Studytracks - Study Like This

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Studytracks - Study Like This App Poster Image
Studying with a hip-hop beat solid for some teens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Variety of subjects covered. Effectiveness will vary depending on preferred learning style: Some kids and teens may find it helpful to listen to lecture notes read aloud to a beat, and others may find this format gimmicky and not especially appealing. 

Ease of Play

It's straightforward to sort through subjects and find different "tracks" to listen to, though a few more ways to sort and search by things like grade level would be helpful. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

No overt ads, but ability to earn points redeemable for cash and gift cards from various companies; some parents may object to earning tangible rewards for studying via an app.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Studytracks is a test review and study app that sets lecture notes to hip-hop beats. The free version of the app includes a few "tracks" that cover early U.S. history, grammar, and math, and users can buy a subscription to access further notes about history, math, science, the SAT, and the ACT. The app was developed in the U.K., and there's content available for students in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Some features and tracks are available for free, but most of the content and its most useful features (like creating your own playlist and taking comprehension quizzes) are only available with a subscription. Teens can earn points that are redeemable for cash and gift cards. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

STUDYTRACKS is a study app that sets lecture notes to a beat. Students first pick their country (the U.K., the U.S., and France are the options), and then select the test or subject they'd like to tackle. Once you select a subject, you can browse all of the lecture notes set to music and available on that subject; you're unfortunately limited by how many you can watch. The free version of the app features just a few free tracks; you'll need to subscribe to access more than a few songs from each subject. With a paid subscription, users can also access reading comprehension tests, organize their favorite tracks into playlists, view videos that better illustrate some lessons (especially in math and science), and earn "Studytracks points" for consistent study that can be redeemed for cash and gift cards at vendors like Amazon and the Google Play store. Either way, users then launch any available song and view the lyrics on-screen as they listen to a speaker read the notes in rhythm over a hip-hop track. 

Is it any good?

Setting dry content to a catchy tune isn't a new idea (Schoolhouse Rock, anyone?), and these hip-hop beats are certainly appealing, but this study approach isn't likely to transform how kids learn. While the music is modern and sounds like something produced recently (think Hamilton), the notes aren't written with the same focus on approachable language or with a song-like structure. Tracks more often feature a person reading old-fashioned lecture notes over a hip-hop soundtrack. The tracks might be more effective if they were structured more like songs, with a repeated section reiterating high-level points like a refrain and additional information offered in between like a series of verses. Some kids might find the soundtrack engaging enough to enable them to focus on the lecture notes, but others may feel more like they're being tricked into listening to familiar, dull content that's just been repackaged. Plus, it's hard to know how these pre-packaged sections will match up with the units students cover in class. The potential rewards from vendors like Amazon are surprising too; those points can feel both like progress tracking but also like a bribe. Overall, students might study with this app, but they might get more value out of actively transforming their notes and textbooks into their own songs or videos.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the best ways to study and memorize information. What works best for your kids? What kinds of strategies and tips would you pass along? Does a method like the one Studytracks - Study Like This uses work for you?

  • Talk about study habits. How can you make your study time as active as possible? What kinds of strategies can you use to actively organize your thoughts and learn new information when you study? 

  • Think about how you might make your own songs to help you study. What would you include? How would you structure your song? Why do you think that making a song might help you remember certain facts or ideas more effectively?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, self-assessment, self-reflection, work to achieve goals
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (free to try then subscription, $.99-$3.99)
  • Subscription price: $0.99-$3.99 per month
  • Release date: March 27, 2018
  • Category: Education
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • Size: 103.40 MB
  • Publisher: Studytracks LTD
  • Version: 4.0.4
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.1 or later; Android 4.3 and up

Themes & Topics

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