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  • Alysha Morgan

Five Helpful Apps Every High School Student Should Use

iPhone 6s as shown on the right displaying educational apps in the iTunes store

In the ever-growing world of technology “app” is a word you hear throughout the day. Whether it’s an alarm app that helps you get up in the morning, or an app that lets you review local restaurants so you know where to eat for lunch. There should be no misunderstanding that our society revolves around these mobile devices and the apps that accompany them to plan out our lives.

So along with using our devices to catch imaginary creatures and posting on social media, you should consider using these five apps for your education in the classroom.

PhotoMath: This app is the ultimate shortcut for any time you do not understand a certain question for your math homework. It’s useful for those who struggle with their homework and do not have anyone to check their work. The app is free to download in the iOS and Google Play Store and does not require internet for it work. It has a straightforward set up - just simply point your camera to the problem you want to be solved. It will then automatically scan and give you step-by-step instructions on how to do that problem.

This application does pick up fairly well when it comes to scanning and automatically solving problems. However, before you stop reading this and decide to download this yourself, it’s best for you to know the disadvantages of the app as well. For instance, when trying to scan a problem directly from your Chromebook it will give you different answers each time you scan it. It also cannot register problems that are handwritten; meaning the problems on the paper must be printed. Iysis Graham, a sophomore who enjoys mathematics, stated, “I prefer to use online calculators. I don’t use Photomath because of the multiple glitches and errors within the app which makes it difficult to use.”

Quizlet: Most upperclassmen already take advantage of this app, and many freshman will be given the same opportunity by downloading it. As the name implies, Quizlet is a free app and website that offers different types of study techniques such as quizzes, flashcards, and memory games provided by other users. The information provided also includes different ways a person may study. As an example, if you are an auditory learner you will be in a position to access audio flashcards. It gives you a wide variety of categories to choose from, and helps you to learn at your own steady pace. You can also generate your own study guides so that other users can learn from them, too. This application has a straightforward interface and setup process which just adds to the appeal.

There are not many significant disadvantages to this app other than the fact that it does require internet to work and that the study guides posted from other users may have faulty information, since there is no one else other than that user to properly check the guide. It is up to you to decide whether you think this is a good app to help you study or not.

My Study Life: This app is not particularly used for studying for a certain subject; however, it still proves to be helpful for managing yourself throughout the day. Let’s be real, high school is complicated, and to help you stay on top of your schedule with often conflicting deadlines, this planner app is just for you. My Study Life is more than just your average day planner or school calendar. Classes, tasks, and exams are organized to show you not only the information for the class but also related information such as when an assignment is due. It also gives you the option for the app to send reminders to your phone for upcoming events. One last note: you don’t have to worry about ads.

Just like Quizlet, you may have to download the app yourself to determine if it helps you or not. Perhaps you may find that this application is too complicated for you and would prefer to use a simple day planner. Or maybe you just don’t enjoy how the app displays your schedule with a colorful presentation. Regardless of your opinion, the way you want your day to be scheduled out on your planner will be different from what everyone else thinks.

iTunes U: Many of you iPhone users probably have yet to download this application. Simply speaking, if you`re not using iTunes U then you are missing out from your Apple experience. Javionn Ramsey, a student who recommended the app for this list, said, “I am a huge proponent of iTunes U and everything it offers. I believe that the pros outweigh the cons for what most people would use it for.” To put it briefly, iTunes U offers trusted educational files and crash courses for all grade levels (including college) that you can download on your phone from the app. It`s easy to navigate since it’s pretty much the same as the other sections within iTunes, so you won't have to learn your way around a new program. Apple’s iTunes U provides the world’s largest digital catalog of free education.

The most obvious downside to iTunes U is for you android users who won't have the ability to access it with your device; however, if you own a Mac or PC you can still download it from Apple’s website. Also, the content is not easily sharable, so if you want to share educational content on social media, then you can cross that off your list since all the URLs that Itunes uses are embedded on other websites. Surprisingly it does not offer any ways for students to communicate with one another. Students can benefit more from a simple discussion board, especially if it’s history or math.

TED Talks: It’s rare that an app truly makes you think deeply about a certain subject and that’s exactly what this app does. The TED app offers more than 1,700 free videos that are publicly accessible. It`s optional to make an account for this application, but that`s not necessary to browse through the app. You will be able to have access to content from a huge diversity of subjects, directly from insiders. These subjects cover anything from government to music. The main purpose of this app is to broaden perspectives on certain topics.You might start to compare your own problems to what actually exists, which challenges your own ideas and what you really know.

TED Talks is a constructive form of entertainment, so don’t expect to be knowledgeable in any specific subject, including your classes. It’s a good way to reinforce how much you know for that class; however, it’s not recommended you use the app as your only source of studying the night before a test.

There are endless opportunities to what apps you could use that will help you benefit from your education, going beyond the ones that were described on this list. Now with the major expansion of digital technology that still continues, it’s easier to find all sorts of information just by using the ends of your fingertips. It’s safe to say that apps are here to stay for a long period of time, so why not take advantage of that.

Photo: Alysha Morgan

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