BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go

by Katie on August 7, 2014

  According to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 74 percent of households with children under the age of 18 have at least one tablet. Tablets and smartphones are becoming a simple tool to ensure students keep making the grade.

Back to school can be exciting, but also an overwhelming time for students, family members and teachers. Getting back into the swing of things always takes some adjustment, whether you have kids or not. Technology can help transition you to getting back into the groove of your fall and winter routines.

DSC_0438We will be sending Drake off to 5-year-old preschool after Labor Day and I’m already dreading it. A new school year (even if it is just preschool) means more commitments, activities and things to keep organized.

One thing that helps keep our family organized is the the iPhone 5s  and US Cellulars reliable 4G network. I use the Calendar app on my phone to keep us all organized and on the same page. As my boys get older I can even put in their homework assignments to help us both remember when things are due.

According to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 74 percent of households with children under the age of 18 have at least one tablet. Tablets and smartphones are becoming a simple tool to ensure students keep making the grade. Drake uses our tablet all the time to play educational games and has actually learned basic math through one of the games.

Students, teachers and parents can optimize their connected learning experience with the help of the following apps recommended by U.S. Cellular:

  • Skype (Android) / Facetime (iOS): These free Internet video calling services allow teachers and students to collaborate wherever they are.  Teachers can bring guest speakers into class to discuss their expertise, thereby demonstrating how school subjects are relevant to real life.  Students can take virtual field trips anywhere in the world.  No permission slip required.
  • Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Featured in USA Today as one of the best teacher apps, Teacher’s Assistant Pro ($3.99 download) allows teachers to keep track of student actions, behaviors and achievements in the classroom. Using an iPhone or iPad, teachers can record student infractions and accolades, create a detailed written description of the event, and communicate with parents, reducing time consuming paperwork.
  • Notability: This powerful note-taker app is free and allows iOS and Android users to complete worksheets, sketch ideas, keep a journal, integrate photos and record a lecture, and keep it all in one place.  Use the search feature to quickly locate notes by title or content.  Share with others using iCloud or Google Drive.
  • DropBox: This cloud-based file sharing and storage free app lets users circulate files from different locations over different networks.  Turn in and return assignments, provide up-to-date syllabi from different locations quickly, and post grades securely and easily.
  • U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects through its Calling All Teachers program. Last year, the company contributed $500,000 towards educational materials for improved classroom experiences. U.S. Cellular is working with for a fourth time and encourages teachers to post their projects on the site for potential funding. is a charity website that helps teachers identify funds from corporate and individual donations for classroom projects.
  • Through U.S. Cellular’s ongoing commitment to the community and education, the company has contributed more than $7 million through this and other philanthropic programming. Starting today K-12 public school teachers can register online at and affiliate as a U.S. Cellular teacher. Then beginning August 11, they can post their classroom projects for funding consideration. Through U.S. Cellular has funded more than 4,500 classroom projects to date, which included technology tools, art equipment and science experiments. All projects must be submitted by September 21 to be eligible for this year’s funding.  Selected projects will be in announced in October.

As you prepare to send your kids off to school make sure you are on the same page about their cell phone usage.  Let U.S. Cellular make it easier by using the Parent/Child Cell Phone Agreement to set some ground rules.

U.S. Cellular is visiting communities throughout the U.S. to enhance summer and provide residents with unique experiences at their favorite local businesses, block parties, community parks and major events as part of the Better Day program.They will be at the Iowa State Fair and they want to giveaway 1 ticket to one lucky reader! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade. I received an Apple iPhone5S and am being compensated for my time.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Rachel August 7, 2014 at 8:23 am

Yay! Love the ISF! Great post on guidelines for our kiddos… We are entering that phase of life (kids with phones)! I shared and liked and downloaded.


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