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homework helpers By Kimberly Carroll

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ta k e n o t e s

The iPad comes pre-installed with a notepad app that works for basic lists, but if you need a more robust note-taking option there are much better apps available.

Notes Plus Sketch ideas, handwrite notes, type notes, record voice notes and organize your items into different categories for easy recall. A virtual spiral notebook that never runs out of pages. $4.99 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ notes-plus-handwriting-note/id374211477?mt=8 Tech Mama Tip: Sketching and handwritten notes work best with a stylus. We love the Pogo Sketch from Ten One Design ($8 from Amazon).

Evernote A cloud-based note-keeping tool keeps your computer and mobile devices in sync. Evernote lets you create and organize all kinds of lists and notes in addition to web clips, images and files. We love the ability to search text in photos. Free (with an option to pay for more storage). http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/ id281796108?mt=8

homework heroes World Pocket Reference Quickly pull up facts about the people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of countries around the world. Data comes from the U.S. Department of State and the CIA. $2.99 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ world-pocket-reference/id403512095?mt=8

WolframAlpha Ask WolframAlpha just about any question and it delivers the answer, whether you’re working with complicated calculus equations or wondering where second cousins start on a family tree. Universal app means you buy once, and it’ll run on both your iPhone and iPad. $1.99 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ wolframalpha/id334989259?mt=8

Star Walk Stargaze from your iPad. Study the moon and constellations, track satellites, see photos from deep space, and explore the planets in our solar system. $4.99 http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/starwalk-for-ipad-interactive/id363486802?mt=8

Tech Mama Tip: Snap iPhone pics of classroom whiteboards or chalkboards and you can search them later. Works with sketches, business cards, and more!

Voice Memos Unlike the iPhone, the iPad doesn’t ship with a voice recorder app. Voice Memos is slick and produces high-quality recordings. Add text notes to memos for easy search. 99¢ http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voicememos-for-ipad/id364295267?mt=8

Elements A completely new way to explore the periodic table, this app brings chemistry to life with rich photos, rotatable objects, layered videos of science experiments and 3D display. $13.99 http://itunes.apple.com/us/ app/the-elements-a-visual-exploration/ id364147847?mt=8

Tech Mama Tip: Great for recording fun stuff too, like your kid telling jokes or those adorable stories!

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h o m e w o r k h e r o e s (co n t ’d ) Wikipanion This app puts the world’s most popular wiki, Wikipedia, in the palm of your hand. There’s a wiki page for just about every topic you can imagine. Bookmark entries, customize article display, and if you enable the geo-location feature, it will bring up relevant articles from your immediate area. Spend $5 on the Plus version and you get offline viewing capabilities. Free http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wikipanion-for-ipad/id364195592?mt=8

Dictionary With an iPad dictionary at hand, the kids are less likely to sigh and roll their eyes when you say, “Go look it up!” Searchable and cross-referenced, this dictionary does everything you would expect it to, and you can’t beat the price. Free http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id364740856?mt=8

Manual for the United States of America Learn about and read the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, biographies of Supreme Court justices, and a lot more. You’ll wish American history was this fun when you were in school. $4.99 http://itunes.apple.com/us/ app/manual-for-united-states-america/ id290560026?mt=8

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Homework Helpers