Apps for learning inside and outside the classroom

From homework planning to traditional exercises transferred to the screen, new applications are used to support the education of today’s pupils

SUR

Some years ago technology revolutionised learning with the introduction of mobile devices and digital whiteboards into classrooms. Now, however, the education sector has had to cope with a real shock, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For the past three terms traditional teaching has given way to a hybrid model of blended learning in which face-to-face and virtual scenarios combine, creating infinite settings for learning with numerous ways of receiving quality tuition.

It should be noted, however, that, although the situation has been, and still is, very complicated, experts recognise that some very good results have been produced by this technological revolution in education. This applies to the teachers, who have carried out tremendous work by adapting their educational activity to digital platforms, and the pupils, who have adapted so well to the different circumstances. In fact, according to a study carried out by international sustainability platform Quiero and Samsung Electronics, eight out of every ten teachers consider that technology facilitates pupils' learning and can be a major ally in connecting the content with the reality for the pupils and their interests. The objective of this report is to understand the role that technology is playing in present-day education and the role it could have in the future, which is why the opinion of teachers is one of the fundamental keys.

School diaries and homework organisers

Microsoft To Do: Lists, tasks and alerts

This application has been designed by Microsoft with school pupils in mind and it has a desktop version which can be synchronised with the mobile version. It is used to make a note of the homework which has to be done, and that note can be easily erased at a touch when the task has been completed.

My Study Life

A good tool for planning the school calendar, with reminders of the dates when homework needs to be handed in, exams and work deadlines. As it is not age-specific, it is useful for any level of education. The added data is stored in the cloud so that it can be accessed from any device.

Trello

Companies use this to assign a specific task to each employee and see at which point the work is in progress, because it is a quick and visual way of monitoring how projects are developing. In the case of school pupils and teachers, it facilitates working in a group, as it allows them to check at a glance that everything is progressing at the pace that was initially set.

Language dictionaries

Wordreference

This is one of the most complete dictionaries. It includes multiple languages and offers the possibility of listening to the pronunciation of many words (including the different forms of pronunciation of a word by region). It has an interesting forum regarding doubts about how an expression is translated in a specific context.

Babbel

Nobody learns to speak a new language overnight, but the language learning apps do at least make it easier to get started and gain a basic understanding. Babbel includes practical exercises in 14 different languages, with short classes planned by experts. To help pupils become familiar with the language, there is a podcast which puts into practice what has been learned in each lesson.

Study aids

Brainly

This app for students focuses on group learning and is set up as a meeting point where they can seek help and offer assistance when it comes to doing homework. There are various categories, including maths, language, physics, history, chemistry and English. It operates as a type of forum, with questions and answers. The system enables you to see how many people are connected and gives a list of the solutions and answers that other users have given to previous questions. The app is free and is available for iOS and Android.

Myscript calculator

A calculator which offers the advantage of being able to write the operation on the mobile screen and the device recognises the movements. It is used to resolve all types of calculations and the results can be exported to the clipboard and other applications. The history enables previous calculations to be retrieved so they can be reused or exported. It costs just over three euros.

Study Aide

This is an app with 20 natural sound effects and music to create an ambience which is conducive to study. You can choose several at the same time and even the intensity of each one separately. Among the predefined modes, there are some specific ones which are designed to improve concentration. It can be useful for students who are preparing for an exam, and also those who like to 'isolate' themselves when they work.

Easy study

Ideal for the people who find it hard to sit down and work on a syllabus ahead of time. This application creates a homework schedule, setting out how many subjects are going to be studied on each day of the week. The routines are organised in cycles so the contents do not accumulate. It is free, but there are some options which are only available to subscribers.

Repetico

This is the virtual version of the traditional cardboard card used to create flashcards and prepare for exams. As well as creating cards, you can share them between friends or buy those of other users. It offers different alternatives and methods of learning, to work on short and long term memory. Users also have the possibility of creating an individual study timetable, a summary and statistics of their studying and a rapid search for cards. And it even gives study points as a means of motivation.