Want to engage students? Have them create apps

Student app development is on the rise, and ed-tech companies have tapped into this trend by launching programs that teach kids how to build their own apps

With mobile apps soaring in popularity, companies such as Crescerance and Treehouse have created programs that help teach kids how to build their own apps.

Each month, tens of thousands of mobile apps are added to the app stores for Apple iOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows 8—and a growing number of these are from K-12 students.

There’s an app from fifth-grader Danielle that teaches users how to create intricate Rainbow Loom designs, for instance—which had been downloaded more than 20,000 times as of press time.

There’s an app from a student named Kennedy that teaches visitors to France some basic words and phrases to know, as well as facts about France and where to visit. And there’s an app from a student named Ryan that offers fashion advice and lets users share photos of outfits they like with their friends.…Read More

App of the week: The Pocket Scavenger

Name: The Pocket Scavenger

What is it? With The Pocket Scavenger app, users will be asked to find and photograph a spectrum of quirky items: something that is miniature, a stain that is green, something from the year you were born, a used envelope, and more. Once the quarry is in site, users can choose to be assigned an alteration dictated solely by chance: create a funny character, conceal it, add a family member, photograph it at night, make it “pretty,” and so on.

Best for: A variety of age ranges.…Read More

App of the week: SAS Data Notebook

Name: SAS Data Notebook

What is it? SAS® Data Notebook lets students take control of their learning and monitor their progress. Built-in templates for mission statements, goals, checklists, plus/deltas, spelling lists and histograms are included.

Best for: Older elementary to high school students…Read More

App of the week: Voice Dream Reader-Text to Speech

Name: Voice Dream Reader – Text to Speech

What is it? An iOS text-to-speech application that is giving students a more effective way to access text. Apple’s iOS text-to-speech features don’t provide a seamless listening experience. Students using iPads can’t make their devices read out loud an entire novel with the tap of a finger; pause, rewind or fast forward when using voice over to take a test; or easily jump to different sections of the text. Voice Dream Reader allows for these functions and offers a number of other text-to-speech customizations.

Best for: All students…Read More