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7 Great Back-to-School Apps

By Sarah Klein

If you and your family have been blissfully enjoying the lazy days of summer, the back-to-school transition can be a rude awakening. Suddenly there are early-morning buses to catch, book report deadlines to meet, and numerous after-school activities to juggle.

However, thanks to a number of helpful apps, you and your smartphone can make sure everyone is where they should be and all those homework assignments get completed on time.

Here are some great back-to-school apps for both students and parents.

Cozi Family Organizer

With a slogan like “Family life. Simplified,” it’s no surprise that parenting blogs across the Web have sung the praises of this family organizer app, which places the emphasis on sharing. Cozi includes a family calendar, which can be color-coded for each person’s events, as well as to-do lists, shopping lists, and even a journal section to share news or photos. E-mail notifications can be sent to each family member to make sure they stay on track.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry
Cost: Standard version: free; premium (ad free) version: $5.99


This organizational tool is perfect for busy moms as well as students. Evernote lets you collect written notes, photos, web pages, and even voice commands, and then makes them all available through a simple search. Everything you capture is automatically processed and indexed. You can even add tags or organize notes into different notebooks.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7
Cost: Free


This homework tracking app will help you and your kids keep track of all their due dates for book reports, homework assignments and science projects. myHomework automatically send alerts as deadlines approach. College students can also use it to keep track of their class schedules.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android
Cost: Free

Mental Case

When it comes time to quiz your daughter for her first spelling test, skip the index cards and have her create virtual flashcards on your iPhone or iPod Touch with this novel study app. Mental Case is also great if you are learning a language, studying for an exam, or even brushing up for a driving test. You can also download flash cards from other online study web sites, such as FlashcardExchange or Quizlet.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: $2.99


Speaking of spelling tests, students can effortlessly improve their vocabulary with the Dictionary.com mobile app.  The dictionary and thesaurus includes over 500,000 words, definitions, and synonyms. The app also features phonetic and audio pronunciations, and the popular Word of the Day notification for vocabulary building.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry
Cost: Free


iHomework is another app specifically designed to keep track of homework assignments, projects, grades, where classes are being held, and all the other information needed for an efficient and productive school year. Works on any Apple device.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: $1.99

Graphing Calculator

Turn the iPhone calculator up a notch with this math app that’s perfect for high school students and parents who don’t want to shell out the big bucks for the classic Texas Instruments calculators. As well as including an easy-to-use scientific calculator, the Graphing Calculator app is also a high-resolution function plotter, allowing students to graphically evaluate and solve multiple complex math problems.

Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Cost: $1.99

Comment by Ellen Rowan, posted 8/30/2011, 1:40 PM:

Excellent suggestions! Thanks for this. I'll be checking them out.
Comment by Philip, posted 8/30/2011, 4:49 AM:

I like http://www.learnclick.com for creating cloze test flashcards. It's great for reviewing any text one has to learn for an exam.
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