We can't go five minutes without looking at our smartphones now: we use them to communicate, shop, and help us get from point A to B.

As can be predicted, studies have shown that they are used most by teens and individuals under 24.

This is the age where people are typically studying the hardest, so why not use your smartphone to improve your school performance?

Similar to home or private lessons, using your phone for supplementary instruction to students is generally quite affordable

Whether it's for biology, chemistry, English, or French, we provide you here with a few apps that are great for both children and adults needing homework help at a good price.

How Effective Are Apps in Helping Student Progress?

It's a good idea to check whether you think it will be the best solution for students having difficulty to use maths and science tutoring apps to get them over the line.

Just like peer learning, after school or homework help programmes, tutoring apps occupy their own space in the individual student's learning process and study strategies.

Regardless of the subject, be it skills like reading and writing, various maths including algebra and geometry, French, English, or Indonesian, games and quizzes on apps make the learning process more appealing.

Activities and exercises are often set up to be fun, helping improve literacy and numeracy through entertainment.

Despite a student's school performance, regular use of these apps increases the likelihood of improving students' grades to get the A's they will require in order to graduate and get into their desired bachelor's.

Games actually let the children enjoy themselves while learning, busting the myth that learning has to be boring. In the long run, this creates eager, life-long learners, which is essential for academic success.

VCE/HSC/QCE/WACE preparation apps can help you improve your grade regardless of your location, helping you achieve academic success in spite of busy schedules.

The benefit of smartphone apps is that parents can also track their children's academic progress. Apps often let you record advancement and deliver statistics based on instructional test-taking and videos viewed. Parents are able to trace their children's learning journey by regularly checking the phone to verify homework completion.

Needless to say, primary school students should use tablets and smartphones only under adult supervision. On the other hand though, educational apps might be what provokes parents to let their kids take the leap into owning their own phone.

All in all, smartphones are an effective defence against academic failure.

What About the Cost of These Kinds of Apps?

There are some apps out there that require no payment (like Zapzap Math) while others might ask a couple of dollars - generally $5 to $10.

The good news is that once the app is on your device, your access to games and lessons is indefinite. It goes without saying though that there are certain apps that have paid extensions and expansions if you want to develop the learning experience further. There are others that are free up to a certain point, then you have to pay to unlock the rest. Once this is done, you can use it as much as you want, although the efficacy of the app's free levels will depend on the application itself.

Find out where you can get free tutoring anywhere in Australia!

The Sky's the Limit with Education Apps for All Learning Levels

Whether you're in grade 1 or year 12, it's always good to have a hand to help you reach your potential. Apps are really handy in this regard. Some cater to a particular level all the way through, but others leave the choice of level to you in-game.

Apps also bear the benefit of being even more flexible than an online classroom. Regardless of where you find yourself - home, commute, or school - you can get educated. The versatility of apps if what puts them ahead of even study groups and after school programmes which require scheduling.

Apps act like an ever-present instructor, which can even be accessed between lessons at school. You can take a pic of the physics lecture you're in's whiteboard, then find a video, essay, or online chat with a qualified tutor on the internet before you even leave the classroom.


Children love learning games.
Quizzes and games keep kids motivated to learn through apps. Photo credit: flickingerbrad on VisualHunt.com

Primary-School Learning Apps to Consider

(Almost) Free maths tutoring for primary school students

  • For basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, there's maths bingo on Squeebles by KeyStageFun. The goal is for the user to save an ice cream shop from a maths monster by solving increasingly difficult problems.
  • Other addition and subtraction apps by KeyStageFun are Squeebles Math Race, times tables, and division, all averaging about $5 each, coming as part of a whole package (including spelling apps) for $37.99.
  • A great free app is Zap-Zap Math which provides activities to kindergarten and primary aged students. Parents or teachers can also easily follow students' progress on this as there is no separate student login. It is also notably free and has a web-only version if you're keen to get off your smartphone.
  • Rookie Maths is another app developed in conjunction with Australian teachers to provide an engaging atmosphere for maths learning. In this game, students embark on quests in 3D, multiplayer worlds, all the while improving their maths skills.

Whilst some students need the distraction of a game, some need the clarity of a school blackboard to concentrate. The game MathBoard offers just this: straightforward exercises that help students improve their skills, all written on a digital blackboard.

There are also free tutoring services out there that give academic support to students with special needs.

