Back to School is all about staying in the know on the go

Back to school can be exciting, but also an overwhelming time for students, parents and teachers. Whether students forget to check for homework assignments or miss class due to illness, students donâ??t want to fall behind. Access to information and connecting with teachers and other students is just a click away with the help of smartphones and tablets. According to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 74 percent of households with children underã??the age of 18 have at least one tablet. Tablets and smartphones are becoming a simple tool to ensure students keep making the grade. Meghan Weber from U.S. Cellular stopped by the set of Good Morning Heartland to tell us about some great apps to download. WATCH VIDEO ABOVE to learn more.

Tablets are also being used in the classroom; learning apps, eBooks, online educational videos and internet access can all enhance the learning experience. With reliable mobile access to the internet on a robust network such as a 4G LTE network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology. According to a recent Student Mobile Device Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 87 percent of students would like to use digital textbooks so they donâ??t have to carry so much in their backpacks. And half of those students surveyed use their pocket-friendly smartphones instead of tablets.

"The learning experience for students is changing and involving technology like tablets and smartphones more and more each day," said Dorsey Ragland, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Missouri. "The U.S. Cellular 4G LTE network connects these students and teachers to all the information they need to excel in school, even if they are not in the classroom."

In fact, recent coverage on indicates the Kirksville School District is investing in a variety of new laptops, desktops and tablets for students to use within the next year.

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.

  • Teacherâ??s Assistant Pro:

    Featured in USA Today as one of the best teacher apps, Teacherâ??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.

About U.S. CellularU.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. Currently, nearly 90 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and more than 93 percent will have access by the end of 2014. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years.