Apps in the classroom - An epic list of the only ones your child will ever need
4 January 2016
6 min read
With a new educational app coming out (nearly) every day, how can you keep track of the best and separate them from the rest? Whether you're a parent wanting to support your kids, or a teacher wanting to bring the best to your classroom, this hand-curated list of educational apps will help you inspire and encourage learners of every age.
We've included age ranges and technology platforms so your search is simple. Many of the apps are available on multiple platforms, so just visit your device's app store and search for the name of the app as listed below.
Keep in mind that many apps have both free and paid (premium) versions. Explore the free versions before investing in paid-for add-ons.
- Let's Do Mental Math – £1.99 – iOS
Basic math for ages 6–7. Helps teach the fundamentals and allows the child to take practice tests.
- Bubble Pop Multiplication – £1.49 – iOS & Android
A fun way to learn and go over multiplication skills by popping bubbles to solve sums.
- Chicken Coop Fractions – Free – iOS
Aimed towards Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11). Play games to learn fractions.
- IXL – Free but subscription needed – iOS
Subscription is required for this app but users say that this is the ultimate math app for all levels, covering the gamut from basic arithmetic to Year 13 algebra, statistics and more.
- Mathematicus – Free – Windows Phone
A prime resource for mathematical equations and formulas, suitable for advanced level students and those in university.
- Solar Walk – Free; from £0.79 for additional learning bundles – iOS
This award-winning app shows the solar system in 3D. Students can use the touch-screen to navigate between planets, study celestial bodies up close and learn about their trajectories, inner structures, history and more.
- Star Walk – Free – Android and iOS
Uses devices' location sensors to show stars, constellations and more in the sky.
- A Life Cycle App – £0.64 – Android
For Key Stage 2 Science (ages 7-11) students to learn about the life cycles of different animals.
- Anatomy 3D Organs – £1.79 – Android
For secondary school students; shows complex anatomy and organs.
- Periodic Droid – £0.60 – Android
Learn the periodic table with this app, which shows 55 properties for each of the 118 elements, their isotopes and more. Quizzes help consolidate knowledge.
- The Great Inventors – £1.49 – iOS
Learn about the great inventors and what they invented, from the lightbulb to the car and the cinema.
- Timeline Battle Castles – £2.29 (launch discount; iPhone)/£7.99 (iPad) – iOS
Created by the producers of the eponymous Discovery TV series, this app covers 500 years of medieval history and over 100 castles. A timeline sorts it all by castle type, siege, weapons, film and photos.
- Digital Mysteries: Remembrance Day – £1.99 – iOS
Students aged 7-11 can learn about Remembrance Day via an engaging story-based approach to uncover the historical origins of the commemoration.
- World War II Interactive – £2.99 – iOS
Most comprehensive app on WWII with engaging multimedia and rare pictures of its greatest battles, runup and fallout, for age 10 and above.
- Street Museum: Londinium – Free – iOS
View the key sites of Roman London and excavate finds by brushing across your touch-screen or blowing into your iPhone's microphone. Audio recordings recreate the bustle of city life and rebellion.
- Phonics Lilies – Free – iOS
For beginning or foundation stages, this app teaches individual letter sounds and blends consonants and vowels into words.
- Visualearn – £2.99 – iOS
This app promotes vocabulary development, sentence development and sight words. It caters to visual learners or children with developmental disabilities.
- Writing Challenge for Kids – £1.49 – iOS
Built for ages 7–14, this creative writing app helps kids learn how to write their own stories through prompts such as using particular sentence, character or word.
- GCSE English Revision – £2.99 – Android
A comprehensive app that focuses on the AQA Higher Language GCSE Exam.
- Cambridge Essential Grammar in Use – £5.99 – Android
This app has over 600 questions and 150 activities to learn grammar for all ages, as well as an easy glossary to look up definitions of words.
- Picsart – Free – Android
An interactive art–learning app for children. They can learn to draw, colour and save their photos to the device they are working on.
- Start with Art – £7.99 – iOS
Develop art and creativity skills, from how to understand the message in art, to using lines and shapes to communicate ideas. Characters, fun videos and interactive activities make this great for elementary aged students.
- I Can Animate – £1.99 – iOS
Helps primary school kids learn to create stop-frame animation using images captured by their iOS device.
- LoveArt: National Gallery London – £2.29 – iOS
For older students to learn about over 250 works within London's National Gallery, including commentary and expert insight, and zoomable high-res images.
- Art Authority K–12 – £5.49 – iOS
A kid friendly version of Art Authority's #1 App, with nearly 50,000 paintings and sculptures from around the world - minus nudity and other adult content - as well as the ability to view similar artworks and artworks near any GPS location.
- Duolingo – Free – iOS, Android and Windows Phone
Duolingo is an award-winning language app that is recommended for beginners. It teaches you languages including Spanish, German, Danish, Turkish and even Esperanto, the artificially created language, in daily lessons of just 20 minutes. No purchase required for further lessons.
- Babbel – Free to download; from £8.95/month for a full course – iOS and Android
Learn different languages such as Spanish, Russian, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish through interactive courses tailored to age and learning goals for beginning and advanced students.
- GCSE Spanish Prep, GCSE French Prep – £2.99 – iOS
These apps are for GCSE Level Students, containing a library of virtual flashcards with a term on one side and the meaning on the other side, as well as interactive “word jumble" activities for another approach to learning.
- Endless Spanish – Free to download; £4.49 for language packs – iOS
Offers children a way to learn Spanish through interactive learning, games and silly monsters. This app uses animated letters and words in order to encourage children to learn new Spanish words.
- Lingo Zoo – £0.79 – iOS
A Spanish learning app for children to learn through jigsaw puzzles and other interactive games and animated animals.
- Khan Academy – Free – iOS, Android and Window Phone
Learn nearly anything across all levels with this top-rated, comprehensive learning app.
- Flashcards Pro – Free - Windows Phone
Offering 42 different voices in 19 languages, students can learn languages, alphabets and vocabulary, as well as prepare for competitive exams, improve memory, and more.
For additional exploration and inspiration, have a look at these "best of" apps lists:
Apps to Support History and Paleontology (UK Ed Chat)
Best Educational Apps for Kids (Educational App Store)
54 Best Kids Apps for 2015-16 (PC Advisor)
And don't forget - HP's educational offerings are designed to bring learning and technology closer together. Using ProBooks and ProTablets built for the classroom, teachers and students can work collaboratively on intuitive interfaces designed to streamline learning in an active and fun environment. Even the batteries are designed to last the entire school day - so that the power you put into designing your lessons will never be failed by the power behind the technology in your classroom.
Discover more about how technology can boost learning and teaching at HP Education.