By Jillian Flack
Due to the notifications that are constantly popping up on a student’s phone and the reel of stimulating games on their devices, having the concentration to complete dull assignments can be difficult for them with all of the color and energy technology can bring. The obsession this generation has with technology does not just affect the completion of school assignments, but it can cause students to never accomplish their goals since some do not have the concentration or will to do so. Luckily, there are still plenty of people who are determined to complete what is necessary for their success and will not allow technology to come in their way. As it can be difficult to do this, many of these students have discovered phone applications (apps) that can help to increase their productivity and concentration on school work, such as Forest, Flora and Freedom.
On many occasions, time passes quickly when students are on their phones and they do not even realize how many hours they have wasted being glued to their gadgets until it is too late, causing them to be stuck with a stack of uncompleted assignments deep into the night before they are due. The app Forest can help prevent this. In Forest, students can pick an amount of time they would like to be off of their devices and in that time, an electronic tree grows on the screen. If they stay off their phones the full time they chose, the tree will reach its full height and be added to the student’s forest filled with the trees they earned from other times they were successful. If they fail and close the app, the tree will die and their forest will remain the same size. So far, students have found this to be a highly successful way to stay productive since they do not want to be the cause of the death of their trees, even if they are electronic. This app also allows students to add friends and share the over thirty types of tree species in the game with one another. Although the game costs a dollar and ninety-nine cents, people all around the country have found that it is worth it as it has significantly helped a multitude of them to be more productive in the real world.
There is also a free app close to Forest called Flora, which is similar in the sense that students can add friends and the tree growing method is used. In Flora, students can select a setting to pick an amount of money to pay if they fail and kill the tree by going on their phones. They have to pay the amount of money they chose if they are unsuccessful, which covers the costs to plant a single tree in the real world. Sophomore Stephanie Miranda, a user of the Flora app, explained, “I like how it [Flora] seems to have a friendly competition to it since you can add friends on it and compete with them to see who’s studied most.” Since students are able to compete with friends, this app can better encourage students to stay on task as many do not want to lose.
If these types of methods are not helpful in improving a student’s concentration, there is also an app called Freedom that blocks the internet and other apps of a student’s choice for a certain amount of time to discourage phone use. While there is a small monthly price to pay in order to use the app, Freedom has so far increased the productivity of many of its users by several hours.
So far, these apps have shown high levels of study success. As Advanced Placement (AP) exams are quickly approaching, these apps can help students stay off of their devices for several hours, giving them the chance to study without distractions.
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