Six App-Tastic Ways to Make Your Kid the Smartest One in Class

(image credit: ebpilgrim)

Six App-tastic ways to make your kid the smartest one in class.

My eight-year-old stormed into my office today looking like she’d swallowed a bug. “Mom! I’m going back to school next week and I HAVE NOTHING!”

I’m not sure what a third-grader must have for back to school success, though I did order the cat and dog backpack she really wanted and a little stapler shaped like a panda. Yeah, they’re cute. But what’s really exciting STEM teachers in our school district is a promising crop of free educational and study apps. Hover your thumb over the App Store button, you’ll want these for the new school year.

(image credit: Steveriot1)


Six App-tastic ways to make your kid the smartest one in class.

Elementary School:

Khan Academy for Kids: There are hundreds of interactive lessons on this app, kids choose a “learning path” for math, science, reading and more. Teachers and parents can check the student’s progress and work through any challenges. You can download it from either the App Store or Google Play.

ScratchJr: The STEM teachers in our district are recommending ScratchJr because of the drag-and-drop programming- it’s a great way to get kids into digital creation and simple coding and programming elements. Find it on the App Store or Google Play.

Junior High School:

myHomework: I need this for my grown-up world! The app tracks homework assignments, tests, and projects, reminding the student about due dates, etc. The best element for me is the app syncs between devices, making it easier to follow. You’ll find it on the App Store or Google Play.

Canvas Student: When multiple teachers at our neighborhood middle school put Canvas Student on their course requirement list, I take that to mean that this app is spectacular. Canvas Student lets teachers expand on mew assignments and complicated information, and lets students turn in assignments, get feedback regarding new material and study for tests. Since the app works anywhere you have access to a phone – and those are currently gripped in the sweaty paw of every teenager I know – this is a win. Pick your favorite: App Store or Google Play.

High School:

Coggle: When it comes to brainstorming (with some deft guidance) Coggle is excellent. The app’s designed to help a student with complex assignments. The app sets up mapping plans to go through difficult information, so it’s easy to share homework projects with other students. The visuals are surprisingly beautiful. Download it free from the App Store or on Google Play.

OneNote: Beloved for its versatility, the app can be used as well for creating to-do lists and boasts a number of formatting options that turn it into a good word processor. I’m fond of its dictate feature that’s much more accurate for turning spoken word into the written text than other more expensive apps I’ve used. Many universities are using OneNote for classes and lectures, so it doesn’t hurt to be fluent with it now. The app is free on the App Store and Google Play.


(cover image credit: Angela Yuroko Smith)

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