Unlike us adults, children today are brought up with computers, smart phones, tablets and other now-vital pieces of technology. We had to learn how these new devices could make our lives easier, but to children, the existence of these devices is second nature. Why not use the technology they know to help them in school? Smart phones and tablets can play a powerful role in your child’s education if you lead them in the right direction. So, instead of your child playing the newest monkey catapulting game or the next rhinoceros stacking game, why not download a few educational apps that they will learn from and maybe even enjoy?
The first is called My Spelling Test. It allows you or your child to create a practice spelling test by recording each word into an iPhone or iPad. Then, whenever desired, the mobile device can administer the spelling test. These practice tests will make your child confident and ready for the real thing because the test in school will be just like the practice at home which he or she can go through as many times as desired. Parents can pick up the mobile device and check on their child’s scores and see what words were misspelled. The test results can even be emailed to the parent. There is a free version of My Spelling Test with limited features and also a full paid version.
Flashcards+ is a great app for studying any topic. This app is free and has some wonderful features. You can use pre-made flashcard decks from their vast database of topics or you can make your own personalized deck of flashcards. Use the virtual flashcards to study with your child or they can easily go through the deck themselves. Just shake to shuffle. The only thing that will cost you money is synthesized voice which can read the flash cards out loud in one of 22 languages.
The next app is for math practice. There is a plethora of apps designed to help your child with math facts. I found Math Evolve to be a cut above for a few reasons. First of all it plays like a game, not like a test. There is a storyline and the graphics and gameplay are very well done. The user will have to compute math facts, yes, but he or she will also be avoiding and shooting a host of enemies in three unique environments throughout the game. Again, it just plays more like a game. Many educational apps do not, and kids pick up on that quick. I also like that it involves practice for all 4 operations. The game can be customized for the player. You can select one, some, or all operations and the difficulty can be adjusted. Also, the game difficulty (shooting and avoiding enemies) can be adjusted as well. This is definitely one of the better applications available for practicing math facts. Math Evolve is currently available for $1.99 in the app store.
The last app to look at is called Brain Pop Featured Movie. Brain Pop creates short animated movies on educational topics and follows them up with a quiz. These movies are a great way to compliment in-class learning. This free app allows the user to view a new movie every day, however to get full access there is a fee. With full access, you can find a movie on pretty much any educational topic you can think of. This means you can have your child view a movie on whatever it was they learned about in school that particular day. There are movies for all subject areas, including categories like technology, health, and music.
Most kids use smart phones and tablets to play games. Exposing children to apps like these can show them that mobile devices can have uses besides mindless fun. They can make learning easier and more fun. It’s important for your child to know that these devices can help them learn and succeed in school, as these technologies are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Creative commons-licensed photo provided by soopahgrover.
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