Educational Android Apps

Fun and Free Educational Apps

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HabitRPG/ Habitica

Habitica (formerly known as HabitRPG, which is still the name of the app at the time of this writing) is an app designed to keep people on task and help them to develop good habits.

It does this by gamifying the to-do list into three categories where the player gets experience points and rewards for succeeding in a positive actions, and taking away health points for negative ones. These actions are ones generated by the player:

Habits, where the player would indicate that they had done the "good" or "bad" habit, whenever it occurs throughout the day.

Dailies, where the player highlights a daily task they must complete, for which they are rewarded. If they do not do it, they are penalized.

Finally, To-Do's are for big, long-term projects that can have a deadline attached. These tasks provide a big reward when completed.

Players can join parties, where different players have different roles, such as healers, who can reduce the penalties for missing dailies. They can also collect pets and equipment as they successfully complete activities.

I personally use it to keep my University tasks organized in one place. For older students, it could be used to keep track of upcoming assignments, or to create incentive to study. For younger students, it could be used to reward good behaviours, or correct poor ones.

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Duolingo is a language learning program I stumbled across while trying to find a cheap, effective, and convenient method of learning french. Duolingo presents a variety of languages for students to learn, and presents it through a series of concise lessons that begin by covering the basics, and proceed to higher levels of language. It proceeds at the users pace by allowing users to set experience goals, in essence, how much learning they are willing to do a day. The content is provided in multiple ways, including speech, allowing for different learning styles, and different applications of the language, such as orally, written, or identifying objects.

One thing I really like about Duolingo is how it requires you to practice previously learned material. Each subject area has a strength bar which decreases over time. Students must go back in and practice that subject in order to keep the bar up. The less you practice, the more these bars decrease

Another great feature is that students with some experience in the language can skip sections they already have a mastery of, simply by completing a short quiz on that subject. Whole sections can be skipped in this way, allowing for native speakers of languages to challenge harder material without having to wait for their classmates, who are new to the language.

Finally, Duolingo has a free classroom feature, where teachers can set up virtual classrooms that students can join, after which the teacher can monitor their progress in the subject, assign homework, and provide additional instruction or challenges when necessary

Duolingo for Schools: A Real Teacher Testimonial
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Socrative is a mobile assessment tool which allows students to join a classroom and answer questions on their devices. These questions can be used in any way a teacher sees fit, anywhere from an evaluation to see what the students have internalized from the previous lesson, to games designed to increase student engagement in review activities. The question formats vary too, from short answer to multiple choice.

Another useful thing about Socrative is that the data from these assessments can be sent to Google Drive, allowing teachers to analyze the data they receive, and potentially share it with other teachers and administration to improve teaching in certain areas

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Quizlet is a study tool which allows users to create and share study sets for a variety of subject matter. This subject matter can be then reviewed in a variety of ways, such as through flash cards or learning games.

Quizlet can be accessed without signing up, but signing up provides opportunities to save sets that are of particular use, and review them again and again, with feedback from the site on what is being done well, or poorly
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One potential use for Quizlet, aside from students looking for files to ace your exam with, would be to have students contribute to a class study set by creating summaries of key concepts, or potential test questions. Then each student is required to review the material twice. Once to create their contribution, and then again when they practice the entire set
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This year, like many students at all level will at some point or another, I had to give a presentation in the first week of classes. Like most students, I had emailed the powerpoint file to myself, and would open it in class that day. Unfortunately, Gmail was down. However, I had also put my file on Dropbox. Dropbox is an online cloud service that allows you to access your files from anywhere provided you can access their app or website.

New to dropbox, however, is the ability to share files with partners, who can then edit the particular file, and Dropbox can send you a notification when that file is edited. Students could use this to share a file with a teacher for marking

Students can use Dropbox to store files for projects that they are working on, and then open them again at home, or on their phone, to review them. Dropbox allows 2GB of data for free, which is more than the average student would ever need in a school year. Further, a schoolboard could also look at purchasing a Dropbox business licence which allows unlimited storage, and allows users to recover lost or deleted files