Before you read about my favorite picks for apps for students, you have to do something. Look at the webcam on your computer. Smile, you might be on candid camera. A disgusting trick that hackers play is to enable the webcam on a computer so that it projects an image/video from the webcam, even if the computer is not being actively used. Think about how many times you leave the computer screen on a laptop open.
A former Miss Teen USA is a victim of a hacker who used here webcam to watch her in her bedroom as she slept, got dressed, and went through her daily routine. This creepy hacker took video and photos of the girl and tried to blackmail her! After a long ordeal, the hacker was caught and arrested, but I can imagine how violated she felt.
Prevent this from happening to you. Cover the webcam with a sticker to prevent these modern day Peeping Toms from having a window into your life.
As a parent, a teacher, and an avid fan of social media, I've compiled a list of the ten best apps for teens. Take a look at the list and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your recommendations for more apps, too.
1. Instagram: Both of my daughters love Instagram and enjoy sharing pictures on their private accounts. I closely monitor their posts and interactions.
2. Pinterest: Alexia particularly enjoys Pinterest. She love to use the app on her phone to find inspiration for everything from outfits to school projects. She even found the idea for the Trunk or Treat for our church using Pinterest.
3. iMovie: This app works beautifully using an iphone. My daughters and I have all used this app to record, edit, and produce movies in minutes. Editing is easy and the capability to add music from the iTunes library is such a bonus. So easy to use.
4. EasyBib I'm dating myself by saying this, but it used to take forever to cite sources for papers that I wrote in college. I always had to consult the MLA style guide and could never remember how many spaces I needed. Today students simply enter a website link or basic information into a form and citations are automatically created. EasyBib makes notetaking a breeze, allowing students to bookmark and organize sources while they are researching and writing.
5. Duolingo As a linguist, I'm always a little bit suspicious of language learning programs. But Duolingo offers a fun and engaging way to learn a language. I started by taking the Placement Test for Spanish to see what kinds of questions were asked. I was pleasantly surprised by the high performance level from the program. Students earn coins and points as they work and a cute little owl offers encouragement. I'm currently learning Italian.
6. BioDigital Human Science lovers will be blown away by the amount of information that is available on the BioDigital Human. This powerful tool offers a 3D tour of every inch of the human body. Amazing.
7. Shmoop is a subscription service that offers reviews, drills, practice tests, and strategies for dozens of tests that teens take including the SAT, AP courses, and SAT content tests. Although Shmoop is not free, by the time you buy one or two test prep review books, you would have paid for a subscription.
8. Quizlet is a powerful flashcard tool that extends beyond the old school 3 x 5 index card. Spelling activities, games, and an interactive format engage students and offer a variety of ways to interact with the material. Students can create their own set of flashcards or can search for a set from the millions that are already created.
9. SAT Question of the Day The College Board app challenges students a different question in math or language every day. In addition to a concise explanation, students can see how well they performed compared to their peers. A little competition never hurt anyone, right?
10. Wi-Fi Finder: Students are constantly on the hunt for wi-fi connections. This handy app locates free and paid wi-fi locations around the world and eliminates the guess work involved in finding hot spots.