HOUSTON -

Houston-area students head back to school next week and there are some handy apps to make the return to studying more efficient and manageable.

A lot has changed since most parents were in school, so why not embrace the technology and let it help?

For iPhone and iPad users, the iStudiez app is an organizational tool for high school and college students who have to juggle classes, school events and study time. It tracks the student's schedule during the day and helps plan and manage their courses and class details, locations, instructors, holidays and grades.

For Android users, the MyHomework Student Planner does the same thing, organizing classes and homework with customizable widgets.

Simple Mind is one for Android and Apple devices meant for organizing and planning term papers and special reports. It's a mind-mapping program. You jot down ideas and thoughts and then arrange them in a chart, connecting the information to fit the assignment.

One more app for students is Circle of 6 for iPhone and Android. It instantly connects you to six friends. If you need help or need a ride, two touches sends the message you want with your location. It's a great security app for kids on campus.