Cool Tech for Back-to-School

By: Kevin Hayes –

It’s the start of the school year again, which means another year of new classes, textbooks, and homework. By now, most students probably have (roughly) become acclimated with the school year. Even so, there are a couple of extremely useful websites that can simplify, streamline, or simply help with out with your studies this year; regardless of whether you’re a senior or freshman.

1. Quizlet – a simple flashcard learning tool that enables you to create flash cards online. Additionally, you can search Quizlet for flash card sets already made by other users. Whether it be terms from your history textbook or vocabulary from a fiction book, chances are there are probably sets that have already been made. Recently, Quizlet has introduced other features such as Space Race and Scatter, which turn your flash card sets into nifty learning games.

2. Khan Academy – a website that provides tutorials and lessons on everything from computer programming to art history during the Renaissance. Some of Khan Academy’s videos can also be found on YouTube. Computer science students take note, Khan Academy’s tutorials for many of the concepts mentioned in our textbook are much better than the explanations given in the text.

3. CalcChat – pre-calculus and AP Calculus students’ savior. CalcChat provides detailed, step-by-step explanations on how to do certain homework practice problems in some calculus textbooks; most, if not all of the calculus textbooks used at Seton can be found on CalcChat.

4. SparkNotes – a fantastic resource for reviewing a book. It should be noted that SparkNotes should be used as a supplement to readings, not as a replacement. SparkNotes provides chapter-by-chapter summaries of many popular and well-known books utilized in American high school classrooms, as well as character lists and context explanations for such texts. SparkNotes are generally best used as a preview before reading a book, or afterwards the night before a test.

5. LastPass – a simple password tool that remembers of all your passwords for accounts on any website. You merely sign up for an account, then are given the ability to save all of your passwords in your LastPass account; Then, when you go to login, LastPass will appear and input your password in case you have forgotten. Your LastPass account can be accessed from any computer as long as you have downloaded the LastPass program on said computer.

6. – part of The College Board website, this “sub-site” is the holy grail for juniors and seniors who want information about a particular college. Simply search for a particular college or university, and on one page, it will give you its deadlines, fees, SAT/ACT score averages, GPA averages, enrollment size, estimated total costs, AP credit tables, majors, and other useful information.

7. – another college website, College Confidential is a forum board that has discussions about everything possibly related to college, such college admissions, standardized tests, financial aid, college essays, etc. Be warned, though, as a small amount of its members have the tendency to be slightly elitist.

8. – a directory for every teacher’s Google site.

9. – Mrs. Denman’s students are likely familiar with New Advent, which contains a Catholic encyclopedia – often useful when writing papers for religion class. Also on New Advent is St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica in full and the writings from the Church Fathers.

10. and are two free plagiarism checkers that enable you to copy and paste your essays and check them for possible copied content.


These are just a handful of the useful web tools available for use. Now get to work!


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