“People expect to be bored by eLearning—let’s show them it doesn’t have to be like that!” - Cammy Bean, e-learning instructional designer.
The private tutoring industry quickly realised that new technologies had to be integrated on the normal learning experience of any pupil or student. These days, you can access private lesson or video call classrooms for free on many websites. You can revise all subjects, maths, physics, chemistry, history or geography and even French. It is predicted that 15.5 billion app downloads will occur in the UK in 2018. That is a crazy 236 apps for every single person living in the UK. The app market grew by 6% in 2017 and will keep growing in the years to come. With 96% of the A-level students owning a smartphone, it is no wonder that e-learning has been booming in recent years. We summed up a few apps that you could use to help your students further by providing them with the right tool for an e-education.
Inspired by the Montessori method of learning and teaching (which is thoroughly detailed in the Note to Parents on the main page), this app was developed by 3 parents to avail the lack of playful learning software. This app is aimed at kids aged from 3 to 5 years old and will help them in learning numbers. Montessori Numberland is an educational app that teaches kids the numbers 0 through 9 through counting, writing, and exploring. With each numbers having its own story showing a boy and a girl in a different scene, the two characters can be clicked on to activate different activities. The app also contains lots of drawing and tracing options for the kids and is full of positive reinforcement to strengthen the learning experience. What we like:
- Each number can be learned separately and including playful animations.
- The user experience has been made very easy for parents and kids.
- Kids learn to write the numbers and their quantified values too.
What we like less:
- With the advent of smartphone and tablets comes the question of "What age is old enough to be introduced to smartphones?". We think that every parent will have a different opinion on this matter and that every kid is also different.
See how you can use educational games in your tutoring sessions...
2. DragonBox Big Numbers
This math game is aimed at kids slightly older, from 6 to 9 years old. It will introduce kids to the "World of Nooms" and will get them to learn about long addition and subtraction. The game and activities on this learning app also introduce children to strategic methods to get them to trade resources to gain access to more worlds. The app is designed to be increasingly difficult every time a child add and subtract correctly, allowing the game to adapt to the kid and to challenge them more and more. The further they go in this learning game, the bigger the number gets and the harder the operations are. Six different worlds can be accessed, explored and in each one resource can be collected and traded.
- A very playful app.
- The progressive learning curve of the game.
- No need to know how to read to play.
All this make DragonBox the perfect app to introduce preschoolers and toddlers to the basic of maths in an intuitive way. Again, every parent will have to decide if they think that giving access to screens to their children is good or not but we also advise that parents and educators should accompany the children in their learning experience. This is just one of many online resources you could recommend to your students!
3.Lola's Alphabet Train
This app has been designed for kids aged from 3 to 8 years old. It aims at teaching children how to read the letters of the alphabet. Just like DragonBox, the educational games becomes increasingly difficult the further the child progresses while remaining fun and engaging. The word game for kids include a lot of positive reinforcement and keep kids motivated by rewarding them as they progress through. The storyline also keeps the kids engaged. This app included a dozen languages too. It is perfect to engage young children and slowly introduce them to vocabulary, phonics and spelling to make sure that their literacy level starts developing as early as kindergarten. What we like:
- The increasing difficulty of the game will match the learning pace of every child
- After every letter, associated words will be taught to the children
- With a dozen languages and 5 different alphabets, Lola's Alphabet Train is also great to introduce kids to foreign languages.
What we don't like:
- Uppercases and lower cases mixed together can be confusing for kids
- The free version has limited features
- Some bugs need to be fixed
Have a look at jobs for ex teachers on here.
4.iTooch Elementary School and iTooch Middle School
The English version of iTooch has been designed for American kids. Nonetheless, a lot of the exercises that are offered on here can translate to the British curriculum. The Elementary School version is aimed at children aged from 6 to 11 years old, the equivalent of Year 1 to Year 6 in the UK. While the Middle School version is aimed at kids aged between 11 to 14 years old, or our equivalent of the Secondary school in the UK. With more than 28,000 exercises this app is probably the largest collection of educational activities. Kids can learn contains all subjects: Maths, Languages, Arts and Sciences and so on. This app creates great an interactive game dynamics and incentives so that the user always wants to progress further in the application. Apps embed a blackboard and a calculator for students to write and calculate directly on the screen without having to leave the app. What we like:
- The very friendly and playfully interactive user interface.
- Each chapter contains a summary of the lesson
- Programs and content get updated automatically as soon as an Internet connection is available.
- The lessons and exercises are written by fully trained teachers and educators and developed by kids apps developer
What we like less:
- To use all the features of the app it will cost you £5.50.
- The app is mainly designed to be used within the classical education system.
Nevertheless, this is but one way to make tutoring fun for your pupils!
5. World Geography - Quiz Game
World Geography is a quiz game that will help children (and adults too) to learn everything about countries - maps, flags, capitals, population, religion, language, currency and much more. This quiz game will help you learn everything about geography in an easy and playful way. With more than 6000 questions ranging from easy to really hard, this game is accessible by all. What we like:
- Any student, at any level, can play and extend their general culture
- Even though it is called World Geography, the game approaches various subjects such as the economy, history, physics and social studies.
- The game is available in 6 different languages.
- The difficulty of the game increases as the player progresses.
One of the main positive things about this game app is that it is completely free. It will be a great and easy way for students that just want to improve their knowledge or for children have some difficulties with the formal classical education, to learn in a pace and setting that fits them better.
This app is a language learning software. If you're looking to revise French or Spanish or to learn a completely new language like Japanese, this app is for you. Learn Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Korean, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Norwegian, Turkish, Dutch, Icelandic, English or even Mongolian. This app won the Best iPad App of the Year 2016 in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. A very big deal since the education system in Scandinavian countries is renowned for being better than the rest of its European neighbours. With more than 200 courses edited by expert linguists, Memrise can be used in the tube, on your bed or at your desk and will get you bilingual (or multilingual) in no time. But such a good app will come to a price, however, it is not much as you can access all the app's features for $4.99 (per month!).
Self-described as the "Ultimate Revision Tool", this app covers all your GCSE, A-Levels and University revision apps with all the relevant subjects: History, Maths, English, Chemistry, Physics, Economy, Biology, Computer Science, Business Studies and so on. It contains more than 1 million revision notes and flashcards that you can save in your own folders for a quick access. Each level of education is separated and contains a lot of videos to help you in your studies. And it is Free.
Probably aimed at an older crowd, the TED app, by the TED Talks organisation is worth mentioning. This library of more than 1,000 videos of some of the most influential speakers in the world, can introduce you to many fascinating subjects. The videos are also proposed in more than 90 subtitle languages and the subjects range from business to technology and education. You can even download them to watch them when you don't have any Internet access, which is ideal if you're taking the tube to school. And best of all, it is free. So is this expanded guide to making lessons fun!
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