The 10 Best Apps for Your High Schooler

Smartphone apps can make the high school experience much easier and productive

The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
The Ultimate Guide to Online Learning at Home
Introduction

Technology has made high school life easier for the average student with smartphone and tablet apps for studying, planning, group projects, security, and job searching.

Here are ten of our favorite apps for high school students who want to improve their education or enhance their school experience with the latest tech.

01
of 10

Best Document Writing App: Google Docs

Document in Google Docs
What We Like
  • It's a full-featured document writer.

  • Easily share and collaborate.

  • Simple for students to turn in assignments.

  • Never forget a document at home.

What We Don't Like
  • It requires an internet connection.

  • The privacy concerns with Google.

The Google G-Suite of office applications has become widespread in schools. Google Docs provides students a way to organize their work and access it from anywhere and on any device. It has eliminated the need to send documents between computers at school and at home.

Google Docs also allows students to turn in assignments and receive feedback directly within the document they worked on. The collaborative nature of Google Docs also lets students work together on an assignment in the same document in real time.

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02
of 10

Best Note Taking App: Google Keep

Google Keep notes
What We Like
  • Take notes on any device.

  • Speech to text is simple and intuitive.

  • Access notes anywhere.

  • Easily share notes.

What We Don't Like
  • It requires an internet connection.

  • The privacy concerns with Google.

Google Keep is one of the best note-taking apps out there. Evernote and Microsoft OneNote are great. Still, Google's suite of applications are popular in schools, so Keep seems like the obvious choice.

Like the rest of Google's apps, Keep lets you take notes on one device and access them anywhere. Use Keep to make lists, record voice memos, convert speech to text, and share notes. It's a powerful app that could help the most disorganized high school student keep track of their notes and assignments.

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03
of 10

Best App to Practice Learning a Language: Duolingo

The language learning courses for English speakers at Duolingo
What We Like
  • A simple and fun way to learn a language.

  • There are tons of languages to choose from.

  • Games take a different approach than school.

What We Don't Like
  • It doesn't usually match with the school curriculum.

  • It's less in-depth than school.

Foreign language classes give plenty of students trouble. Many people find the traditional classroom approach to learning a language unnatural and difficult. That's why apps like Duolingo have become popular among adults. Duolingo can also help high school students.

Duolingo's game-like approach makes language learning friendlier. It makes learning sink in by providing practical examples with rewards. Duolingo could be the perfect supplement to high school language classes.

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04
of 10

Best App for Group Projects and Homework Backup: Dropbox

The Dropbox app on Windows 10 is great for high school students

Dropbox

What We Like
  • Dropbox works on most everything.

  • Seamlessly keeps files in sync and backed up.

What We Don't Like
  • Some high school students may outgrow the free 2 GB option, but that likely won't happen until they graduate or add large media files such as HD movies.

Dropbox allows users to select a folder on their computer and have its content automatically saved to the cloud and synced to other computers, tablets, or smartphones with the same account.

This is great for when a computer is lost or broken. All you do is download Dropbox on your new computer, sign in, and all of your files are restored. There's also an option for restoring files that are accidentally deleted, meaning no more lost homework and assignments.

A Dropbox membership also comes with Dropbox Paper. This free collaboration tool works similar to Google Docs or Microsoft Office. It's is ideal for group school projects.

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05
of 10

Best App For Keeping Students' Accounts Secure: Google Authenticator

Google Authenticator smartphone app

Google

What We Like
  • Enabling two-factor authentication brings peace of mind in an age of security breaches and cyberbullying.

What We Don't Like
  • If the mobile device that has the app installed on it is lost, logging in to services can be difficult. Most have a backup option for such a scenario.

Google Authenticator is a free app that adds an extra layer of security to accounts and services, making accounts harder to log in to by strangers or other students.

After two-factor authentication is enabled for a service, the app generates a random series of numbers that must be entered before access to an account is granted. This makes a student's social media, banking, and other accounts more secure against logins by fellow students or strangers.

The Microsoft Authenticator app is also trustworthy and performs the same function.

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06
of 10

Best Reading App for Students: Amazon Kindle

Kindle Reader for Android
What We Like
  • Lots of free e-books to download.

  • The Kindle apps let high school students look up words and make annotations.

  • Study notes and reading progress sync between devices using the same Amazon account.

What We Don't Like
  • Reading a book on a smartphone or tablet can be challenging as the temptation to check Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat will always be there.

Amazon's official Kindle mobile and tablet apps are a fantastic way to read e-books without owning a physical Kindle e-reader device.

Many of the books that students are required to read are available in the Kindle e-book format. Lots of literary classics are free to download and keep, and many new titles can be read for free as part of an Amazon Prime subscription.

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07
of 10

Best Education App for High Schoolers: Khan Academy

Khan Academy
What We Like
  • All of the content on Khan Academy is free, and its official apps are available on a variety of devices. There's also an app for studying subjects on the Xbox One.

What We Don't Like
  • While the range of subjects is extensive, Khan Academy doesn't have foreign language courses.

Khan Academy is a fantastic resource for students of all ages due to its massive library of educational videos and lessons on a large number of subjects.

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08
of 10

Best Planner App for Students: Microsoft To-Do

Microsoft To-Do app

Microsoft

What We Like
  • A streamlined design that's easy to understand and use.

  • The To-Do features are completely free.

What We Don't Like
  • Managing missed tasks can be confusing at first.


Microsoft To-Do is a free app. It excels at managing tasks and schedules using a simple user interface that makes it easy to create new tasks and mark tasks as done.

Tasks can be organized into lists that can be decorated with a variety of themes to make tasks distinct. Items can be reorganized with the drag of a finger.

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09
of 10

Best App to Discover New Books: Goodreads

Goodreads homepage
What We Like
  • A great way to find new books.

  • Connect with other readers online.

  • Set reading goals.

  • Gives students practice analyzing books for reviews.

What We Don't Like
  • It's different from school curriculum.

  • May be hard to convince non-readers.

Goodreads isn't necessarily for students, and the books aren't usually found in a high school English curriculum. Still, it can help high school students move past the books they have to read and find books they want to read.

Goodreads can help students find new books to read based on books they like. Goodreads includes social features to connect with fellow readers. It tracks the books you read and provides recommendations for new books based on what you read and whether you liked it. It works great for students on their own, or a teacher could use Goodreads for independent reading assignments.

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10
of 10

Best App for Inspiration and Post-School Preparation: LinkedIn

LinkedIn professional social network
What We Like
  • A safe social network to use due to the general maturity of its users and focus on professionalism.

  • Encourages users to learn new skills and participate in community projects by giving them the ability to boast about their accomplishments on their profile.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a great tool for inspiring teenagers to prepare for life after graduation. However, it has the potential to cause anxiety in those that stress about grades and succeeding.

Most people think of LinkedIn as a social network for adult professionals. Since 2013, the company has welcomed students as young as 14 to join and use the service's features to research universities and make connections with educators, classmates, co-workers, and potential future employers.

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