TODAY

TODAY   |  August 22, 2013

8 essential back-to-school tech tools

School supplies don’t just stop at glittery pencils and notepads these days. Meredith Sinclair shares some websites, mobile apps and tech tools to help your kid’s school year start off right.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in today's classroom, apps. meredith sinclair is here with some digital and diy tips to make our life easier.

>> she's a contributor for time to play mag.com. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> all right. we've got the digital version and the analog version.

>> absolutely.

>> it's so important for our kids to get organized and the family as a whole.

>> yes. i think there's nothing better than a calendar. even if you're a digital calendar family, it's great to have something for everybody to see. we're starting out with these great wallies. they're removable from your wall. they're a chalkboard. everybody gets a color. you can color code the event.

>> mom red dad blue charlie green .

>> i'm lost.

>> the digital version.

>> if you're the digital kind of family, you'll love this new app and website called spring pad. it's a way to organize your life through digital notebooks. you create these notebooks that are all the things you do in your life. fall sports schedule, it could be your weekly menu. it syncs up to your mobile device . you have your shopping list .

>> can this sync to different accounts?

>> yes. you can do collaborative things with people who you're organizing a party with.

>> homework help .

>> it can be the bein of a parents' existence. i use these shower caddies. you put in there everything they need for their homework, snacks, pencil, paper, homework, they come home and bang it out and they're done.

>> digital version.

>> for older kids it's called heap note student. our teens are much more comfortable with the digital age. it lets them put in their class schedules, all of their homework assignments. they can tag their assignments with level of difficulty, severity. it helps to organize digitally.

>> artwork, it can come in like a flood all year.

>> we've only got one refrigerator.

>> right.

>> after it's out there, at diy they're the beautiful boxes that we got at the container store . have your kids decorate them, right, with their artwork. help them sort through their things. now for the digital people, you want to get this app. it's artkive. this is for your phone. you snapshots of your kids' artwork. then you keep it.

>> that's a good idea.

>> print it into beautiful books. they're fantastic.

>> last stop?

>> we're going to talk about a couple apps.

>> educational apps.

>> learn with homework is a beautiful early literacy app for kids. it's all designed by experts in literacy. then my favorite is vocabudor. it's a wrestling match. and then you have all of these devices, right? what do you do with them? well, you're going to make a -- this is my diy charging dock so that you know where your kids devices are at the end of the day . not in the bedroom texting. this is simple. martha stewart and i only share initials. i am not crafty but i am creative. i went and got boxes.

>> this is a little bit rocky.

>> a little bit what?

>> wilty.

>> dodgy. i like dodgy. that's good.

>> it has a nice homemade feel.

>> it's homemade, diy. this is a charging station you can buy. it keeps all of your devices together.