7 Digital Essentials for Busy Students (and Parents Too)

Written By: Dr. Steve D. Whitaker, Head of School


While I can’t say that this article will change your life, I can say that one of the items listed has changed countless lives. At a minimum, I trust these resources will make your busy life more manageable and meaningful. This list is not exhaustive. It’s simply a collection of my own research and personal experience.

1. Math Alarm Clock
Having trouble getting everyone out of bed in the morning? After a long night, the temptation to hit that snooze button is too alluring. But what if you didn’t have a snooze button? What if you were required to use your brain to stop your alarm? Math Alarm Clock will require you to do just that. When your alarm goes off, it will continue beeping until you finish a certain number of math problems that you set. If you get one wrong, it adds to the number of problems you have to complete.

We are trying to build great writers at TFA. To that end, having an extensive vocabulary is an important skill to develop. Any student who has ever had to write a paper could benefit from quick access to the breadth of options made available by Noah Webster. This one includes some great features – Word of the Day, word storage, trends, and a translator.

3. Evernote
This app is rapidly becoming the standard bearer in the productivity/time management category. Our Director of Technology at TFA is an avid user. You can take notes, sync files, record audio, digitize documents, search for text within images, and create elegant presentations. Because it’s available from pretty much everywhere, you can seamlessly switch between devices and retain your information. Evernote Peek is a great feature – it turns study notes into flashcards.

4. Wolfram Alpha
Here is another resource that strengthens math skills. Where was this tool when I was in school? It’s a great resource because you get formula details, graphic representations and step-by-step explanations of methods for solving problems. It won’t replace the classroom teacher, but it’s a close second. Wolfram Alpha is available for iOS, Android, Nook and Kindle Fire.

5. Dropbox
Dropbox has a shortlist of competitors – Google Drive, Box, iCloud. These tools aren’t just for the classroom; they make life easier for everyone. It’s hard to get by in any profession today without the use of some sort of cloud storage service, and the cheaper the better. Just make sure you and your student remember to back up those precious files!

6. Study Cal
Need to help your student get organized? This app tracks class schedules and assignments for the organizationally challenged. It allows students to easily manage reading materials, projects, activities, contacts, and coursework. This is one of the easiest tools to use, Just enter the data and set a reminder for that quiz, test or appointment.

7. Bible Memory App
I saved the best for last. The contents of this tool saves lives. It’s the most recent app I’ve purchased. The official name is Bible Memory Verses and Memorization System by Scripture Typer. It is the complete Bible Memory System for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Scripture Typer breathes new life into your Bible memory time by actively engaging three separate cognitive areas – Audio, Visual and Kinesthetic (touch) memory. This is a must have for you and your student.

So there are a few of the apps that I find most helpful. I would love to hear if you have any recommendations. Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments below.



Steve D. Whitaker, Ph. D.

Head of School



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