Schools across the country are requiring students to learn from home. And while the schools are providing educational material to correlate with material that would have been taught in classrooms, there is a disparity in the teaching methods and the materials being used. We’re all in uncharted territory here, and you might find that you want to augment what your children are learning, help out with family members who are helping students, be a guest instructor, or even create courses of your own. We’ve assembled a collection of apps that are designed to enhance the educational experience or, for those who are opting out of the regular school system, replace the school materials altogether.
Kahn Academy is a nonprofit organization known for its high quality K-12 education including AP classes and college prep, and while it appears that pretty much all classes are included, there is a focus on math and the sciences. Users can study for college entrance exams as well. Classes include videos, interactive exercises, and in-depth articles, there are daily lesson plans and other targeted resources. The app is free.
The for-profit K12 provides online education for public school students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Founded in 2000, the company has been providing educational materials to homeschooling parents and also directly to schools that offer online training. The company has been busy adding new schools to its list of subscribers since the start of the pandemic. The K12 apps (there are several) include course materials for all grades, timed proficiency tests, practice sessions, a parent portal, and there is even a social networking app where students, parents, and alumni can connect. Schools can white label the app with their own branding.
If foreign language training is on your agenda, you might want to check out Duolingo, the free language-learning app for both children and adults. A paid version is available for those who want an ad-free experience.
MathBoard was created to provide mathematics education for kindergartners through middle schoolers. Students aren’t just graded on whether or not they solved a problem, but they have the opportunity to be walked through every step of the solution to solidify their learning. Users can configure the app to match the ability level of the student.
Learn World Geography uses a flashcard technique to help students learn countries, capitals, flags, and currencies. The program contains an algorithm that provides the flashcards in a customized order based on the right pattern for maximum learning.
Reading apps start with the phonic essentials in the Bob Books Reading Magic apps. Based on the print books, these apps help the youngest readers sound out simple words and learn to spell. Jumping to the other end of the reading spectrum, Reading Trainer takes readers to the next level with programs that improve reading speed and retention. Reading comprehension is put to the test in the Quoted Reading Comprehension app which provides hundreds of quotations followed with questions that challenge the reader’s understanding.
If you belong to a public library, check out the Kanopy app, available at no charge at libraries throughout the country. One of its features is access to the Great Courses, where you can dive in and have an in-depth learning experience with the college level courses in this series.
If you’re interested in becoming a guest lecturer for online learning, start with your local school district. It’s extremely likely that your neighborhood teachers who are being thrown into the world of online education will welcome community members who want to share their expertise. For those who want to offer adult education, there are plenty of organizations such as Udemy, Lynda, and Education2Go, just to name a few, where qualified instructors can create and teach their own courses.
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