Back to School: Tech Guide 2017

A review gallery post with full width featured image enabled. Anyone who bought one of Jawbone’s much-hyped Up fitness band.

Starting a new semester can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you’re starting a new level of education. Freshman years in high school and college both offer unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. We’ve put together a list of 7 apps and gadgets you – or your student – need when heading back to school this year.


Office Lens (free; iOS, Android, Windows)

Office Lens is an amazing app from Microsoft that allows you to take pictures of documents, whiteboards, blackboards, magazines, receipts, and more and converts them into editable, shareable text. It will even let you take pictures at an angle and it will clean up glare and shadows, too. You can save your images as PDFs, Word, or PowerPoint files.


Dragon Dictation (free; iOS)

Dictating homework and emails to the Dragon Dictation app can not only save your wrists, but save you time! Send your dictations to a text, email, Twitter, Facebook, or paste it into any application using your phone’s clipboard. The included editor will suggest words, and the app will improve its accuracy over time as it gets to know your voice.


myHomework Student Planner (free; iOS, Android, Windows)


The myHomework Student Planner helps you stay organized wherever you are. You can keep track of your class schedule and homework, get reminders for upcoming tests, and sync it across all of your platforms. There’s also a premium version for $4.99 that takes away the ads, gives you more themes, lets you add file attachments, and integrates access to external calendars.


Free Graphing Calculator (free; iOS, Android)

Let’s face it, you’re not going to class without your phone. So, why carry a calculator too? The Free Graphing Calculator app can do things you’d expect from a scientific calculator, plus graph up to four equations at once, including implicit functions and parametric equations. It can also make a table from the values you’ve entered, and it has a lot of statistical functionality.


Flashcards Deluxe ($3.99; iOS, Android)

Upgrade your notecard by turning them digital with Flashcards Deluxe. Input information right into the app or upload a spreadsheet or table from your computer. Organize your flashcards into decks, folders, and categories. Make cards with up to five sides and even add pictures and sounds. If you don’t want to make your own, there’s a shared library that you can search. The app can be set to automatically turn off cards that you get correct after a certain number of times so you can focus more on the ones you got wrong.


CliffsNotes ($1.99 per title; iOS)

For just $2.00 per title, access all of the CliffsNotes you can handle. If you’re unfamiliar with CliffNotes they include plot summaries, analyses, quizzes, bookmarking, character maps, and audio summaries called CramCasts. The CliffsNotes app can help you get a fuller understanding of a text.

Have you ever been writing a paper and you can’t find the word on the tip of your tongue? Word Hippo is here to help! This happy fella will help you find the word you can’t think of, but can describe.


SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive – $40

The SanDisk iXpand flash drive has a full USB port, and a Lightning connector which allows you to connect the drive to your iPhone and iPad making it easier to transfer files between multiple devices. This tiny gadget is available with up to 128 GB of storage capacity.


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