It's that time of year again - back to school. It's a time for students and parents alike to get organized, get on the ball, and get into a learning mindset. It's also a time that can be anxiety-inducing in the sheer amount of things to monitor and take care of. Thankfully, like most things in life, this is an area where your phone can help. Check out the ten apps below, currently among the best in the Play Store for parents and students with a serious case of the back to school blues.
Google Family Link
Safety is a number one priority for parents with kids of any age who are going to be spending time away from them, and this app offers that, along with other features. Family Link lets you track your child's location with ease, which is by far the most valuable feature for parents. You can also know what apps your kid is installing, see what they're doing with their phone all day, and remotely lock their device or put limits on usage to ensure that rounds of PUBG and Fortnite don't get in the way of algebra.
If your child's school happens to use Google Chromebooks or Google's suite of education apps, this app can pull double duty making life easier for students and helping parents keep track of schoolwork and teacher feedback. The entire system is engineered with a single goal in mind; ease of use. It's made to get out of the way and provide a simple, easy and organized platform for teachers, students and parents to collaborate and get schoolwork done.
myHomework Student Planner
If your school of choice doesn't use Google products, this app is your next best bet for staying organized and up on what needs to be done and when. The app has been around in some form since 2009, and exists across platforms, making it easy for students, parents and teachers to help manage the educational experience from anywhere.
This app's dead-simple name belies a feature-rich personal assistant aimed at school kids, with the rub being a unique and visually dazzling experience to help keep spirits up and jog students' memory. You can plug just about everything into this app, from reminders to homework and grades, and even your class schedule and teachers' names and contact information. It even includes a number of handy tools like a literature guide and trigonometry calculator. It's geared to help students of all ages stay focused.
Common Core curriculum flips a number of long-held educational conventions on their heads in order to teach students more efficient and real-world focused ways of approaching problems, which means it can be absolutely baffling for parents, and even for students at time. This app is meant to help with that. It contains a wealth of resources and tutorials across multiple grade levels of the Common Core curriculum. Currently, kindergarten through 12th grade material is on board for both Math and Language Arts, and more content may be added in the future.
Quizlet: Learn Languages & Vocab with Flashcards
This is another app where the name isn't entirely accurate. Quizlet is a service that offers a colossal selection of flash cards across any subject you can think of, both professionally curated and user-submitted. It uses a flash card system to help students learn the material, and games to help retain it. This app is a bit of a double-edged sword, since it contains user-submitted content; especially at higher education levels like high school and college, many people upload commonly used test questions and answers verbatim, which means that the app can be used for cheating. As a study app, so long as it's kept outside of the test room, it's nearly unbeatable in its versatility and wealth of content.
MathPapa - Algebra Calculator
MathPapa is essentially an extremely advanced calculator app. You can plug entire equations into it, whether you're in the app or on the web, and see the solution instantly. It also hosts a large number of resources and tutorials to help you actually learn the tutorial, rather than just giving you the answers in a pinch. Best of all, in most scenarios, it can break down equations and solve them step-by-step for you, letting you see the process.
Kids Fashion Styles 2018
Kids Fashion Styles 2018 is an app that does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. The app is meant to give you fashion tips and ideas to help you and your kids totally rock back to school. It's easy to dismiss an app like this as vain, but a well-coordinated outfit can be the difference between confidence and awkwardness for kids, and kids that seem more confident and approachable are far more likely to make friends and avoid being bullied.
Preschool and Kidergarten Learning Games
This app hosts 15 educational games aimed at younger kids, from kindergarten on down. There are even games that cater to toddlers by presenting basic learning concepts long before it's feasible for them to be introduced in any sort of formal fashion. Tots in kindergarten, meanwhile, will find the games fun, and they make a good way to revisit basics and really drive home the concepts they're learning in the classroom.
TEACH (a teaching simulator)
The Play Store is littered with teaching simulators that may be a bit arcade-y and unrealistic, but this one hits the nail on the head because it was made by an actual teacher as a solo project. Meant to provide a bit of entertainment while giving students and parents a taste of what teachers go through on a daily basis, TEACH sees you managing curriculum, dealing with classroom problems, and building kids in your class up to help them make the grade and get along with their classmates.