Study up on apps for school year


If your kids are headed to elementary school or college, you can help them manage the stress of day-to-day schedules and homework with the right app.

Actually, there are quite a few good apps for meeting you and your child’s educational needs. Here are a few tried-and-true apps:

myHomework lets students manage nearly every aspect of their school life, and from any device. You can track homework, tests and assignments, and get reminders when things are due thanks to a comprehensive calendar with time, block and period-based schedules.

If teachers use the app, students can automatically download their class information, assignments, files and announcements.

Any long-time reader of this column knows that we’re a mixed-tech-use household. So, apps that are both effective and cross-platform-compatible get high praise from the Earnheardts. We were able to install and run myHomework on Android phones, iPads, MacBook, and our clunky, old PC.

Dump the old-fashioned student planners and install myHomework for free or pay a mere $5 and get it ad-free for a year.

Check it out at myhomeworkapp.com.

Drund is a locally-owned company that builds internal, secure, community-centered platforms for different industries, but there’s no doubt that it has found a home in the education market.

With school-specific versions of Drund, school administrators can create community posts, teachers can send private messages to students and parents, and boosters can manage fundraisers and events.

I get regular updates with important notices about events, posts with images and videos from activities around the district.

Drund looks and feels like social media, but it’s not Facebook. Think of it as a more privately-controlled version of those bigger, less-secure social media platforms with more appropriate content for your kids.

Ask your school if it is using Drund and how you can access the platform.

Remind. Several teachers at our local school use this app, and we’ve been using it to communicate with teachers since our kids were in elementary school. Now our two oldest students are at the age when they can send and receive their own “reminders” with teachers.

Like the myHomework app, I’m not sure there’s a need for the old parent-teacher “communication” folders anymore. Plus, if your kids are like mine, those folders don’t always make it home (and sometimes disappear forever).

Thankfully, our teachers are increasingly ditching those folders for Remind.

The app connects parents and students with teachers to get daily updates on homework, tests and other classroom-related information. Note, however, that Remind isn’t always the best option for sending direct messages from parents to teachers because teachers usually have to initiate those conversations.

Remind is free and easy to use, and available on nearly all platforms.

Adam Earnheardt chairs the communication department at Youngstown State University. Follow him on Twitter at @adamearn and on his blog atadamearn.com.

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