Students Can Boost Online Learning with Virtual School Apps

Teenage boy in a bedroom listening to music through his smartphoneHigh school students attending online school (and let’s face it, that’s just about every student in the country right now thanks to the coronavirus pandemic) can give themselves a leg up by taking advantage of some of the many educational apps to boost their learning. A variety of supportive virtual school apps can help any student improve how they learn, whether you continue in an online high school like Achieve Virtual Education Academy, go back to regular high school when the crisis is over, or remain a homeschool student.

Education Apps: Beyond Games for Online Learning

Most of the apps we list here are specifically designed for use on mobile devices such as an iPad (or other tablet) or iPhone (or other smartphone). From science to math to learning how to write better or speaking a foreign language, there’s an app for that! And these apps let students take online e-learning to a whole new level. We also highlight free virtual school apps as much as possible and note if there is any cost associated with each one. Students interested in going beyond games to maximize their virtual learning can experience rich educational activities with these apps.

Science and Technology Instruction Apps for the High School Student

Below you’ll find a mix of both apps and websites appropriate for both the student and the teacher to up their game in any biology, chemistry, or physics course, plus a few other resources on specific topics such as climate change. Careers in science and technology are more important than ever, and these apps and sites will get you headed in the right direction.

  • BioInteractive: This extensive multimedia website was assembled by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and is constantly updated with all kinds of data-rich activities, case studies, high-quality videos, and interactive media to bring powerful stories to life sciences. The have a lot of materials available now about coronavirus and other viruses.
  • iCell App: Every biology student has to study the living cell, and this app brings it to life by giving you a 3D view inside a cell. Available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, or web-based.
  • Periodic Table: This app was built by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It’s an interactive periodic chart of the elements, but you can get all kinds of information through it on each element, including videos and podcasts. You can filter the information to keep it appropriate for your level. Available for both iOS and Android, or web-based.
  • PhotoStudy: This amazing study app connects users almost instantly with a study expert tutor whenever you need help with a homework or test study question in math, physics, and chemistry. Snap a photo of the problem and get help! The app is free, but there will be in-app offers.
  • NASA Global Climate Change – Vital Signs of the Planet: When it comes to robust data and information about the biggest environmental challenge of our times, this website can’t be beat. And there’s also its Earth Now free app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android to put planet Earth’s vital signs in the palm of your hand.

English, Writing, and Language Apps

Families with high schoolers can benefit from good online learning apps to supplement student classes in English, foreign languages, or better writing for all their classes to put them ahead of the school game when it comes to learning, whether in the online environment or the traditional classroom. Here are a few great language learning and writing apps:

  • GradeProof: This app acts like your personal editor to fix all sorts of things with your writing. The free version will help with basic spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Unlocking its advanced capabilities will cost you around $10/month.
  • Grammarly: This web-based app is another source of writing help, which also has a free plan that’s fairly basic and a premium plan for $20-$30/month depending how you pay.
  • Duolingo: A lot of schools are already having their students use Duolingo to supplement their foreign language classes, and students can really give themselves a jumpstart by using it just five minute a day. It covers 35 different languages and it’s free. Available for iOS, Android, Windows, and web-based.
  • uVocabs: UltraVocabs Vocabular Trainer is an app designed to teach you new vocabulary words on the go, which is especially good if you’re gearing up for standardized tests like the SAT, GRE, GMAT, and so on. Available for Android.
  • CliffsNotes: When you need good character, theme, and plot summaries on significant works of literature, this is the app you need. The app is free for iOS, but specific literature notes are purchased in-app for $1.99 each.

Study, Test-Prep, and Organizing Apps

Learning assessment is a basic feature of education, and becomes increasingly important when you start preparing for college or university. You also want to hone your organizing and study skills while you’re still in high school so you’ll be ready for the next level of education. Here are some apps to help with all of that:

  • Khan Academy: When it comes to prepping for the SAT or ACT, it’s hard to beat this app, especially when it comes to focused lessons on all the general math topics covered in each test. It’s free on the web as well as mobile apps on iOS and Android. They’re also an official partner of the College Board, the group in charge of the SAT.
  • Brainscape: You might think flashcards are outdated, but they’re still around and can be utilized through this mobile app for iOS and Android. Flashcards are tried-and-true for a reason: You can double your learning speed using them!
  • My Study Life: This free app (and no ads either) is available for both iOS and Android. It’s a scheduling, agenda, timetabling app with reminders and notifications, task lists, and syncs automatically across all devices.

Maintain Your Sanity Apps

When you’re doing a lot of remote learning, online school programs, and e-learning, you need to plan to take some breaks! We especially think it’s good for those breaks to include putting down your devices and walking away from screens. But, if you want to use your devices when you take a break, here are some apps to make good use of your breaks. And these are apps that will serve you well when you go on to higher ed, whether it’s a private college or public university:

  • Personal Zen: This iOS app is all about reducing stress and anxiety, which is always a good thing since those negatives can derail effective studying. This specially designed game is actually backed by clinical evidence for its stress-reduction efficacy if used during breaks on a regular basis, and it’s free.
  • Simply Yoga: Get your stretch on with this totally free app available for both iOS and Android. It’s a very simple approach with a few routines and poses with 20, 40, and 60-minute sessions. The 20-minute sessions are perfect for study breaks.
  • Headspace: All kinds of mindfulness, movement, and meditation activities are available through the website and apps available for iOS and Android. High schoolers can choose meditations appropriate for their age. The app is free for paid subscribers. Family plans are available.  

Is Virtual School Your Jam? Enroll in Achieve Virtual

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, families are finding out right now whether or not online learning works for their high school students. Keep in mind, however, that many school districts had all of a week or two at most to make the transition to remote instruction, which means in many cases it may not be the highest quality online learning programs—it’s more like crisis learning as able. But if it seems like online learning is working for your high school student, why not consider enrolling them in Achieve Virtual Education Academy where we’ve got years of experience designing and delivering department of education-approved online high school courses taught by a real Indiana teacher. Explore our website for all the details, and always feel free to contact us directly with any questions you may have.

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