As our smartphones and tablets become more sophisticated, and laptops are being designed to work with the same touchscreen technology, a wealth of new apps line the “shelves” of app stores for every device. Some of them offer totally new topics and approaches; others are updates to existing apps but with all new gizmos and graphics that the new devices can support. Costs vary, but many are free or have educational discounts.
Here are a few cool new apps for education.
The Interactive Science Glossary: Life Science is a super new way for students to hone their understanding of terms used in studying ecosystems, the human body, how organisms grow, and more. The glossary may be most useful for middle and high school students, but younger students will still find it appealing to use. It’s more than a simple dictionary, as it demonstrates each term and shows how it relates to other concepts. For example, the food chain topic offers intersections with herbivores, predators, and prey. The developers have taken care to include several ways for students to learn, including flash cards, quizzes, video demonstrations, and more.
For elementary students learning to multiply, Squeebles Times Table 2 will help them memorize with little effort. Working alone or in groups, kids master the tables through several levels of exercises and games. Teachers or parents can control who students play in challenges, a great feature in classrooms with varying learning levels. While some may feel that the Squeebles and the Math Monster are a bit juvenile, they will find themselves memorizing multiplication tables quickly.
Preschoolers from many backgrounds will enjoy the reading-readiness app Pacca’s Carousel. There are games and matching exercises, but what is unique is that all are offered in five languages, with each narrated by a native child. You can set it for English, Arabic, Cantonese, Spanish, or French and play along in that language. With a lite and a full version, the adventures of Pacca the carousel horse will keep young children excited about learning to read.
There are also new apps just for teachers. The Teacher’s Guide to iPad offers videos on the best ways to use your iPad. It also includes a directory of educational apps and a chat room for teachers to share their experiences with peers. Kaymbu is a documentation system for student performance with a simple interface for communication with parents as well. It simplifies combining information, like connecting text with photos and reports, helping to build portfolios of the student’s development.
This is a small sampling of new apps for education, but there are hundreds more you might find useful. Check with your school’s technology specialist or an education tech support organization for more suggestions. You can find several reviews of new apps listed in the Suggested Resources below. If you are just learning about apps for your students, check out our previous posts on the use of apps in schools.
While you are looking at new items for your students, take a peek at the apps you are already using, and see if you are using the latest version. Most apps offer updates periodically to fix bugs, update information, or even add new features. Keeping them up to date means they will run better and you won’t miss new relevant information.
Have you found new apps that intrigue your students or are just plain cool and fun to use? Please share your discoveries in the comments below.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.
Best Kid App Reviews from Fun Educational Apps
10 of the Best Apple and Android Apps for Education in 2014 from eSchool News
New and Noteworthy Kids Apps–January 2014 from BestAppsforKids.com