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Monday, August 17, 2015

5 Tools Students Can Use to Keep Track of Assignments This Year

While I appreciate services like Remind and WhatsDue for sending reminders to students about upcoming assignments, I also think it is important for students to take ownership of keeping track of their assignments. As we start the new school year many students will be looking for tools that can help them keep track of assignments. Here is a selection of tools that I've used and or my students have used over the years.

Strike App is a simple to-do list creation and management tool. To use Strike App just title your list of things to do and start typing your list. When you've completed a task just come back and strike it out by clicking on it, dragging it off the screen, or "x-ing" it out. You can share your to-do lists by sending people the link to your list. For those people who like to experiment with different backgrounds and themes, Strike App offers a handful of designs to choose from.

Fetchnotes is a neat service for creating and keeping notes online. Fetchnotes uses an interface for creating and sharing notes that will feel familiar to Twitter users. When you write a note, just use a hashtag to label your note. Then whenever you want to search for a note just enter a hashtag. For example, if I was a student taking notes in a history course I might use the hashtag "#revolution" for all notes related to revolutions. Then I could go back and read all of my notes about revolution by just searching for that hashtag. When you want to share a note with someone in your contacts you can do so by just putting "@" before the person's name. Fetchnotes works in your web browser and offers Android, iOS, and Chrome apps.

If your school is using Google Apps for Education or your students have personal Gmail accounts, they already have some great tools at their disposal. In Gmail students can simply select "tasks" under the "Mail" drop-down menu in Gmail. That will open a small pop-up window in which they can enter their lists of tasks. Google Calendar is what I use for keeping track of longer term projects. After entering a project due date I set a series of reminder alerts to be emailed to me at various intervals until the due date.

Dayboard is a free Google Chrome extension that opens your daily to-do list every time you open a new tab in Chrome. When you open a new tab for the first time Dayboard will appear and ask you to enter your to-do list for the day. After creating your to-do list for the rest of the day whenever you open a new tab you will see your list. You can place a checkmark next to items as you complete them. Dayboard does not require you to create an account, it works offline, and when I installed it it only asked for permission to view activity on the Dayboard website.

Google Keep can be an excellent to-do list app for Android and Chrome users. You can color code notes, make lists, and share notes. On an Android device you can set reminder alarms too. Click here for a video on how to use Google Keep.