A new school year is just around the corner, and though it can be tough to get back into that educational groove, there are plenty of apps available for iPhone and iPod to help make learning easier. Whether you’re the parent of a pre-schooler or you're a college student preparing for a tough senior year, you’ll find something useful here. We’ve rounded up the best apps available to get the most educational bang for your buck.
Despite a plethora of fun and colorful interactive elements and engaging animations, Incredible Numbers isn't a dumbed-down app for the digital generation. Rather, Professor Ian Stewart uses the iPad's boundless teaching tools to take the mystery out of some of mathematics' most difficult concepts, including factorials, Fibonacci numbers, and heptadecagons. An attractive menu of eight circles—plus a bonus section dedicated to brainteasers—guides you to your chosen lesson, but the simple one-word headings hardly prepare you for the wealth of information inside.
One of the challenges facing educational game developers is how to strike a balance between lessons and fun. Too much teaching, and the game ceases to keep a child’s attention; too little, and it becomes just another game. That’s one of the reasons Slice Fractions is so great: it has mastered teaching kids about fractional math without having overt lessons to do so. Slice Fractions tasks players with clearing a path for a woolly mammoth to get from one side of the screen to another.
President Obama may have had a lot to speak about during last night's State of the Union address, but he still found time to extend thanks to Apple and other tech companies for their efforts in education.
Back in June, we passed along the news that the Los Angeles Board of Education had approved a controversial measure to spend $30 million on iPads for students at a select group of schools. And now, as the L.A. Times reports (via Cult of Mac), the board is expanding the initiative to include 38 additional campuses, as well as buying laptop for students in seven high schools.
One of the sad truths of the modern age is that so many things rely on computers, but comparatively few schools offer the chance to learn the coding that powers most programs. Code.org's "Hour of Code Youth Workshops" throughout this week aimto change all that, and Apple itself will be hosting one-hour educational sessions for teens and children this Wednesday at Apple retail stores throughout the United States.
Rosetta Stone’s products immerse you in the language you are learning with its innovative teaching method and lessons that force you to think like a native speaker. Rosetta Stone Arcade Academy, a free-to-play iOS educational game, attempts to build on the foundation of the computer-based language courses by introducing some gaming components as it teaches you the basics of Spanish. The result, unfortunately, is a frustrating experience that often distracts more than it enlivens the process of learning.
Apple's long been known for its commitment to educational institutions, but starting today, seven schools in the Netherlands are taking that focus on education to a whole new level. These so-called "Steve Jobs schools" emphasize the use of the iPad in an elementary school environment, with an emphasis on giving students everything they need to start their education on the popular tablet.
There are plenty of free iPad apps for entertaining toddlers, but few have much real educational value. This isn’t a problem for Learn with Homer, an app created by top literacy experts that overflows with well-crafted early learning content. Aimed at ages three to six, Learn with Homer makes reading fun and instructive. Upon launch, up to three different little ones can customize the app with a photo from the front-facing camera, which is then decorated with one of several virtual “thinking caps.” It’s a fun way to set the stage for what lies ahead.
Gaming and television seem to be where the smart money hangs out these days, plus it just happens to be the focus of more than a couple of the hottest stories this week. As Apple TV owners, we just wish Cupertino could move a little faster on some much needed app integration. Meanwhile, what else is going on?