Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 by Gina Thompson
We’ve previously covered educational software for children, but what about teenagers? In the digital age, high school can be particularly stressful with a broad curriculum, competitive exams and hours of homework every week. Not to mention all the usual social challenges of being a teenager in general! Fortunately, there are tools out there on the web that can help students get on top of their responsibilities and keep a cool head.
If you have any high school age students in your household or family, then you may find this handy list of apps and online resources useful. Have a read through and see if any are worth passing along the grape vine.
Track due dates with a homework planner
Many schools try to encourage diary-keeping in their students, but I recall snubbing the physical diary in favour of other methods over a decade ago, so I can only assume that kids these days demand digital planning methods. For those who are having trouble keeping track of all their homework assignments and due dates, a homework planning app may be just the trick. The myHomework Student Planner app is a wonderfully simple and easy-to-use planner that allows students to track all their classes and assignments and even get reminders about upcoming due dates.
Boost language studies with Duolingo
If you’ve had a brush with the popular language-learning app Duolingo before, it may have been part of a half-hearted endeavor to learn a new language. If you didn’t pursue other avenues of learning at the same time, you most likely washed out once you hit a level you were no longer able to comprehend with the app alone. Now, consider how it would have gone if you were also taking regular language lessons in a classroom environment with a professional teacher. Much better, right? Duolingo makes a perfect companion app for LOTE (Languages Other Than English) subjects with bite-sized lessons and listening and speaking exercises.
Take study sessions to the next level
Studying can be a drag when all you’ve got to do is read through a textbook with a highlighter in hand. Diversifying your study session with activities such as quizzes and flashcards can make things much more engaging and also increase knowledge retention. That’s where Quizlet comes in: it’s a free online service that makes it easy for students to create their own study materials for all kinds of topics, or browse the collections already created by others from around the globe. The Quizlet website claims that over 90% of students using Quizlet report higher grades, so it’s worth giving it a go.
Make citations easy-peasy
Working on an essay is hard enough without have to slog through a bunch of stuffy bibliographic information in order to set out citations for the information you used. Fortunately, there’s MyBib! This simple, ad-free web service allows students to quickly look up reference information for books, websites, journals, videos and much more. You’ll be able to smash out a properly formatted bibliography in no time!
To start using MyBib, just head to their website.
No graphing calculator? No problem.
If you’ve ever taken a high school maths class in this century, you’ll know that graphing calculators don’t come cheap and if you damage or lose it in the middle of an assignment, it can be a catastrophe! Well, now anyone can graph online to their heart’s content with Desmos (as long as they’re not in an exam room). This handy tool is easy to use to plot out data, evaluate equations and more. There’s even an impressive little community dedicated to making artwork out of mathematics.
Ditch the distractions
While the internet is incredibly useful in studies, it’s also a gateway to a lot of awfully tempting distractions like games and social media sites. For students who just can’t help themselves when they’re supposed to be studying, Cold Turkey can help. It’s a powerful website blocker that lets you block an unlimited number of websites using a timer. And once you start a block, it’s not easy to stop, so you’ll have no choice but to do what you should be doing instead of getting distracted.
The basic version of Cold Turkey is free to use for Windows and MacOS. Download either version here.
Don’t stress out!
Mental health and wellbeing is incredibly important for people of all ages and unfortunately, teenagers can be exposed to a lot of stress in a high school environment. The Student Wellbeing Hub is funded by the Department of Education to provide resources to students, parents and educators to build a safe, inclusive and connected school community. The topics for year 10 to 12 students cover a wide range of subjects including mental health, bullying, relationships, digital safety and responsible decision-making.