Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2018
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iHomework 2

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Keep track of assignments, due dates, and tasks with digital planner

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Character & SEL
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6–12
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Pros: Clean user interface lets students see what's coming up and what's past due, and efficiently organize and search by tags.

Cons: Up-front setup can be time-consuming, and students can easily make errors when inputting information.

Bottom Line: This flexible, easy-to-learn organizational tool will help students get set up for success, though teachers will need to follow up regularly to make sure the information is accurate.

Whether students struggle with organization and time management or just want a digital solution to manage their lives in and out of school, iHomework 2 provides a simple solution on a clean, easy-to-learn platform. Encourage students to take charge of their responsibilities by letting them keep track of their assignments as well as assess the amount of time and difficulty assignments present. Help students scaffold their organization by breaking down complex assignments into simpler steps using the Tasks feature; show them how organization impacts progress by encouraging them to reflect on how their planning (or lack thereof) affects their grades. See at a glance what students have completed, what they need to do, and which assignments are overdue, and encourage students to use the Calendar feature to gauge how filled up a day is.

It will take some time to get set up, and ultimately the app's effectiveness will depend on how much information the user enters up front. Customizability allows users to be as simple or as detailed as they choose, but teachers of younger students may want to limit what students enter until they get used to the tool. While the free version offers many organizational and time management support features, student data will be erased if a student deletes the app, meaning that students would have to start from scratch. Also, the ease with which students can add, modify, and delete assignments can lead to user error or even intentional misuse. Teachers will want to provide consistent support and follow-up if they plan on having students use the app long-term.

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iHomework 2 is a planner, calendar, agenda, and task manager all in one app. Free for most features, it's a good fit for middle school and up. The main page contains three panels: a calendar, an assignment panel, and a task detail panel (all of which are customizable according to user preference). The Planner feature syncs with iCalendar and meshes assignments with planned calendar events, making it easy to see at a glance how busy a day will be. Options to enter semester dates, classes, information about instructors, and assignments are a starting point. From there, users can add due dates, tasks to be completed, anticipated effort levels, tags, and even alarms.

Ads can be removed from iHomework 2 for a fee. There are also six-month or yearly subscriptions that offer capabilities to sync across devices, spotlight searching, grade tracking, and access to agendas via an online tool. While the free version does not require a username or password, the premium version does. Users should note that past items can't be viewed in Planner mode, but they remain in Assignment mode unless the user deletes them.

With so many options to plan and organize learning, it's difficult to find a tool that will work for every learner. iHomework 2 comes close: Its strength lies in its simplicity. Teachers can support students as they learn about time management and task completion, but ownership remains on the shoulders of the student. Students must keep up with their assignments and progress by writing them down accurately, breaking complex tasks into simpler steps, and checking them off as they're done.

In many ways, iHomework 2 is an intuitive replacement for the paper agenda or planner because students still have to learn to track their assignments. But the digital perks make it a more engaging experience, thereby encouraging students to stick with it. Students who have a strong preference for visual tools will appreciate the ability to see their assignments and progress at a glance, while learners who prefer to hear information can benefit from the speak-aloud features that iOS devices offer. Tactile learners will love the ease of adding, moving, and deleting assignments and events by touch, and students who need extra reminders can set alarms to notify them when to begin or finish an assignment. For students who are prone to deleting items, either accidentally or intentionally, teachers might prefer the premium sync feature to prevent the loss of important data.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

For students who enjoy organization apps, iHomework 2 offers plenty of options to track assignments, events, grades, and tasks. Since there are always more tasks to add, students will appreciate the ease of use for consistent upkeep.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Teaching students vital organizational skills is a tricky endeavor, but this tool largely puts students in the driver's seat, empowering them to take control of their time and task management.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The intuitive design will get many students up and running quickly. For users who require additional support, there's a small FAQ section available online and a contact form, but those who prefer tutorials will find the app lacking.


Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

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