SALT LAKE CITY — We’re just days away from the first day of school for some parents and students in Utah.
It can be stressful for everyone involved. However, there is some relief to be found through technology.
Laptops, tablets and smartphones have changed the way kids learn new ideas in school.
“Our students are digital natives,” said Melissa Hamilton, technology director for the Murray City School District. “We really need to harness that energy and really play to those 21st century skills.”
App developers also use 21st century skills to create apps that will help students successfully grasp those new ideas.
KSL TV’s Lori Prichard tracked down five free educational apps to help make sure the new school year gets off to a great start.
“One of my favorites, as a teacher, is called Canvas,” said Kyle Johnson, STEM coordinator for the Iron County School District.
Teachers in many of Utah’s school districts use Canvas to present ideas and bolster their coursework digitally.
The free mobile app allows students to soak in that material, turn in assignments and study for tests. They can do it “anywhere they have access to their phones,” Johnson said.
“For teenagers nowadays, that’s just about everywhere,” he added.
One of the most popular is the free Kahn Academy.
It offers hundreds of free interactive lessons on subjects like math, world history, economics, computer science and more.
myHomework Student Planner
The myHomework app is a great organizer for students in junior high school through college.
The digital planner keeps tabs on classes, homework, tests and projects, so deadlines won’t be missed.
Hamilton recommends the free brainstorming app Coggle.
Students can map out complex ideas and information, making them easier to digest and remember.
A potential lifesaver for every Utah student is the SafeUT app.
Through its real-time crisis intervention chat and its confidential tip line, students who need help can get it immediately.