Simply Computing


Back to School Apps

Going back to school after the summer can be a drag. Luckily, these days there are apps that go well beyond simple dictionaries and time tables that can help you get back into the rhythm and to the top of the class in no time.  Here are ten you may not be aware of:


Missing an important test or submission is a sure way to drop your grade and increase your stress.  This leading student planner app will prevent this from happening ever again.  With the ability to sync across all your devices, myHomework helps students keep on top of their class schedule, as well as project deadlines and test dates.  Alerts can be set up, as well as notifications before homework is due. Available in basic free and premium subscription versions, the enhanced version removes ads, allows file attachments and offers enhanced widgets.


Paper notecards are so passé, but flashcards are still a great study tool. The Quizlet app offers more than 271 million study sets or allows you to create your own personalized cards.  Taking information from your flashcards, the app will also convert them into multiple-choice or concept matching practice tests.


Although they can be study aides, iPhones and iPads also offer endless sources of procrastination and distraction.  Forest incentivizes students to stay off these devices while they study.  The goal of the app is to grow a full and healthy forest. When you begin studying, you plant a seed which will grow over time.  However, the tree will die if you leave the app to browse elsewhere.


For those of us who find math challenging, Photomath is a great assistant.  If you snapshot a problem, the program will analyze and solve it.  More importantly, the app also provides step-by-step explanations on how it achieved the result, so you can do the work yourself the next time you encounter the same concept.


Want your writing to not only be typo-free but have that extra “je ne sais quoi?” Grammarly is a free app that offers accurate, context-specific suggestions to give your assignments an extra layer of polish.  Furthermore, it will not only fix your mistakes but also give detailed explanations of them.


Evernote is a notetaking app and much more.  At its most basic, the app helps people digitize their thoughts, then stores these privately and securely so they can be easily accessed later and on different devices.  These thoughts can be in a variety of formats, including notes, photos, and voice memos.  They can also be shared with others, even if they don’t have an Evernote account.  For students, the app can be used to keep a journal, create checklists, make schedules, take notes and so forth.


Backing up homework assignments is the best way to avoid their loss and the subsequent “my dog ate my homework” moment with your teacher.  Dropbox offers 2GB of free back-up storage that will sync across your devices, with additional free storage available if you complete certain promotional tasks.  You can also just pay for additional GB space.


If you like organizing your ideas and outlining your essays graphically, Simplemind will help you do so electronically.  Great for visual learners and brainstorming, the app lets you have multiple mind maps on a single page, expand to virtually unlimited page size and select from various layout options.  If you pay for the premium version, additional features include PDF and image exporting, the ability to add images and links, and seamless syncing to Dropbox and Google Drive.


Finding good source material for an essay is important, but formatting these into a bibliography can be a drag.  Easybib will use your device’s camera to read a book’s barcode, then provide its citation in more than 7,000 styles including MLA, APA, Chicago and Harvard.  The app also has an email function so you can send yourself the citation or share it with someone else.

Dragon Anywhere

The on-the-go version of Dragon Dictation, this app is great for learners who like to think aloud, have physical/cognitive difficulty writing or can’t type as fast as they think/listen.  Dragon Anywhere uses speech recognition software to convert talk to text.  That text can then be edited, also by voice.

Best of luck in the academic year to come!  With these apps, you’re sure to ace-it all the way!


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