It’s not easy being a student. As classes, athletics, and extracurricular activities become more demanding, even the most conscientious students can have difficulty prioritizing and focusing on their work. Fortunately, for this technology savvy generation, there are a host of tools that can help students stay on top of their game.
Google Chrome, the free web browser, offers applications (but if you don’t want the kids to laugh at you, be sure to call them apps), that function like software programs in the computer. With these apps, you and your students can get work done more quickly and easily. Although many apps are mostly for fun, others can be extremely effective in helping students stay organized and productive.
We looked at numerous apps and culled out the top eight from the Google Chrome Web Store we think will make a student’s life less stressful. And, because this is intended for students, who typically have limited income, we’ve only included apps that are free.
Apps to Stay Organized
- Sunrise Calendar – this cleanly designed calendar works with Google Calendar and iCloud, and includes Facebook events. With both web and mobile apps available (for Android and iPhone), all information stays synced.
- Todo.ly – once students know what’s on their calendar, they can plan out what work needs to be done with this handy To Do list. With color-coded tasks, it’s easy to prioritize, plan out and check off each step of a project.
- Evernote – For a more robust organizational system, Evernote fits the bill. Describing itself as a modern workspace, Evernote allows users to type short or long notes and categorize them into notebooks. Photos, web articles, lists, notes and even receipts can be stashed in Evernote and searched for when needed.
- Mint – it’s not something students always learn about in school, but money management is an important aspect of student success, particularly as students prepare for college. Mint helps students create a customized budget and sends reminders of upcoming bills. Accessible on web and mobile devices, Mint helps reduce the stress of worrying about how long funds will last.
Tools To Make a Student’s Life Easier
- Google Drive – documents, spreadsheets, and presentations can all be kept, accessed and shared on this app. This is ideal when groups of students all need access to a document for a group project, or for students who want to work on a paper from multiple devices, or for students who don’t want to buy additional word processing, spreadsheet or presentation software for their computers.
- EasyBib – the hard part of researching and writing a paper may be finished, but then there’s one more hurdle: making sure the citations and bibliography are formatted correctly. EasyBib simplifies the process so students can type in the information they have and the app can help find the source and format. Another tool for citing sources is Cite This For Me: Web Citer, which is an extension that can also be downloaded from Google Chrome Web Store, and creates website citations in APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard referencing styles.
- StudyStack – need to memorize a long list of foreign words or technical terms? StudyStack has flashcards, crosswords and other ways to help students with memorization. With categories that include Latin, chemistry, pharmacology, standardized tests, accounting, Quiz Bowl and AP comparative government, students will find the support they need. And, if a particular term or topic isn’t covered, students can create their own flashcards.
- Desmos Graphic Calculator – this intuitive graphic calculator allows students to plot functions, create tables, animate graphics and use many of the functions of an expensive calculator—for free.
Extra Credit Tool
Although technically not an app, Stayfocusd is an extension that is too useful to neglect. When it’s essential to get rid of distractions and just concentrate on work, Stayfocusd blocks websites that the user has designated as a time-waster for the remainder of the day. It may seem like a heavy-handed approach, but reviewers rave that it increases productivity.
Take a look at these apps on the Google Chrome Web Store and see if any of them would be beneficial to your students. Google constantly offers new apps that help you and your students customize computer or mobile device to meet individual needs to get more work done, with fewer headaches.
Editor’s note: This piece was originally written by Jeff Dunn and ran on July 13, 2012. A lot has changed since then, so we’ve had author Pamela DeLoatch update this piece with the latest techniques and innovations.