Educational Apps

Applications for tablets and smartphones are popular among the owners of those devices. According to Pewinternet data from 2010, the average adult has 18 apps on their phone.

 

 

A research conducted a year later has shown that downloading of Apps tends to steadily increase.

Applications for educational purposes have also been developed. While the majority of the best-selling ones are targeted at primary school children and even younger (Source), there are a few that will be of interest for an older audience:

 

Along with the ones mentioned in the video above, there are a few more that are worth checking out:

Khan Academy

It’s a free App, which provides more than 3000 education videos on many topics, including physics, biology, maths, history, geography and many more. It is perfect for anyone interested in sciences – from students, teachers or other professionals. People can also download videos onto their phone and watch the offline later.

 

Star Walk

It is an interactive astronomy App. It enables users to point their iPad to the sky and the App will tell them the names of stars and constellations, also providing additional information. People can also search for a star and it will point it to them. It costs £2.99 and is available for iOs and from December 2013, also for Android users.

 

TED

This free App provides over 1000 videos of talks on broad topics – science, education, business, technology. It is suitable for people interested in those areas and searching for different opinions and inspirational speeches. Just as Khan Academy, TED allows users to download videos and save them for later, when people have more time or no internet access.

 

Unfortunately, there has not been extensive research on the way Apps impact upon literacy levels, but rather smaller surveys. Their findings can be found in this article. According to it, students have enjoyed working with iPads, have participated more in classes and enjoyed writing homework. When assessed in Algebra, pupils who used the iPads scored higher proficiency levels than students who learned from a textbook – and the difference was by 30%! If more extensive and in-depth research shows similar data, introducing tablets with Apps for learning may be the next revolutionary step in the classroom. They are engaging and interactive, providing necessary knowledge without the fear of distraction by social networking sites.

However, more research on the impact Applications have on children’s learning ability in the long term, but also on attention span and concentration skills, will need to be conducted before using tablets in schools on a mass principle. It is also rather expensive and not all institutions will be able to afford the needed technology. For now, Apps are a very informative and pleasant way of self-education, providing fun and knowledge to everyone interested in additional learning.

 

Sources:

http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/09/14/the-rise-of-apps-culture/

http://www.pewinternet.org/2011/11/02/half-of-adult-cell-phone-owners-have-apps-on-their-phones/

http://readwrite.com/2012/04/22/how_the_ipad_is_changing_education#awesm=~oD3jmILVvPYhqe

Further reading:

http://www.educationalappstore.com/

http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/WhataretheBestEducationalApps.aspx

http://readwrite.com/2012/04/22/how_the_ipad_is_changing_education#awesm=~oD3jmILVvPYhqe

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