Best Apps for ALL Students!

By Brittany Lehane September 4, 2013

ipad pic

Photo credit Sean MacEntee

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on the best features of Google Chrome for assistive tech. Well, today I decided to create a list of mobile + web apps that are useful to all students, no matter their learning profile. Working with high school age students, a huge part of my job is helping them with technology and finding the best tools to support learning.

The items below are helpful for studying skills, organization (which is HUGE for high school students), and productivity (getting things done in a fast efficient way, which is helpful as they transition into the working environment). Whether the student has learning disabilities or not, all of these apps are helpful for the everyday tasks which school requires. Best of all, most of these tools are free and they all are highly rated!Note: unless otherwise noted these are for Apple devices only.

Disclaimer: I am not paid to endorse any applications or products listed on this page.


Dropbox (free)

Dropbox is an online filing cabinet that I personally use and always recommend to my students. Dropbox installs a folder on your device (just like any other folder on your computer), but the folder is connected and synced over the internet, so once a document, picture, or video is saved in dropbox it can be accessed from any computer or device! No more “I forgot my paper” excuses! This is an app for apple devices but also can be used from the website, Android, Kindle Fire, and Blackberry.

Scribd (free)

Scribd works as an online library. Users can find books, published research, how-to guides, analyst reports, business presentations, and spreadsheets. Students will find pre-made and shared study guides on the topics they search. Features include syncing, saving, and sharing. Can be found on Apple and Android. ($4.99/free) is definitely a favorite tool of mine. My students are probably sick of me telling them to download this but it’s just so useful! Features on the iPad include: search without internet connection, thesaurus, translator, and voice activated search-which makes it really easy to use for those who have trouble typing. The free version has ads on it. There is an ad free version for $4.99 and it can be purchased for 50% off through Apple’s Volume Licensing Program when distributed to students and teachers.

Evernote (free)

Evernote is a great productivity app used to take notes, keep organized, and make to-do lists. Some useful features include: the ability to record voice notes, save and share files, organize notes by tags, connect notes to other apps and products, and best of all sync across your computers and devices. Evernote is also available on Android, Windows, and Blackberry. In addition to the Evernote app, the Evernote product suite has a number of apps all for different productivity purposes. I’ve listed two more apps in the Evernote family next.

Evernote Peek

Part of the Evernote product family, Evernote Peek helps create study material by connecting to your Evernote account and turning your notes into flashcards. The note title becomes the clue and the note itself will be the answer. Students can quiz themselves by lifting their iPad cover to see a hint and lifting the entire cover to see the answer.

Skitch (free)

Another app from the Evernote series, Skitch lets users mark up a picture, PDF, screenshot, or make their own screen with writing, arrows, stamps, and shapes. This could be helpful for annotating notes or pictures from class or a textbook. This app can provide note-taking practice for college when the ability to take comprehensive notes during lectures is a necessary skill.

inClass (free)

inClass is another note-taking app with the feature of joining a “study room” to share notes and collaborate with classmates. It offers many of the features as similar apps on this list (notifications of tests and tasks, syncing, and sharing).

iStudiez Pro ($2.99/Free)

2011 winner of Best College Student App, 2010 Best Young Adults App, and 2010 Best Parenting App, iStudiez lets you track tasks and deadlines, plan homework, and organize schedules. Features for students include: built in planners, notifications which will remind you of due dates and tests, and the ability to email these reminders to yourself. The Lite (free) version limits the amount of courses, classes, assignments, and instructors you can add in to keep track of.

iThoughts ($9.99)

iThoughts is a highly rated (five stars!) app which enables the user to map out their thoughts and visually organize information. This would be useful as a teaching or studying tool, as well as a therapy resource/visual for SLP’s teaching new concepts. To build a map of your topic you can add in various colors, shapes, notes, hyperlinks, clipart and pre-made backgrounds, doodle, and embed documents. It can also be used for visual thinkers to map out plans or projects. The user can add in start and end dates, track progress, hide completed tasks, and email tasks out. An educational discount is available.


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