Digital resources provide help with academics


Infographic by Gayatri Dhavala

Icons of Apps and resources that help with school. Apps/resources included are Heimler’s History, Duolingo, Khan Academy, Pomodoro, and Speechify.

Gayatri Dhavala, Business Manager

School can be stressful whether in a global pandemic or not. Many students balance school work, extracurriculars, college admission preparations and family time, possibly leading to anxiety and fatigue. However, certain digital resources can increase understanding of school material.


SAT prep

By partnering with the College Board, Khan Academy includes accurate SAT practice tests for free. If students link their College Board account with their Khan Academy account, they will receive automated, personalized recommendation problems based on previous test performances.

“Khan Academy helped me study for the math and reading section and was a great starting point for me,” junior Valli Ramanathan said.

For other school courses, Khan Academy also offers video and textbook learning that thoroughly explains numerous topics.

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Math and science help 

A visual resource for chemistry is the YouTube channel “The Organic Chemistry Tutor”. The channel consists of numerous videos explaining scientific and mathematical concepts in a clear and descriptive way. The tutor uses a blackboard to solve examples and provides practice questions throughout the video. 

The channel breaks apart topics into short videos, which are easy for students to watch rather than stressing to understand material in a one-hour lesson. A wide range of classes are explained such as Physics, Chemistry, Trigonometry, Pre-Algebra, Algebra and more. 

“I tutor math in my free time and usually use “The Organic Chemistry Tutor” as reference videos for solving problems and even learn how to teach from them,” junior Jaden Sanchez said.


Language learning

Duolingo is a popular app that offers vocabulary, speaking, writing, reading and listening practice for 98 different languages including all of those taught in school, and is free of cost. At the end of every unit, students may participate in weekly challenges and compete with friends through simple exercises and mini-tests.

“I love how Duolingo is interactive and interesting compared to a regular classroom learning setup,” sophomore Varna Selvakumar said.


Listen and learn

For those who like to learn through audio, Speechify reads aloud notes, emails, textbook content and much more. The audio can be changed according to preference of voice, gender, and even accent so it is more According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, listening to text increases memory retention and can be done during a busy schedule. An individual can incorporate this study resource as a Chrome extension and is a cost-free resource. Another feature is that it can translate and read out text in 14 different languages helping non-English readers along with supporting dyslexic patients. 

“As an audio learner with a busy schedule, Speechify helps me a lot when I need to cram for tests and when I’m feeling lazy in general,” Sanchez said. 


History learning and review

If in need of AP help, consider checking out Heimler’s History. It’s a useful and free resource to pass tests and get that desired 5 on the AP exam that many struggle with. Heimler offers unit and chapter review videos for most AP history courses and teaches students how to master the written elements of AP tests such as the LEQ, SAQ and DBQ to score a 5. 

The videos are divided by time period and unit and can be found as a YouTube playlist which makes reviewing easier and faster before an assessment. Heimler offers an ultimate review packet for AP exams that can be paid for at an affordable price. The ultimate review courses can be found on his website.

I like to use Heimler’s History for bellringers and review because his videos connect topics to the AP World curriculum standards,” history teacher Mary Brandquist said, “When these videos are used as bellringers in my class, it allows for class time to be used more for discussion, document analysis, and practicing writing skills.”


Anti-procrastination method 

Managing time and avoiding procrastination can be challenging but there are methods to help an individual focus better. The app/method Pomodoro divides study time into 4 sections of 25 min adding to a total of one hour 40 minutes. As one completes a section of 25 minutes, a tomato alarm rings as an indication to start break time. The app ensures that users get a short break of five minutes and a long break of 10 minutes so they don’t get overwhelmed. 

This technique is known to be effective as it helps the brain resist distractions and rewires it to focus on the task at hand. According to the focus booster blog, there are many scientific reasons proving why the Pomodoro technique is efficient, with a bonus of free cost.