Educational Apps to Use in the Classroom
Best Educational Apps
Educational Apps: Technology Dominates Classrooms
In 2012, almost 20 million students and teachers employed Apps for Education suite (Google), and the number of users was expected to grow. Whether we like it or not, mobile technology is gradually changing the way we perceive the world.
5 reasons to use learning apps
- Interaction. Reading requires time and attention. Once you’re absorbed in a textbook, you cannot engage in any other activities. A learning application, on the contrary, gives you an alternative: you can either listen to the same story narrated by voice actors or watch an animated video. Some apps (Layers, Adobe Kuler, iHomework, etc.) also allow users to create graphic content and successfully manage class projects;
- Mobility and convenience. Apps like Phrasal Verbs Machine, for example, help foreigners learn set expressions and master pronunciation. A neat program downloaded onto your smartphone perfectly replaces dictionaries, CD players and other bulky equipment;
- Entertainment. We get bored easily; why study when there are so many things we truly enjoy? Learning apps usually combine elements of textbooks and games, providing numerous quiz-like tools for instant feedback and motivation;
- Competition. Mobile apps give an illusion of being a part of a social unity and ignite the flame of natural rivalry. Once students see each other’s results (marks, ratings, examples of best essays, etc.), they crave to improve their performance;
- Updates. Unlike paper books, reading applications automatically generate new content (sometimes even for free).
Educational apps development
Companies that specialize in custom application development are well aware of the trend and deliver tons of new learning programs on a regular basis. What are the key features of a great educational app?
- Attractive user interface (UI) and positive user experience (UX). Appealing colors, clear navigation and page download speed predetermine the success of mobile software. Since it takes 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about an application or website, UX/UI design really matters;
- High-quality content. Once connected to the Internet, educational software can easily compete with paper books in terms of data comprehensiveness and credibility. However, smartphones, tablets and other portable devices usually have small screens; content managers should arrange texts in small paragraphs, avoid long sentences and use infographics;
- Comprehensive and exciting tests. An opportunity to test the newly acquired knowledge is the main goal of building an educational app. According to Shaunie Shammass, a former teacher who shared his experience of creating mobile software, tests shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Additional sections (quizzes, games and tasks) must be available on demand;
- Regular updates and customer feedback tools. In order to understand customers’ needs, vendors employ built-in review forms, conduct tests and interact with their target audience on social media platforms. Reviews help developers improve UX and increase app sales; updates include code and content revision.
Top 5 apps to use in the classroom
- TapQuiz Maps (World Edition). With the TapQuiz Maps application learning geography can be more exciting than you think! Although borders between the countries are slightly rough, every region is recognizable. Pupils can either select answers on the map or type the names of the countries, getting stars for every correct response;
- Revision App. Easily one of the best free educational apps out there, the soft provides videos and tests on all the subjects of standard curriculum. The program is designed by tutors for high school and college students;
- Anatomy 4D. Augmented reality is the integration of visuals (including 2D images and animations) into user environment or live videos. AR apps analyze camera data and place relevant content on top of a smartphone/tablet screen. The Anatomy 4D application takes users on a journey inside the human body, providing overall information on organ systems. In order to study a particular organ in detail, students can employ zoom-in options;
- Duolingo. Learning languages has never been so easy and enjoyable! With the Duolingo app, you can study English, Spanish, Italian, German and the majority of European languages. The lesson blocks are short and comprehensive. Designed in a game-like style, the app generated positive reviews from the Wall Street Journal and TIME magazine. Following the 2016 UX trends, Diolingo vendors enhanced the application with 3D-touch support functions;
- Frog Dissection. Instead of cutting a real amphibian, you can study the insides of a virtual frog with the help of your smartphone or tablet. The app provides a number of surgical instruments, including scissors and a scalpel. In order to make a cut, you can simply point the marker in the right direction; voice guide is also available.
Of course, my list of best educational apps is incomplete, for I only chose the programs I would’ve used if I were a student. My goal was to show you how smart and amazing apps can be! I wouldn’t say that mobile software will replace books. Yet, apps certainly enhance education process and make learning easier.