Literacy apps

  • Support you kids' reading by giving them help to use their skills with Teach Your Monster to Read, for $7.99. This app gets children to learn through teaching reading to a virtual monster.
  • The Cursive Writing Wizard word tracing game is customisable, meaning you can enter words you want your child to focus on to tailor their experience.
  • There are also spelling and vocabulary options available on Squeebles.
  • Improve your child's vocabulary and syntax with Safari Tales. In this game, they explore a safari world, create a storybook with their adventures while Darwin the Meerkat leads them through correct syntax of questions prior to answering.
Learning to write with apps is fun.
Android and Online Apps can make learning fun for primary school students. Photo credit: mikecogh on Visual Hunt

Apps to Use for Science Focussed Children

These apps will tend to focus on a particular area of science. For example:

  • Earth primer helps children explore the centre of the earth with the goal of helping them understand the composition of the planet.
  • Weather is an app by tinybop that incorporates different factors such as sun, wind, and temperature, letting kids use these to make their own weather. Other introductory science apps by the same developer include The Human Body, The Earth, Space, and Mammals.
  • DNA Play acquaints learners with genetics by encouraging children to play around with made-up gene patterns to create their own creatures and experience the results of mutations in genetics.

Apps For High Schoolers and More Mature Learners

These apps are targeted more specifically at helping VCE/HSC students tailor their learning for particular exams, assignments, or study skills.

High School Maths

  • DragonBox Algebra brings equations in context via games, encouraging problem solving abilities.
  • Incredible Numbers by Professor Ian Steward promotes the consideration of maths beyond what is learnt inside the classroom. Active instruction facilitates students' new consideration of maths through interactive instruction, although some texts in-game are a little academic and wordy.
Education apps for secondary school.
Secondary school learning apps are also effective in helping students enjoy learning. Photo credit: familymwr on VisualHunt

VCE/HSC Language Learning apps

  • Widely used, DuoLingo is free and international, offering courses in 20+ languages, including some endangered ones. With this you have an easy to understand points system and can track your progress.
  • Babbel is also widely known for its high quality language learning. Lessons here are grouped by subject, and include audio files spoken by a native speaker. It also caters to various learning styles, whether you're a visual, written, or auditory learner. This direct support for a student's learning style heightens the desire to continue learning.

Engineering and Earth Sciences

  • TocaLab provides students with a virtual chemistry set in which you can cause explosions without the real world fallout. It explains the elements and their interactions throughout these games.
  • Older teens might enjoy The Elements, where you're taken on a visually brilliant tour of their compositions. By the same developer, there is also The Molecule and elements flashcards for students wanting to get ahead in chemistry.
  • You can get an in depth look at life's building blocks at the cellular level with Cell Biology 101.
  • For exploring the bones of the body, Essential Skeleton 4 is the place to look. The basic app is free but add-ons will cost a little.
  • Ever-faithul Tinybop have created the Everything Machine which lets you use features of your Apple or Android device (e.g. microphone, flashlight) to construct machines. With this, you can even share and exchange machines with friends, as well as building creations across several devices.
  • Hakitzu Elite gives users the chance to pit combat robots against one another by coding them, teaching them the process to this throughout.

To really make the most of these apps, consider online tutoring to really complement the learning process.

Revision for Exams

There are applications out there tailored specifically towards exam revision and preparation, matching the VCE/HSC/QCE/WACE syllabuses in theme, and preparing you for the kind of questions that might come up based on previous years.

Some exam revision apps to consider are:

  • Synap's purpose is for you to organise your own revision by placing the information you want to review into the app, then creating multiple choice tests around this. You can also share these and those of others.
  • H2Fusion is a VCAA accredited learning aid for the 2017-2021 period to help VCE students revise across multiple devices. The app tests students' understanding of core concepts from the official syllabus, and breaks them down by subject area, letting learners consolidate their understanding through pop quizzes and practice questions, as well as tracking their progress and identifying their own weaknesses.
  • HSC4ME provides guidance across the 10 most popular subjects, including English, Maths, and Physics, offering students multiple choice and short answer practice questions, as well as live webinars with lead HSC markers. This is available on Android.
  • SimpleMind is a mind-mapping tool that lets you enter data that's personally relevant to what you're learning and presents it in a visually appealing and editable way. There is a free version that gives you 15 templates.
  • It's also important to remember to take a break and refresh when studying. To help you exercise and time your break to fit your study schedule, there's Sworkit which let's you match the kind of workout needed to refresh your brain and body, and has a free trial option.

Can you really see results of free tutoring without having a personal tutor to give you hands on support?

Tutors can help children with their questions.
Whilst apps can keep children entertained while learning, a live tutor is the only way to get tailored answers to specific questions. Photo credit: US Department of Education on Visual hunt

Apps Catering to Special Needs Students

School is already an intensely difficult process if you're learning and on the autism spectrum. These following apps can facilitate learning and help students with special needs to better deal with school:

  • To reduce over-stimulation, Special iApps have two visually simple yet engaging products for describing the world and learning vocabulary. The absence of animations or adds make the learning process much easier by reducing irritation or distraction.
  • DayCape is great for helping people with Autism plan their day, reducing stress about the future. It also helps them express their reactions by rating each activity with an emotion, aiding teachers and parents in understanding what happened during the child's day.

Discover where you can look for free scholastic and academic support, as well as learning materials.

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