Netbooks and tablets are increasingly becoming the norm in classrooms. And with the start of a new school, this is as good an opportunity as any to try out a few new learning apps. (See our first app rundown here.) Here are four more we think you should try:
Learn With Homer
Learn With Homer is a colorful app designed by literacy experts to build language and reading skills in preschoolers. Full of beautiful, engaging illustrations, this app offers phonetic lessons, help with pronunciation and exercises to help children retain their skills. It contains classic children’s tales, plus new stories created just for the app featuring the titular Homer (a pigeon, named after the Greek poet) and friends. Children can also draw and make recordings related to the stories, all of which are saved to a special pinboard.
In 2011, Amazon stated that digital textbooks were outselling traditional textbooks. But even with a world of technology available, most digital textbooks are just as stodgy looking as their printed counterparts. Inkling changes all that, mixing pleasing design with interactive graphics for an optimal textbook app. These ebooks offer lessons in cooking, anatomy, music, travel guides from Rick Steves, all the paintings of the Louvre(!) and more.
Kangaroo Jump! Leap! Bounce! Music Education for Your Kids
Aside from having the distinction of being the longest named app on this list, Kangaroo Jump! Leap! Bounce! Music Education for Your Kids is also a really fun music app. This app teaches basic musical concepts by using actual classical music (Charles-Camille Saint-Saens’ The Carnival of Animals). For example, when called upon to help a kangaroo find her joey, students must tap the screen for a specific duration to create staccato or legato notes. As someone who took up violin at age 10, I’m a little partial to this app. While the jury might still be out on what effects early music instruction might have on students, it’s never too early to appreciate the arts.
Model Me Going Places
This free app provides autistic children with scene-by-scene pictures of common social situations to take anxiety out of everyday interaction. These grocery store, hairdresser, doctor, playground, mall and restaurant scenarios include narration, so whether your child is stimulated by visuals or audio, you’re covered. Model Me Kids makes several apps for children with autism; be sure to check them out for your special needs classroom.
Do you use learning apps in your classroom, or even your children at home? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.