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Best Free Apps for Students for iOS and Android: Elementary School to College

Jane Bertin
By Jane Bertin. Updated: June 3, 2018
Best Free Apps for Students for iOS and Android: Elementary School to College

Good news, students, parents and teachers everywhere: There is life beyond Evernote! In fact, there are so many educational apps and guides out there that is seems impossible to find the best one, and when you believe you have, it turns out it's expensive or not compatible with your device.

Stay with us at OneHowTo, because we have a guide to the best free apps for students for iOS and Android. We'll walk you through all educational levels, from elementary to postgraduate school, and add some apps especially for teachers as well.

  1. Best free apps for elementary school
  2. Best free apps for middle and high school
  3. Best apps for college and postgraduate school
  4. Best apps for teachers and parents

Best free apps for elementary school

Elementary or primary school, which usually ranges from ages four to twelve, is probably the most important stage of all. Children develop their reading, artistic and mathematical abilities at this point, as well as their fine motor skills. Beyond the amount of things they learn, it's very important to capture their interest in learning during this period so that studying will never feel like a duty but a pleasure.

Best reading, spelling and writing apps:

  • Vocabulary Spelling City: The child learns spelling through games. It works across different devices, and it can be linked to a teacher's account so that they can chart the child's progress.
  • Scholastic Parent & Child's KidQ: A fun Q&A game to spend quality time and conversation with your child. It offers a question every day, as well as fun facts. Great to discuss over breakfast!

Best maths and science apps:

  • Nth Fusion: Has a wide collection of free apps for different subjects (focusing on the sciences, like biology or geometry) and ages. Pick and choose!
  • ScratchJr: This app looks like a fun click-and-drag game, but it's actually an introduction to programming!
  • Project Noah: A field guide for curious and adventurous children; they can record the wildlife they encounter and get patches.
  • NASA App: Includes images, news and stories about space. Capture your child's imagination!

Other educational apps for elementary school students:

  • Music Tutor: Help your child learn music by taking quizzes and practising note reading and pitch identification.
  • BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week: Discover different topics through animated videos that your child will love!

Best free apps for middle and high school

As they move on to middle school and teenager-dom, children are already proficient at using apps. In fact, they're often way more comfortable online using mobile devices than their parents and teachers, and they learn according to their own interests and rhythm.

Learning through apps can be fun and motivating, but the pressure of standard classes and exams can kill that enthusiasm. However, there are many free apps that work perfectly to enhance the high school experience, making revising easy and fun.

Best time management apps for students:

  • My Study Life: A simple and practical cross-platform planner which syncs timetables, tasks and deadlines from different apps. Don't lose track!
  • Microsoft Office Mobile: Start and edit projects wherever you are with the mobile version of Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point. A good choice to skip the note-taking step.
  • Scholly: Looking for scholarships and preparing for applications can be exhausting. This free app gathers scholarship opportunities as well as tips and examples for essays to make the process easier.

Best apps to do better in school:

  • LitCharts: SparkNotes... As an app. Includes book summaries and the most important themes and elements to analyze most of the books that could possibly be in your required reading list. It does not substitute reading the book, of course, but it sure helps.
  • Mathway: A step by step guide to all kinds of mathematical problems, from basic calculations to algebra.
  • The Oxford Dictionary
  • RealCalc Scientific Calculator: Who needs a calculator any more? This even does equations!
  • Vocabulary Builder: Work on your vocabulary list for your SATs or any other exam. You can compete with other students, which makes it feel more like a game.
  • Quizlet: Prepare your own flash cards and use others'. Plus, you can study through games and quizzes - perfect for stress-free revising.
  • Photomath: It's a calculator, yes... But it works by taking a picture of the problem! It explains the process to get the answer, so it's not really cheating, is it?
  • StudyBlue: It creates flashcards from your Evernote account, as well as reminders.
  • Fetchnotes: Manage your notes by tagging, re-arranging and sharing them with your friends.
  • SimpleMind+: Mind mapping app for visual learners.

Best apps to learn beyond school:

  • Duolingo: Learn a wide variety of languages easily, with a fun and engaging system. Perfect to support language courses, but also to learn on your own!
  • Rosetta Stone: Another hugely popular independent language-learning method based on conversation.
  • Smithsonian Channel: Offers a wide library of short documentaries and videos from the prestigious museum in virtually any subject. Make the most of your spare time!
  • Khan Academy: Offers lessons and courses through videos. And what's best, it's available offline.

Best apps for college and postgraduate school

Most of the educational and learning apps for high school are still useful for college students, so you don't need to reset your device. However, when you get to higher education it's more important than ever to research and manage endless data of information, which makes it too easy to get distracted and lose sight of your priorities. For that, we recommend:

  • Any.do: A simple and practical to-do list app. To learn more about time management apps, take a look at our guide to the best free apps to be more productive.
  • Dropbox or Drive: We can't underscore how important it is to use cloud storage systems. Really, get at least one of these.
  • Scribd: Alright, this is not actually free - it's a 10 dollar/month membership. However, this online library allows you to access endless books, documents and journals, and you can share them and organize them as you prefer.
  • EasyBib: Don't worry about citation and bibliographies ever again.
  • Studious: It's not just a calendar. You can add deadlines, class locations and professors' names, so if your schedule changes often you won't get lost.
  • Coursera: Access hundreds of online courses by prestigious universities. Yes, it's extra work, but it doesn't feel like it.
  • MyScript Smart Note: It digitalizes your notes, recognizes your handwriting and lets you edit, doodle and add multimedia content.
Best Free Apps for Students for iOS and Android: Elementary School to College - Best apps for college and postgraduate school

Best apps for teachers and parents

We have seen lots of free apps for students, but parents and teachers should not feel left out. Many developers have realized that digital boards and planners ought to be not only flashy but also easy to use. Here at OneHowTo we recommend:

  • Socrative: Assess students through quizzes and games and follow their progress with charts. There's a separate app for students, and you can manage them in classrooms.
  • Common Core: Useful for both parents and teachers, it breaks down core standards according to category. This way, you can understand exactly what's expected of your student or child and help them.
  • Explain Everything: A cross-device, collaborative whiteboard app.
  • Seesaw: The Learning Journal: Useful for parents and teachers, it charts the student's learning process and the content of the classes so that everybody is on the same page.
  • Edmodo: Half lesson planner half social media, it connects teachers and parents to discuss the student's progress, organize events and remind deadlines.

Now that you know the best free apps for students for iOS and Android, why not share your favorites in the comments section?

If you want to read similar articles to Best Free Apps for Students for iOS and Android: Elementary School to College, we recommend you visit our Learning category.

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Best Free Apps for Students for iOS and Android: Elementary School to College