Technology is a major part of education today. In the classroom, and at home, kids of all ages are utilizing apps, and other resources, on a variety of devices each day.
From research to collaboration, technology has changed the way children (and adults) approach learning in modern society. Most schools currently offer students the opportunity to borrow an iPad each year, and the majority of educators use them on a daily basis for everything from lessons and reports, to quizzes and group projects.
When my oldest son began high school, we were searching for tools and resources that would help him be successful in his new, more intellectually demanding environment. We knew that with technology being such a big part of the educational experience, finding the right apps would help him to be a more efficient student.
We tested hundreds of free apps for high school students, and these were, by far, the best.
Allows you to access files from any computer with internet access, or any device with the Dropbox app installed on it. Using this app eliminates the need for a USB flash drive in most cases. Pictures, video, PDF files, and more can be stored completely free.
A time management app that helps keep students focused. Simply set the timer for a specific amount of time, and get busy studying. When the timer goes off, you’ll know it’s time to move on to the next task.
There is no need to carry around a bulky dictionary and thesaurus in your backpack. This app has them both, and also offers a fun “Word of the Day” feature that helps increase vocabulary skills in an engaging way.
Beautiful maps and globes will help students explore the world – both near and far.
Create to-do lists and voice memos to ensure you won’t forget a thing. Store files, photos, and so much more.
With 15GB of free space, and real-time updates, Google Drive is one of the best cloud services around. Create and edit documents, and collaborate easily with others for group projects or activities.
With a huge selection, you’ll likely find any book needed for high school literature class. Many textbooks are available as well. You’ll also have access to quizzes, videos, and other additional content to extend the learning.
If you’re studying a foreign language, this app is a must-have. With the ability to translate into dozens of languages, and an audio pronunciation assistance feature, this is a wonderful resource for high school and beyond.
A large library of audio podcasts and videos, as well as books and documents created by professors and teachers around the world. This app is sure to teach you something new.
One of the most popular free student planner apps in existence. Organize assignments, track due dates, and more.
This is one of the coolest apps I’ve ever seen! A must-have if you are taking an advanced math course. Use your own handwriting to solve problems that you might not know how to calculate on a traditional calculator.
Explore thousands of videos on a wide variety of educational topics. Khan Academy is a wonderful resource for students of all ages and abilities.
If you’d prefer to take notes by hand, rather than typing them, this is the app for you. The most realistic feeling pen and paper app around.
Netflix has tons of educational shows and documentaries. Plus, it’s a great option for those times when you need a break from studying and want to watch one of your favorite movies or TV shows. Note: Although the app is free, you’ll need a paid subscription to access content on Netflix.
Who needs flashcards and SAT study guides when you can practice SAT vocabulary words through interactive mini-games?! You’ll not only learn definitions, but spelling, usage, context, synonyms, and more.
Although parents often don’t understand, many high school students prefer to listen to music while studying. This app offers a plethora of ready-made playlists from every genre and artist you can imagine. If you’re looking for study tunes, this is the app for you.
A great resource when you’re searching for information on various topics. Some people don’t consider Wikipedia a reliable source, but I think when used properly (and in conjunction with other sources), it can be a valuable tool.
With a wide range of historic coverage, from colonization to the new millennium, this app is full of useful information about the history of the United States of America. Quizzes, maps, audio recordings, and slideshows make it highly interactive and engaging.
Packed with inspirational thoughts and stories, TED offers students the opportunity to expand their thinking, allowing them to learn from others who have shared their ideas in an effort to inspire change in the world. This app is a meaningful option for study breaks, and will surely leave you feeling open-minded and well-informed.
Of course, you might find silly videos of dancing babies and talking animals, but you’ll also discover lots of educational content and helpful tutorials on YouTube. If you’re a visual learner, this is an especially handy tool.
Bonus: The following app is not free, but at $1.99, it’s worth every penny.
A graphing calculator is a requirement for most high school math classes, and some of them can cost more than $100. This app turns your tablet or smartphone into a powerful graphing calculator, eliminating the need for an additional purchase. You’ll have the ability to graph functions, find exact coordinates of minimums and maximums, and so much more.
Do you have a favorite FREE app for high school students? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.