By Lani Aquino
Finding new ways to engage students in their learning is a priceless endeavor. When said endeavor is also price tag free, it’s a huge bonus. When the toolkit is stocked with a variety of educational apps that can bring a new interest to learning, teachers and students reap the rewards. These latest apps in education are both engaging and free!
PlantDetect- Plant Identifier- Point and shoot the device camera at an unknown plant, and this app will reveal the identity in seconds. The app allows users to easily identify the local flora and even dig into plants around the world. Students can also easily keep track of all plants identified in their own personal collection. A great resource for a science course or plant study.
Lessons in Herstory- This new app uses AR tech to share stories of women throughout history. By scanning a portrait of a man in a compatible textbook, the app pulls up the story of a female within the same field. The app is currently only linked to one textbook, but more will be added. Students can go to www.lessonsinherstory.com and use photos found there for the same experience.
Circulatory System 3D Anatomy- This app offers a three-dimensional model of the circulatory system with descriptions of all its components. Students can zoom and rotate to get an up-close-and-personal look at this realistic depiction of the human heart. The descriptions of the heart, veins, and arteries can all be displayed or hidden.
Jour- Guided Journaling- Sparking an interest in writing can require a bit of fuel. This easy-to-navigate app is a great way to get students to start journaling. Whether journaling is a course activity or a recommendation, this app offers users some guided journaling techniques and helps them find the value in the reflective practice of journaling.
Best Books for Pre-K- Whether book ideas for the classroom or recommendations for parents are the goal, this app is a perfect resource for identifying titles for young readers. There are a variety of categories for reviewing and choosing some great new and classic titles.
Math Lens- Math Problem Solver- Sometimes the best defense against students finding shortcuts for doing work is a good offense. Staying in the loop when it comes to apps and programs that complete the work for them is a great way to keep students on track. While having an app do their homework is a big no-no, the sparse usage of an application such as this for navigating multi-step problems and checking work can be beneficial.
FunFact: Your Personal Genius- Daily fun with some engaging trivia can be a fun way to start class or fill transitions. There are a variety of categories to choose from when selecting fact topics, so any subject can benefit from a little bit of engaging trivia.
Academia.edu- As students delve into research, it’s helpful to have a wide range of resources. This app has over 23 million academic papers to explore. Thousands of topics are covered, and papers can even be viewed offline. An excellent resource for students in higher grades and those moving on to post-secondary endeavors.
The Pack- NYSCI- This app is based on work from the National Science Foundation. It is a science- and math-based game created by the New York Hall of Science. The Pack is set in a futuristic world where healthy ecosystems have failed. Users must use knowledge and computational skills to restore the environment and survive. An abundance of resources are available at https://nysci.org/school/resources/the-pack/ to make this an excellent educational experience with engaging content that builds problem-solving and computational skills.
Whether student skill building or teacher resources are needed, these new ed apps have the bases covered. Adding some educational options to those oft used devices is always beneficial. Those benefits are a no-brainer with this free collection of new releases.
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