Back to School: With Educational Apps

Get appy

by Parents and Kids | Tue, September 05, 2017

By Vicki Doamekpor

Numerous studies have shown that effective use of mobile technology has the potential to impact profoundly on the quality and nature of learning. By using mobile technologies in the classroom, students are not only able to experience technology as a learning resource, but are also being prepared for a future that is increasingly rooted in technology.

One of our roles, as educators, is to create responsible digital citizens who understand how to use technology in appropriate and beneficial ways. In order to achieve this vital objective, we must ensure:

  • that students have easy access to devices 
  • each device is installed with a range of applications specificially designed to create content which will enhance the learning process.

Here are the top 10 eucational apps that are appropriate for any child aged four and above. They make learning more motivational, automatically differentiated, engaging, interactive and a dynamic experience overall. With them, students are able to create imaginative, interesting, engaging pieces of work which capture their attention, support their learning, meet the needs of different learning styles and, most definitely, improve outcomes.

1. Popplet

Age range: 7+

Students can use this fabulously easy-to-use mind-mapping app to create relationships between facts, thoughts and new ideas. Sections can be colour-coded, images added and pictures drawn. Boxes can be moved to create space for new ideas and relationships. The finished mindmap can be saved as an image or emailed.

2. Simplemind

Age range: 10+

For older students and parents, this mindmapping tool has a massive number of features to help organise thoughts, remember facts and generate new ideas. It is the perfect tool for helping form an essay or debate, plan a project or prepare for exams. An added bonus is that it is available in 13 languages.

3. My Story

Age range: 4-7

This eBook creator allows young children to independently create stories by combining drawings, photos, stickers and voice recordings. This app promotes early language development, creative literacy and is perfect for English language learners. Each book can be exported to iBooks or saved as a video file.

4. Book Creator

Age range: 8+

Voted the best educational app in 2015, this eBook creator for slightly older children allows for more written work alongside images and videos files. Children can work independently or collaboratively by sharing pages across iPads via airdrop. Each book can be exported to iBooks, saved as a video file.

5. Tellagami Edu

Age range: 8+

This is one of our favourite animation apps used by students and teachers. Create a ‘Gami’ by customising the character, choosing or drawing a background and typing or recording yourself speak. Export the animation as a video. Try taking a picture of a construction and recording how you made it.

6. Comic Life

Age range: 7+

A fun, easy-to-use comic strip creator that students can use to create basic comic strips or more detailed posters retelling historical stories. There’s a great range of features in this app, which means younger students can use it as well as older ones.

7. iMotion Pro

Age range: 8+

An easy-to-use stop motion app. Stop motion is an animation technique which makes physically manipulated objects looks like they are moving by themselves. Create your own Lego movie or retell a story using clay models. Take pictures and edit before exporting the video file.

8. Chatterpix

Age range: 4+

An animation app that can be used independently by young children. Take a photograph, draw a line for a mouth and record yourself talking. An endless array of fun objects come to life and are particularly good at enabling young children to express themselves and demonstrate understanding.

9. Morfo 3D Face Booth

Age range: 8+

For a more advanced animation, this app makes a 3D animated face from any photograph. Use the editing tools to create perfect facial features, record yourself talking and export as a video file. Make historical figures and animals come to life and really demonstrate understanding in a fun and unique way!

10. PicCollage

Age range: 6+

PicCollage is an extremely versatile collage app. It allows you to insert and resize images, add colourful backgrounds, stickers and text. The app can be used independently by young children to produce great collages and posters.

 

These applications are specifically designed to complement student learning in the classroom. They are additional resources that students love to use, not only to support learning, but also to develop their digital literacy skills.  Download a few today, you might find them useful for your own work too!

Vicki Doamekpor is Head of Prep ICT at Wellington College International Shanghai.