Learning apps have skyrocketed in popularity during COVID-19--here are some exciting apps to try this winter

12 fun learning apps to beat winter boredom

Learning apps have skyrocketed in popularity during COVID-19--here are some exciting apps to try this winter

The 2020-2021 school year has been anything but typical. With more and more students using devices for school each day, learning apps are more prevalent than ever.

While too much passive screen time isn’t ideal, active screen time–during which students are creating content or thinking critically using engaging learning apps–can be beneficial, especially when students are learning from home or in hybrid situations where they’re using devices more often.

Here, we’ve compiled 12 fun learning apps that students can use with teachers, parents and adults, or on their own.

1. DIY.org Creative Challenge‘s video library is filled with the awesome stuff in the world that delights both parents and kids. Art, innovation, science, laughter, and everything in-between. Plus, it’s all ad-free. Most videos are paired with projects that kids can do at home. We’ll also show your kids videos made by other kids on DIY to inspire their imagination and help them get started.

2. Moose Math engages kids in a mathematical adventure and teaches counting, addition, subtraction, sorting, geometry and more. While playing 5 multi-level activities in the Moose Juice Store, Puck’s Pet Shop and Lost & Found, kids can earn rewards to help build their own city and decorate buildings.

3. In NumberRun, Baron von Count has stolen the 4 Mathemagical crystals of the land. Chase him down and bring him to justice or humanity will be forced to count on their fingers forever! Number Run is great practice for boys & girls learning math and adults who just want to stay sharp.

4. Foolproof Reading: Learn Fast!, for grades K-2, is the latest app from Mrs. Wordsmith. Foolproof Reading is science-based and helps children aged 4-8 learn to read using the building blocks of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. In this adventurous reading game, children teach the animals to read and move up the Readerboard. Along the way, they earn decorations to design their Treehouse Library. It also features an educator’s guide: Foolproof Reading Educator’s Guide.

5. DragonBox Numbers will teach your child what numbers are, how they work, and what you can do with them. The game makes it easy and fun for your child to gain an intuitive understanding of numbers. It’s a great introduction to the wonderful world of math. DragonBox Numbers brings math to life by turning numbers into colorful and relatable characters, called Nooms. The Nooms can be stacked, sliced, combined, sorted, compared and played with, any way your child pleases.

6. Tic Toc Time knows that learning to read a clock face is not an intuitive process for children. Tic Toc Time for iPad and iPhone is a time-telling app that teaches children aged 5-8 how to read a clock face using elements that they’re already deeply familiar with: sun, shadow, night, and day. Once the foundation is laid, children are taught how to read a clock face and tell time via a simple, easy and fun learning path that was crafted in conjunction with renowned Swiss astrophysicist Slim Hamdani.

7. CoderZ is an innovative and engaging online learning environment. Developed for students in grades 2 and above, the gamified STEM solution allows students to work at their own pace, easily programming real and virtual robots from anywhere in the world. Plus, students can check out the CoderZ League Sprint Challenge, a cloud-based robotics tournament designed to let students connect with peers and improve their STEM skills.

8. Read Along is a free reading app for Android that helps children have fun while they learn to read. Read Along has an in-app reading buddy that listens to your young learner read aloud, offers assistance when they struggle and rewards them with stars when they do well–guiding them along as they progress. It works best for children who already have some basic knowledge of the alphabet. After the initial download, the app works securely offline.

9. With Khan Academy Kids, children can learn reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, problem-solving skills, and motor development. Open-ended activities and games like drawing, storytelling, and coloring encourage creativity and self-expression. A cast of adorable animal characters will guide children through lessons, and our adaptive learning path will customize their experience to help them master different skills. Khan Academy Kids is completely free, forever–no ads and no subscriptions necessary.

10. Grammar Smash is a simple, fun, block busting game for learning basic English grammar quickly and easily. Smash words to form sentences in this highly addictive basic English grammar course for ESL/EFL students. Learning English grammar has never been so simple, fun and easy.

11. The Grammarly Keyboard helps users craft better emails, clearer texts, mistake-free tweets. They can use it to write confidently in every app. And with many kids learning online, coupled with students using devices outside of school and developing “social media speak,” the need for grammar knowledge is more urgent than ever.

12. Faces iMake is a tool for creating collages using pictures of every-day objects. It is a tool for expanding visual awareness and visual associations–activities mostly controlled by our right brain.

Laura Ascione

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