Best free learning apps for adolescents and teenagers

It is no news that the attention span of Gen Z keeps getting shorter by the day. Imagine a parent lamenting about her ward’s addiction to the phone screen. Her daughter is either stuck with the snap chat app or spends hours scrolling down her instagram page and that with failing grades.  The question is, how can we help preteens and teenagers build their cognition and avoid severe impairment of their minds? Buying a smart phone for your wards sure has its downside but it can also be a powerful tool in stretching their mental capacity through designed education apps.

 What are some of the best free applications adolescents and teenagers can install on their phones to prepare them for a great future?

  1. Duolingo.

Duolingo is a language learning app that allows an adolescent or teenager learn new languages the fun way. From the greenery view of the app to the different creative activities, there is hardly any boring moment on the app. Duolingo uses sounds, games, pictures, stories, voice speech, dialogues and rewards to keep their users glued to their app. It takes a user from the elementary level to a more advanced stage in a fun and engaging way.

2. Prodigy Maths

Many kids are tired of the traditional methods of learning mathematics and for some, maths classes remains a place of torture of all the subjects taught in the school. Prodigy Maths as an alternative provides easy and interesting methods to learning maths. Primarily, it is a game-based learning method. Through this app, tests that provide real time reports as well as areas of strength and weaknesses of a user can be seen.

While Prodigy Maths does not provide a full maths curriculum, it creates a support system that grows skills. Kids must still interact with foundational maths but the Prodigy Game can be used to reinforce learning.

3. Kahoot

I remember the first time I logged into the Kahoot with the members of my team in church, I was curious about what it was about but I must confess, I had a great time bonding with people I had barely spoken to. It also helped me retain information from a document my team was required to internalize. Kahoot is a great place for group teens to recall topics and test their knowledge on the things they are learning. In Kahoot, they can create, play and host self-imputed quizzes. What a great way to also test their speed.

4. Evernote

Journaling is becoming a powerful way for young people to pour out their thoughts and engage in self-therapy. Evernote is a great platform for note-taking, journaling and creating a tickable to-do list. I am fascinated by the organizational style and the other features it offers. It provides opportunities for audio recordings, screenshots, pictures and even reminders.

5. Canva

Canva is such a beautiful platform for teenagers to explore their creativity. Laden with great aesthetical appeal, this app is an excellent tool that gives them the opportunity to experiment with designs and create projects, whether at home or in school. Imagine giving a teenager the task of creating mock logo or business cards within a deadline and rewarding them for carrying out such activities. There are lots of interesting things that can be done using the free plan. Videos, slides, e-books cover, graphs, charts, event invitations for parties amongst others. Well, it is important to note that kids of not less than 16years are not allowed to use Canva.

6. Scratch

Much more than ever, the mindset of parents is shifting towards creating opportunities for their children to step into the tech arena. Gone are the days when the only real careers were law, medicine, accounting and engineering. Parents are seeking to introduce programming and tech-related skills to their wards.

Scratch has proven to be one of the best programming learning apps for kids above 7 years. The Scratchjr reaches to kids between 5 and 7 and millions of teenagers have already installed this application. Scratch makes programming fun and allows kids to explore their creativity. On the app, kids can create their own animations and games and carry put other tasks. It is free and can be found on Google and Apple store

7. Merriam-Webster dictionary.

This free app provides a quick platform to search for meaning of words. But that’s not all it offers. It also provides word for the day, thesaurus and interesting word games that can improve a child’s vocabulary.

8. Flo

This is an ovulation and period tracker app useful for teenage girls. It contains useful information that can help young girls understand their bodies and provides help with health-related questions that pertain to women.

9. TED

In this application, you can find speeches and presentations made by preteens and teenagers. This can inspire young people to focus on becoming their best self. Why not run a monthly assignment with your teen, make them listen to speeches by adolescent and teenagers who created changes in their environment? Great examples; James Andraka who developed an affordable early detection test for pancreatic cancer, speech by Memory Banda, an 11 year-old girl who stood against child marriage, Williams Kankwaba, a 14 year African  who built a windmill to power his family home.

10.  Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a popularly-acclaimed one-store application that contains learning methodologies on different subjects. On the app, you will find video lessons on subjects ranging from arts, programming, physics , finance, biology etc.

11. 7 minutes workout

It’s important to include fitness into the lifestyle of your adolescent or teenager. This can help them see the importance of daily exercises. The 7 minutes workout is a great app they can install for free. Besides, with their short attention span, it might be easier to get them to run the 7 minute workout.

Do you know any app that can benefit adolescent or teenagers? Want to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Written by Ife Grace

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