The iPhone and iPad don't get to have all the fun. Android is among the leading smart-phone technology, and there are over 70,000 apps available for it. Though we can't claim to have reviewed all 70,000 of them, here are our suggestions for some of the top apps available for education — for use in or out of the classroom:
A "Gold's Gym for your memory muscles.” This app claims to help you improve your memory through regular mental exercise. The app specifically targets your spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about your environment, such as when you navigate around a city.
Test your knowledge of countries of the world, as well as their capitals, flags, and currencies. Challenge your friends and online opponents in trivia games.
This app is basically a mobile atlas rolled into an encyclopedia. Well, maybe not quite. But it will allow you to get data about individual countries such as population, military expenditures, and cell phone usage. Categories include geography, population, government, transportation, and military. You can also produce charts and graphs of the information, and can compare countries according to category.
When you look up at the sky, does it feel like you're looking at one of those Magic Eye pictures where if you stare at a spot long enough, a picture is supposed to come together? This app can help you identify what you're looking at. Just point your phone at the sky, and this app will highlight the constellations, pulling a clear picture out of a jumble of stars. It will also identify planets and other celestial bodies. If you're looking for something specific, you can also do a search.
This app gathers together some of the most important and often used formulas for math, physics and chemistry. It also includes a scientific calculator and basic translator. Don't expect to be able to pass yourself off as a quantum physicist with the help of this app, but it might help get you through some intense study sessions.
The same way that Google Sky Map helps you identify the stars, Plink Art helps you identify works of art. Take a picture of what you're looking at, and Plink will match it to its database and give you the identifying details. You can also browse art according to era, art movement, or gallery, or simply hit "random” for an unexpected — though maybe not unknown — masterpiece. This app is great for brushing up on your art history knowledge or for discovering new favorites!
Over 100,000 novels, short stories, poetry collections and more are available for download on this app, which is composed of entirely user-submitted content.
You can learn to read level 1 and 2 Braille in this application. Obviously, you can't learn to read it by touch (since the phone screen won't be raised), but you can learn to read it by sight — meaning that this application is better meant for academics and those hoping to train as support personnel.
If you need a document in a pinch, or you just don't feel like taking it to have it scanned or faxed, you can use this app to do it on your phone. You can scan any number of pages and convert them into a single .pdf file.
Test your knowledge of the capitals, flags, nicknames, cities, and more of the states of the USA. Choose from four different difficulty levels when you challenge opponents in this fun trivia game.
This app lets you learn more about the moon and its influence on your everyday activities. Features include names and pictures of the moon phases, current zodiac sign for the moon's phase, information about the moon's cycle, moonrise and moonset times, and more.
Preschoolers can get help learning their numbers and developing basic math skills with the help of this app. Addition, subtraction, and learning numbers are the primary features, but there are also optional advanced exercises. Language options include English, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Russian.
When your kids want to know the 411, do you know what they mean? Do you find it hard to follow when they end every other word in "izzle?” Perhaps this app can help. You can look up the meaning of modern slang words in the user-generated database. You can also browse random words or check out the word of the day.
This handy app will help you prep for the Law School Admissions Test through tutorials, drills, and practice exercises. But this app is useful for more than just law students: The test measures cognitive reasoning and logic, so the app is a handy tool for lessons of the same nature.
This game for kids ages 3 to 5 aims to help improve recognition skills by matching images with a written or spoken word.
Here's another trivia game to enhance learning. The app covers topics from capitol cities and flags to natural extremes.
This fun application allows you to turn your pictures into puzzles. You can shake the phone to shuffle, then move the pieces into place to try to put it back together. This makes a fun brain teaser or logic puzzle that can be personalized according to interests.
Organize your classroom notes and assignments with this handy app! You can synchronize your notes then share them with your friends. You can even sell your notes, or create online courses and quizzes that you can sell. And, of course, what you can sell, you can also buy.
Get millions of books in the palm of your hand through Barnes and Noble. A handy e-reader!
Have a question? This app has the answer. Ask it whatever you want, and it will generate an answer that you can then store for later use. Topics include math, culture, sports, weather, physics, chemistry, socioeconomic data, nutrition and more.
This app is your own personal electricity meter! With it, you can find out how much electricity you use and how much it costs you. You can even measure it according to appliance. Aside from the practical benefits of such an app for adults, this is also useful in the classroom for teaching students about electricity, or even about the importance of budgeting.
Learn all the Italian words involved in reading and playing music. This is a useful tool for classical musicians and for music teachers!
Learn how to play the six string with this virtual pocket guitar. There are over 380 chords and diagrams for classical, acoustic and electric guitar. A handy guide for helping you learn to play guitar on your own!
This handy app "calculates densities, probabilities, and quantiles of common useful continuous and discrete distributions.” If you don't know what that means, you might need an app to help you figure out this app. Categories include uniform, normal, gamma, exponential, chi, discrete uniform, binomial, geometric, and poisson. This is a handy app for the statistics classroom.
Kids can use this app to learn basic math skills: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Flash cards and study questions are used to guide students through the material. In addition, the app offer stats on the student's trouble areas, and the difficulty level can be adjusted for individual needs.