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Matt Kaspar Matt Kaspar
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Apps and tools to foster academic success

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As summer winds down and parents, students and teachers go shopping for all their back-to-school gear, the App Store and Google Play can expect to be particularly popular. According to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 58 percent of parents have children with a cellphone, and, on average, children receive their first cellphone by age 11. 

As kids transition from the lazy days of summer to the crazy pace of a new school year, U.S. Cellular notes that these devices and others can be used to access a range of apps and tools to help students stay on top of their studies, aid teachers in better managing their classrooms, and keep parents connected with their kids.

From doing internet research in the classroom or collaborating with other students over Google Docs, to assisting with homework, smartphones and tablets have become essential in education. In fact, according to a recent report by Common Sense Media, 94 percent of parents agreed that technology positively supports their children with schoolwork and education.

Mobile devices such as iPads and even smartphones have made their way into the classroom, and the tools they provide play a significant role in education these days. Whether a family is trying to decide between the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7, or searching for the best educational apps and tools available, U.S. Cellular’s knowledgeable associates can help families and educators prepare for the upcoming school year.

Here are some suggestions for apps and tools that might make smart additions to this year’s back-to-school list.


·         Wolfram|Alpha is a useful app for homework of any kind. With U.S. Cellular’s fast, high-quality network and nationwide coverage, it can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere to gather in-depth information on grammar concepts, historical figures, math equations and the laws of physics. It’s available in Google Play and in the App Store for $2.99.

·         Photomath is a camera calculator designed to virtually show students the step-by-step process of working out difficult math problems. Free for both Apple and Android users, the app will scan a picture of the question, detail each step to solve the equation and provide an answer for students to check their work.

·         The Ready4ACT study app prepares students in their final years of high school for the ACT test. With practice problems and mock exams, the app can give students analytics and estimated scores for the ACT. Ready4ACT is available for free on Google Play and in the App Store.

·         For teachers, ClassDojo is a classroom manager that is used in 90 percent of K-8 schools in the United States and helps connect teachers, students and parents in a classroom community. It manages participation and rewards and allows teachers to share classroom moments with parents or even instant message with them as needed. The app is free for teachers and available for Android, Apple and other devices.

·         With many children getting a phone for the first time to coincide with their return to school, U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement is another vital tool that can help families navigate this unchartered territory and stay connected. This free contract is a customizable agreement between parents and children to ensure cellphones are being used appropriately and safely. The contract helps facilitate conversations about acceptable uses for phones. It is available for download at


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