These days, so much learning is done online, especially on smartphones and tablets. While educators and parents want to limit screen time, kids are going to be using these tech devices, so at least they can challenge themselves and learn in the process.
Need help with note taking? Trying to learn more about geography? Want to build your vocabulary? Study the solar system? Understand more about the Common Core? Chances are there's an app for that! Read on for a rundown of some of the most useful apps for students.
*"Stack the States"
Learn state capitals, flags, nicknames and more state info with this fun and educational app, from Freecloud Design Inc. This app, which retails for 99 cents, is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It has high ratings, too, including "Best Kids App for iPad" from Best App Ever Awards.
Teach kids grammar with this app, which comes free with the "Noun" neighborhood. You can buy the other parts of speech, such as verbs and prepositions, in-app. The National Parenting Center gave the app, which has quizzes, videos and animated shorts, their 2012 Seal of Approval. It's available for Android devices, as well as iPhone, iPad and iTouch.
Over a million players use this fun-with-math app. The goal is to get a pattern of five "Bingo Bugs" in a row, all by correctly solving math problems. Made for kids ages 6 to 8, the app works with iPhone, iPad and iTouch. It sells for 99 cents.
Ready to learn French? Master Spanish? Tackle German? Check out this free app, which is available for Android and Apple devices. Students learning a new language or brushing up on one they already know benefit from the app, which has on-the-spot translations and the ability to test your language skills in a "duel" with your friends. Google Play named Duolingo "Best of the Best" for 2013, and Apple named it the "2013 App of the Year."
*"Loot Pursuit: Pompeii"
Challenge sixth- and seventh-grade kids with Common Core-aligned math problems using algebra, geometry, ratios, fractions and more to protect 75 genuine artifacts stolen from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. This iPad app, which costs $3.99, has 25 levels, can be played timed or untimed, and has cross-curriculum content in social studies, math and language arts.
Learn fractions so party guests can get a piece of cake or a slice of pizza. This free SylvanPlay network app, by Educate Inc., works on iPad and iPhone devices. It's designed to help kids ages 6 to 9 practice math problems in a very practical way.
Need an app that lets you stay organized with your schoolwork? This app, by Ginger Labs, sells for $2.99 and lets you track your notes any way you take them, including recording audio, annotating documents, filling out worksheets or typing an assignment. You can draw, too, using a variety of "pens" and "papers."
Enhance your child's vocabulary with this word-of-the-day app. Middle-school students can learn new words and review ones they've memorized. The app, which retails for 99 cents, is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iTouch. The app starts you with 40 words, and you can buy additional sets within the app.
*"Star Walk 5 Stars Astronomy Guide"
Science students, especially budding stargazers, will love this app, which sells for $2.99 and works with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Simply point your device at the night sky to see a star map that tells you exactly what you're looking at, including stars, planets, constellations and satellites. The app has over 8 million users and won the Apple Design Award for 2010.
*"The Official SAT Question of the Day"
Prepping for the SAT? Get a daily quiz with this app, from College Board. The app is free and challenges your test taking with actual SAT questions. It only works in portrait mode but is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.