goals
Your school probably has a preferred online study program for core subjects, like Literacy Planet and Mathletics. But there’s always an extra app that will improve your learning outcomes.
- Mathway: Students praise Mathway for speeding up the learning process for tricky subjects like algebra. The app is recommended for older learners, and helps you work through challenging problems at your own pace or with a tutor. As a bonus, you can input problems by typing, voice or photo uploads.
- Khan Academy: A US not-for-profit initiative, Khan Academy was created to give all students access to high-quality learning resources. While the content definitely has an American flavour, the free resources are excellent.
For example, a Year 3 student can take a “Pixar In a Box” course (a collaboration between Khan Academy and Disney), or study Intro to HTML/CSS. Meanwhile, a Year 12 student can learn about Microeconomics through user-friendly videos. Curious learners will love it!
- Duolingo: With a large number of language learning apps, Duolingo’s game-based approach appeals to younger and older learners alike. Its language options include French, German, Italian and Spanish, making Duolingo a good complement to school-based language classes.
Top Apps For Your Assignments
- Reference apps. Gone are the days of dashing to the library or Mum’s study to rifle through heavy reference volumes. Encyclopedia, dictionary and thesaurus apps need to be part of every student’s digital survival pack. At Tutors Field we’re big fans of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com apps. These are all spinoffs from the well-known websites, and all indispensable.
- TED Talks: TED Talks are a global phenomenon, but have you considered drawing on them as a study resource? The TED app features talks on educational topics that are suitable for older students, although parents should review content first. Additionally, the TED-Ed website was developed specifically for students. With videos from teachers and experts on subjects from Viking Ships to A Brief History Of Chess, it’s a great resource for assignments.
And Finally … Apps To Support You
While there a lot of cool study tools, overlaying all your study needs is the vital need to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing. As professional educators, at Tutors Field we encourage parents, students and schools to keep working together and being proactive in looking after our young people’s mental health.
Some of you will be familiar with the popular headspace and Calm apps. Another terrific option that has a strong focus on teaching young people about mental wellbeing early in life is our tenth and final app.
- Smiling Mind, a 100% free app that can be used by all family members. With Smiling Mind, you can practice daily meditation and mindfulness exercises, which are great for a positive approach to your studies. Smiling Mind was developed by an Australian not-for-profit organisation and is based on a strong evidence base into what works for preventative mental health in young people.
It’s hard to stop at just ten apps. For parents as well as students, there are countless apps that make life smoother with a few quick clicks. As just one example, you can take the stress out of the school run by downloading your local public transport app to check the school bus timetable. Or you can see when your child arrives safely at school from their bus trip, through the innovative wemapshare app.
The apps we have mentioned are compatible with Google and Apple devices, and available at the App Store or Google Play. These tools are free but some have premium (paid) options if you want to upgrade. Always check first to see which features are only available with the upgraded version.
With so many choices, there’s an app to make every part of your school year a success. Tutors Field would love to hear about which apps work for you, and what you like about them!