Since smartphones came about, cellphones go far beyond mobile points of contact. Now kids either borrow mommy or daddy’s phone or stay glued to their own for entertainment.
Considering, why not make that entertainment educational? Here’s six apps to download on your smartphone for classroom or home use to keep learning constantly at their fingertips:
1. Alien Assignment
The Alien Assignment app doesn’t simply handle learning the ABC’s or colors for the toddler or pre-schooler. Rather, it’s a practical app that teaches problem solving, creative thinking, logic, and group work. Set in an intergalactic world, children must help the Gloop alien family repair their spaceship so that they can return to their planet.
Kids take pictures of anything problematic on the ship that they think needs fixing. Then, kids hand it over to an adult for review. As such, it’s perfect for use both at home and in the classroom. Teachers or parents can discuss the photo choices, an activity that shows children’s’ thinking processes and fosters creativity. Common Sense Media awarded the Fred Rogers Center app five stars.
2. Endless Alphabet
Another age 3+ freebie app, Endless Alphabet takes vocabulary to the ghoulish side and enables children to create effective reading habits early. The app offers over fifty words that each talk and feature animation to explain the definition as a sort of puzzle.
Since Sesame Streets’ creators of The Monster at the End of this Book made this app, naturally cute monsters interact with the children to teach the words, and without a point-system or timer, there’s zero stress. Kids will expand their vocabulary immensely as they ask to play the game again and again.
3. Math Drills Lite
This math app is great for at-home use or on-the-go so that kids using smartphones supplement homework or improve skills instead of texting or playing senseless games. The clear graphics of this app help students better grasp addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division mathematical problems.
For many students, the routine nature of solving math problems makes them disinterested. But this app utilizes number lines, wooden blocks, hand graphics for counting, and facts and hints to add dynamics and stimulation to learning math.
4. Around the Clock
Many children rarely use traditional clocks anymore because of mobile phones, and likely you’re tired of answering the “What time is it?” question when there’s a clock in plain sight. Since reading clocks is a necessary skill, counteract a phone’s digital time where most necessary–on a phone–by choosing the Around the Clock app.
Using twenty-four different mini-games for each hour of the day, the phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” rings most true with this app. Creative games that involve making pancakes and looking at stars not only introduce the clock, but teach young kids about the structure of a day. Cost: $2.99.
5. Today in History
For the student at Grade four and up, Today in History provides quick and interesting facts and events that took place on each date. Whenever kids use their phones, they’ll find new historical information to discover.
Teachers easily incorporate daily trivia or “facts of the day” in the classroom. Use the facts as starting points for quizzes or research reports. At home, use the facts with the whole family and perhaps choose a topic to research further at the library weekly.
Today in History costs $1.99, but the Today in History Lite app is free.
6. Project Noah
The free Project Noah app allows students and teachers to give science a pulse. It’s great for parents as well to encourage associations with the phone and outside activities. It’s a hands-on approach to viewing biodiversity.
Students, teachers, and parents alike document wildlife and nature, and then the app not only identifies the species pictured, but it shares the sighting location to fellow scientists. You can even take part in a particular mission from research scientists.
As you trust your kids with smartphones, make sure they’ll find the answers with these educational apps. From homework help to classroom aids, make your smartphone a learning outlet.