[Update October 26, 2016: Homework List is no longer available in the App Store. I recommend The Homework App as another good choice for students with special needs.]
Students who struggle to keep track of assignments and due dates can learn to manage with the help of mobile app organizers. There are a number of apps that do the job, and I recommend Homework List (iOS, free) for middle school students who are just starting with virtual organization. The interface is very simple, and the app has an easy setup process. Students see all of their assignments and due dates on the main screen, and they simply swipe an assignment away after it’s turned in. My sixth grader started using Homework List instead of a paper agenda this year, and it has simplified his organization process.
How to Use Homework List
When using the app for the first time, you need to create classes before adding assignments. Tap the Classes button at the bottom of the screen.
To add a new class, tap the plus sign in the upper right corner.
Add the name of the class, the teacher’s name, and the class location. Then tape Save. Add more classes to your list.
Once you have added all of the classes, the app is ready for assignments. Tap the Homework button at the bottom to go to the main screen.
Tap the plus sign in the upper right corner to create a new homework assignment.
Fill in the fields, including Notes and due date. You can also add a reminder for a certain day and time. Then tap Save.
All of your homework assignments are shown in a list on the main Homework screen. You can tap an assignment to open it and see more details or revised it. When you complete an assignment, just swipe it from left to right, and it will move to the Completed screen.
If you want to delete an assignment and not save it as completed, swipe it from right to left.
Pros and Cons
Compared to other homework apps, Homework List is easy to set up and use, particularly for special needs students. Other apps have a bigger learning curve and include things such as class schedules, color coding for classes, and other features. For simplicity, Homework List is a winner.
Homework List does have occasional bugs that will hopefully be addressed in future releases. Sometimes the app crashes after an assignment is swiped completed, and there were a couple times when an assignment would not save. But in my view, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and I have recommended Homework List to other teachers, parents, and students.[Disclosure: All blog posts are written by Andrea. Blog posts are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the respective companies of any service, hardware, or software mentioned. This blog earns a small commission through display ads.]