It's almost here: time to go back to school! In addition to the great collections at our libraries, databases, and online homework help, here are five free apps to get your student on the way to success this school year.
This app for children ages 2-7 and up features games children can play with a parent or caregiver. The games are centered on learning about math, science, health, reading, vocabulary and more. It's available on the Web, via ITunes and Android markets, and on the Nook and Kindle.
BrainPOP is a series of short, engaging videos on science, social studies, english, math, engineering and technology, health, art and music, followed by short quizzes. Middle schoolers and upper elementary grade students will enjoy this site. BrainPOP also makes BrainPOP Jr for younger children and BrainPOP ESL. The app is available for Apple and Android devices. Disclaimer: BrainPOP requires a subscription to access their full catalog of video topics.
Duolingo is a very simple to use app for learning a new language that elementary and middle school students will enjoy. If your device has a microphone, the student will be prompted to speak the words as he or she learns. Also available for both Apple and Android.
Khan Academy is gaining traction in many Silicon Valley schools with their short videos on math, science and economics, the humanities, and test preparation. Students learning a new topic or in need of review can find help in their large repertoire of videos. Also available via ITunes and Android.
ITunes U: For the ambitious student, some universities and colleges are putting their courses online in the vast ITunes U catalog. This is a fun way to learn about a new topic. You'll even find gems such as downloadable music and TED courses.
Bonus app for parents and teachers:
Common Core Standards are available for ITunes and Android to keep up with your student's achievements.