East End Tech: Back to School Technology in the 21st Century

Duolingo offers free language instruction
Duolingo offers free language instruction!

Back-to-school season is upon us, and thanks to the mystical wonders of technology, your child will be more set than ever for a semester of learning and excelling.

If you’re looking to save a bit of money while helping your child’s school this back-to-school season, you should definitely check out Goodshop.com. With Goodshop, you can shop at many of the same places you love—everywhere from Neiman Marcus to Old Navy to Nordstrom, and even online retailers like Amazon are featured—and you not only receive a coupon for a discount, but a set percentage of what you spend is donated to your child’s school. Goodshop has already donated $11 million to various charities and schools, and with more people finding out about it, they’ll probably have another $11 million down in no time!

For the rest of this article, I figured we’d take a look at some of the best “back to school” apps out there. Whatever level of education your child is entering, there are apps to make their life a lot easier—whether it be through learning, or simply organizing their lives in a way that means “really good grades.”

iHomework is, as the name implies, an iOS-based app for keeping track of homework assignments, reading assignments and basically every other bit of information that one needs to excel academically. Use iHomework to schedule when you’ll need to study for an exam or get a bit of reading done, and even use it to keep track of your grades! The OS X version syncs with the mobile version. $.99 for the iOS version, $3.99 for OS X.

Meekan is perfect for group projects. Everyone knows trying to wrangle the schedules of multiple people can be a pain in the butt of the highest order. Meekan lets you pick a general time, such as “Thursday Evening,” and the various people involved in your project can set when they’re available. Pick a time when everyone is available and boom, you have a time where everyone’s available, and with luck no one can come up with a terrible last minute excuse. Meekan is available for free in the iTunes App Store.

There are numerous flash-cards apps out there, but SuperCard Flashcards for Android and Flashcards+ for iOS are the pick of the litter for their respective devices. Both allow you to set up cards for whatever subject you’re studying, and both allow for randomization for better memorization. Best of all, both are free.

For those learning a language, Duolingo is an excellent way to supplement your education. With modules separated out into achievements and points and the like, Duolingo makes learning grammar and vocabulary exciting, fun and easy. With fully finished courses in Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese, as well as courses in development for Dutch, Danish, Irish, Hungarian, Swedish, Turkish, Russian, Polish and Romanian, Duolingo has a wide variety of languages to choose from. Best of all, you can practice with Duolingo anywhere—there are versions for iOS and Android, as well as a browser-based site, all of which keeps track of how you’re doing and even allows you to compete with friends to see who can learn the fastest.

And lastly, since all work and no play makes your child… how does that go? Anyway. Since it’s always good to have down time, the creator of Flappy Bird has released another masterpiece in frustration to the world, Swing Copters. Grab it—it’s just as frustratingly fun as its predecessor. Free on iOS and Android.

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