6 young adults posing and smiling at the camera

STAFF PICKS: Amy Barry on Back-to-School Apps, Teen Edition

Amy Barry App Fest Image

Amy is our Digital Marketing Lead—and the mom of three teens and two young adults. This is her list of most-used apps for reducing the overwhelm in keeping track of everyone’s schedules, whereabouts, and school needs.

  1. Google Calendar is a free web app for organizing schedules. No more headaches trying to remember where everyone is and what they’re doing: you’ll have school schedules, extracurricular activities, sports practices, work schedules, planned family activities, and everything else under one handy icon. And calendars are easily shareable between devices, so everyone in the household can stay up to date on everybody’s whereabouts.
  2. Life360 keeps family, friends, and caregivers connected. It uses shared maps to track everyone’s location; it sends alerts when someone is leaving or arriving at home, school, or work; and it enables quick and easy communications between family members. See also Life360’s Driving Safety, a new subscription service that keeps you objectively aware of how newer drivers in your family are handling the responsibility: the app automatically alerts your own device in cases of distracted driving or similar problems.
  3. Khan Academy is a comprehensive iOS app that lets any student access almost any information at no cost. Full of downloadable articles and videos (complete with subtitles), the app also lets users personally track their progress. Just a few topics covered in Khan’s ever-growing library: K-12 math, science, humanities, history, civics, and finance.
  4. Amazon Shopping is an online retail app that provides access to gifts, food, groceries, and more. The basic app is free, or you can opt for Amazon Prime and get such benefits as free 2-day shipping. Either way, the Amazon app is easy to use and navigate: besides general shopping, you can create wish-lists, check items with a barcode scanner, compare products, and get quick access to product reviews.
  5. Calm is a meditation app that helps reduce the stress of parenting multiple teenagers—or of any busy life. It provides instruction in meditating, plus guided daily meditations to help maintain a consistent routine. Calm also offers sleep stories, music for different moods, and soundscapes from nature: think lying on a calm beach or sitting by a mountain waterfall.  

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