Must Have Learning Apps for Teens
What did you use your smartphone for today?
I listened to music, looked up 2 recipes, took a video of my daughter, checked my social media accounts, answered a few e-mails, got driving directions, and read the latest news.
No wonder my student asked me last year, “Ms. P, what was life like before the iPhone?” My instant thoughts were, “How old do you think the iPhone is? Wait, how old do you think I am?”
However, I can understand why she used it as a demarcation: BI (before iPhone) and AI (After iPhone). My life is completely different now that I have a smartphone – I am in constant contact with all my friends and family. I can access thousands of years of human knowledge in just a few seconds. I can waste a ton of time on Candy Crush Soda Saga and take ridiculous photos in Snapchat.Smartphones have also revolutionized learning.Click To Tweet
There is little doubt that smartphones have also revolutionized learning. Processes that used to take place on paper and took hours, now can be created in a minute or less on your phone.
These apps can make students more productive and their lives easier. I’ve rounded up seven apps that I think are essential for today’s students. Try out a few and see if you like them! FYI, this NOT a sponsored post; I’m just writing about apps that I like!
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Must Have Learning Apps (in alphabetical order)
Most of the apps below are available for both iPhone and Android phones. All of them are free, though many offer a premium service or in-app purchases.
To be productive and focused, I recommend using the Pomodoro Technique. You study in 25-minute increments with 5-minute breaks. There are a bunch of Pomodoro apps around, but this one is free, available on both platforms, and simple. You can list and organize all tasks and track our progress. This comes highly recommended for those with ADHD!
Daily SAT Practice
For those getting ready for the SAT or PSAT, this free app has a few perks. Each and every day it provides 1 free SAT question for practice. You can also link your College Board account and follow your progress over time. Additionally, this handy app will grade your practice SAT test. That’s right, no hand grading for you. Take this from a teacher, automatic grading is the holy grail.
EasyBib got me through both my master’s degrees. And now it has an app. Did my academic dreams just come true? You MUST include a bibliography an all academic work, even if it’s a pain in the butt, boring, hard, etc. EasyBib will create a citation for you in all major citation methods, including MLA, APA (my nemesis), and Chicago. You can even scan a book’s barcode for an instant citation. Don’t forget to send your bibliography to your e-mail through the app. EasyBib keeps you legal and in your teacher or professor’s good graces.
Want to take notes digitally? Or lists? Or pics of notes? You can keep it all organized in Evernote. (Even across all your devices!) Evernote devotees wax poetically about their love for this organizational app. Try it out and see if you like it.
I personally use Google Drive for my personal and business files and cannot say enough about it. Most students (middle through college) already have an account through their school. Having Drive on your phone gives you access on the fly. Forgot to share a file with your teacher? Whip out your phone and do it right away. Your printer died, but you want to prove the file exists? Show it! I have had students write entire papers on their phones in Drive. (I do not endorse that method, but when push comes to shove . . . )
Do you know what is most likely to ruin your focus and use up all your time? Your phone. And don’t think I don’t know about that late night texting. This app is meant to change the relationship you have with your phone and encourage you to step away. The free version tracks how much time you spend on your phone and apps. Premium services include app blocking, time limits, and reminders.
If you are off the paper-planner train, this might just work for you. This digital planner will track assignments, send due date reminders (yes!), and can sync between all your devices. It also adjusts for your school’s schedule, such as special holidays or an alternating block schedule. And it color codes for you! Amazing!!
Quizlet is THE flashcard app. I love flashcards because they are quick and you can squeeze them in when you have a few spare minutes. On Quizlet, you can create your own set of flashcards or, even better, use one of the thousands created by other users. The app will also let you download sets and study even when you don’t have internet access. (Long plane ride, anyone?) Even better, the app can create an individualized study plan for you.