Making your kid smarter? There's an app for that

There's no reason a smartphone has to make your kid dumb.

That's one inventor's hope, at least.

New York's Eric Vreeken invented an app called StudyLock, which requires some smarts to unlock a phone. If you want to unlock it, you must first answer questions based on Common Core curriculum.

"It is an app that locks kids' cell phones until they answer Common Core questions in math, science, and history," Vreeken said.

Oregon and Washington are among 46 states that volunteered to use Common Core. Washington's tests start this spring. Oregon starts a year later. Both began preparing kids in 2011.

Under Common Core, tests are given every year beginning in kindergarten, rather than every few years.

"I actually invented the app, StudyLock, and used Common Core specifically for the fact it's the new way for education in the United States," Vreeken said. "If the standards are here to stay and we're going to abide by them, the app has relevance in the sense it is presenting kids with questions they will encounter."

The app is designed to allow you to lock either the entire phone or specific apps. You can zero in on games, Facebook, even texting.

"In this age of digital distraction, it's very difficult for them to get homework done knowing they can play with their iPad, they can play with their devices," Vreeken said. "If they wanted to open their phone quickly, it benefits them to remember the questions and the answers."

The app is available for Android phones, but not for iPhones because Apple doesn't allow apps that block other apps. Vreeken said he's working on a fix for that.