We hear a lot of conversations about how parents want their kids to use the benefits of modern technology, primarily for educational purposes. These conversations happen more often at the beginning of the school year. The problem is, we often don’t know what tools are available for our kids to use to improve their school life and learning skills. Here’s a short list of must have apps for schoolchildren to have on their devices.
Organiser apps for schoolchildren
myHomework is an organiser tool for students that allows them to effectively manage their school life. This tool helps students to monitor homework progress and track classes and other school events online. This cross-platform app was designed to help students become more self-disciplined and organised. Though elementary school kids could probably use it with parental assistance it really comes into it’s own with slightly older kids.
Evernote is a well-known note taking tool. It’s widely used in business, education and all sorts of other situations. It provides users with access to their notes, pictures and documents from a range of different devices. For example, notes could be written on it on a mobile device at school and then accessed on a desktop computer in the evening to be written up. Using this app can help increase student productivity and again is especially good for older kids (13+). Available for iOS and Android platforms.
Classroom tool apps
CamScanner is good document scanning tool. It can help ensure that your child won’t lose sheets of homework or important handouts from class. Now she has a scanner in her pocket or backpack. Of course, you could take a picture of a document, but CamScanner does it more effectively and doesn’t consume so much of your device’s memory.
A dictaphone app. Though you can record voice with Evernote it’s good to have something simple like AudioRecorder. You can use it to record your teacher during a lesson and then use the recording to improve your rushed notes at home in a quieter atmosphere.
Voice Dream Reader is text-to-speech app for iPhones and iPads. It can be connected to Google Drive, Dropbox and other accounts. It can read text from various sources and contains a number of different voices and reading speeds. It’s very easy to use and a great tool for kids who have reading problems or difficulties with visual text recognition like dyslexia.
Homework helper apps
WordFlex Touch Dictionary makes the essay writing process easier and word learning more fun. It’s a huge compilation of words with the meanings explained and a whole bunch of synonyms displayed. It’s a very visual way of exploring language as word meanings and synonyms are displayed in an appealing word tree that is both engaging and comprehensive. You don’t have to be great at spelling to get the most out of it either, as it suggests words similar to what you enter. This app is a great learning tool, the only small caveat parents should be aware of is that as with any other dictionary kids can stumble upon or even search for rude words.
Photomath is a camera calculator that allows kids to scan and solve various mathematical equations. It’s easy to operate and will be very helpful to kids (11 and older) who have difficulties with math. It doesn’t just solve the problem, but displays a step by step solution explanation as one of it’s features. Even more explanatory options are available with the paid version. It’s available for iOS and Android. Just be careful they don’t try and use it to cheat on tests!
Other useful apps for your child’s device
Amazon Kindle App. Though personally I still prefer the real thing (i.e. a paper book), an ebook reader like Amazon’s Kindle app definitely has it’s place. It delivers millions of books and magazines directly to your device – school books, novels and materials for an essay or a project. This might just be the answer to overly heavy school bags. As one app user commented, “If you are a bookworm this app is a lifesaver”. Works on iOS, Android and of course, Kindle devices.
Duolingo App. We’ve written about this before, it’s a bit of a favourite. Very easy to use language-learning app and a great choice for kids of middle school age and up. This app will help kids to understand foreign words and phrases better, to correctly pronounce them, and of course to get ahead in their regular language classes.
Kidslox. A parental control app needs to be on this list because it helps to ensure that your child’s tablet or phone is used as a learning tool and not just a gaming one. By locking game or social media apps during school or homework time, you can help ensure that they’re focussing on the right things.
I’m sure many of you have your own recommendations. What apps do you consider to be school essentials?