Tablet Tools: Good Apps for Students

Tablet Tools: Good Apps for Students

By Kathryn M. D’Imperio

Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to keep your kids interested in the world around them. Many schools now introduce iPads and tablets into the classroom, and even more families have them at home. Whether your children have their own iPads or you share one as a family, you can inspire much more than game playing with these cool tech devices. From presentation apps and spreadsheet apps to music apps, painting canvas apps and more, tech devices like tablets can make learning fun for everyone. Apps can even help with homework, better prepare students for tests, and they can certainly push the boundaries of creativity, allowing kids to explore and discover even when they aren’t in school.

As you begin searching for cool apps to supplement your student’s schoolwork, you will find countless paid and free apps for the iOS and Android platforms. You can download the apps and try them for yourself first before showing them to your kids, or you can encourage your children to innovate and find apps on their own to help make their schooling easier and more fun than ever.

Consider these helpful educational apps to assist and inspire your students:

Apps for Organization and Schoolwork


Forget about all those half-used paper notepads and the barrage of sticky notes. Evernote allows people of all ages to keep all notes and lists organized in one place that you can access from all your devices. You can jot down notes, capture photos, record voice reminders, and create lists as often as you like. The best part is your notes are completely searchable, which makes it easy for you or your students to keep track of everything from homework assignments to recipes, to-do lists, and more.



No one ever likes writing bibliographies and reference sheets, so it’s no wonder there’s an app to do it the easy way. Simply scan the barcode or enter the book’s title to generate correct citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style. An app that creates a reference list for you and makes an exportable reference list for reports or papers could be worth its weight in gold to many students. There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but with this app, at least students won’t be working through their lunch period trying to finish up their reference sections.


iStudiez Pro

Even traditional planners can be easily replaced by mobile apps that allow students to access their assignments, due dates, and other to-do lists anytime, anywhere. The iStudiez Pro app is a virtual planner that functions like a real notebook. Designed for students trying to stay organized in high school, college, and beyond (and also for parents of students who also want to stay organized), this app includes interactive calendars with daily and weekly views, notifications, cloud sync, grade tracking and more.


Apps for Creativity, Exploration and Discovery

Music Sparkles

Fourteen musical instruments make this app fun and exciting for the whole family. Tap and play on the instruments, develop musical hearing skills, and familiarize young students with the different kinds of instruments. You can enjoy playing along with pre-recorded instrument loops or you can also check out Do-Re-Mi playback on a treble clef C scale. This app is fun and educational on a number of levels.

Initially free, with paid enhancements


 Sketch, write, draw, outline and color to your heart’s content with this app that does it all when it comes to creativity. You can create storyboards, brainstorming flows, drawings and more with a variety of tools and techniques that continue to inspire and open the door to better projects and more inventive downtime once your student’s homework is done.

Initially free, with paid enhancements

Star Walk Astronomy

If you want to help your children learn about the universe around them, consider this fun and exciting app they can use once the sun goes down. The Star Walk Astronomy app lets you discover constellations, satellites and stars in the night sky in real time. Use this app to teach your kids about astronomy or as a fun add-on to your family camping trip and s’mores making around the campfire. Everyone is sure to love it.



For every app category – music, art, writing, spelling, science, math – you can find dozens if not hundreds of apps ready and waiting to enhance your family’s learning and skill enrichment. Even teachers can stretch the capabilities of their iPads and Android tablets further, projecting videos and data from their devices to a larger screen for all the students to see. The use of technology in the classroom helps to better prepare kids for the ever-evolving world around them, but it also makes learning more fun and interactive.

Just about anyone can benefit from different mobile device apps that serve a variety of purposes – learning and skill development, organization, art, writing and more. Kids Media by Common Sense Media (search Common Sense Media in the App Store) makes it easy to find exactly what you need when it comes to apps for students and kids. You can read up on ratings and reviews of apps and kids’ media before downloading books, movies, apps, and more. Common Sense Media also displays the language, available platforms, and appropriate age levels (from the very young up to teenagers) for the apps you may be considering. This can be an especially helpful tool when choosing apps for your kids to use.

Make time to talk with your children and be sure to discuss their classes, their homework, and their studies. Ask them about any challenges they might be facing in any aspect of schooling and particular courses. What you find may or may not surprise you, but as far as finding a helpful solution, there’s probably an app for that.

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