Exams are gone and there’s a break now before the results come in and there’s either euphoria or gloom to deal with. The holidays are ahead and social media no longer competes for attention with homework and revision, it’s got free rein.
However, it’s a great time to get the kids to explore some of the online study aids and put their own plans together that incorporate social media and apps to get more from their study time in the next academic year.
Set them some challenges:
Set up a study group – it’s been proved that students learn more in groups and stay better focused when everyone is on the same page. Whether this is a real world or virtual group doesn’t matter.
There’s an app called StudyRoom that allows the group to share notes, get help with homework assignments and it can be used via a Facebook or email account.
Then there’s StudyBuddy too that helps to get things organised and tracks study time.
StudyBlue is a website for connecting students with the same study programme and letting them collaborate and share information. It features a great content library and options for how you study, storing notes and assessing progress.
They might find the SelfControl app useful too – it allows the student to block distracting sites (like Facebook and Instagram) for a defined period so they can’t get diverted during study time.
Set up a personal knowledge bank – of course, good old Google is the fallback for everyone when they need information, but there are some good apps for supporting students in their studies.
GoConqr lets the student create online notes, quizzes, mind maps and flashcards – all their notes are in just one place. The collaboration tools are great and let the student share notes, form study groups and much more. It’s a really powerful web app and is compatible with all mobile touch devices.
The Oxford Dictionary is ‘must have’ app for checking any obscure words your show off teacher (or friends, or friends’ parents) use. Good for essays too when you know what you want to say, but can’t think of quite the right word.
RealCalc is a scientific calculator – no need to haul an extra gadget around with this app. If maths is your thing, this app is essential.
Babylon is a language app and will help students studying any of the 75 languages it covers. It helps to iron out the bumps when your brain can’t find the phrase you want.
TED – this is more inspirational than study-related, but it’s not a bad idea to encourage young people to listen to the world’s experts and see inspiring presentations that will open their minds to a world of possibilities.
Healthy body, healthy mind – it’s a fact that kids are spending less time outdoors and much more time sitting (in front of the computer, TV, tablet, Kindle). A fit and healthy body does keep the brain fit too, so building exercise into kids’ routines is important, not to mention the fact that it will help to offset the forays to the pizza parlour!
Get your kids to explore the activities they’d like to try during the holidays, whether it’s athletics or rollerblading, martial arts or baseball – it might be starting a kids running club in the local park or weekend city walks.
Get them to download the Sworkit app and get the exercise habit, even if it’s just five minutes a day.
This is just scratching the surface of what’s out there – get your kids exploring technology to help them succeed next term.