In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of education apps that promise to remake learning for the 21st century. The rise of mobile computing has spawned apps that make math fun and bring reading and storytelling to life. Apps that make collaborating with students in distant classrooms as easy as a quick swipe of the screen. Even apps that untangle the mysteries of science. Nearly every winning project we’re seeing this week at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona takes advantage of one or more of these game-changing tools.
One thing is clear: the apps that are powering a revolution in teaching and learning are being powered by Microsoft. A quick scan of the Windows Store shows thousands of apps designed to support teaching and learning – from early learning “games” to apps that will help teachers manage their classrooms – with more apps being published every day. So how do teachers, parents and students know which apps to choose?
Based on the feedback of educators around the globe, as well as our own experiences navigating the crowded app landscape, we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of that process. Microsoft has curated a list of 100’s of the best education apps available – from apps that make lessons more accessible for students with learning disabilities, to e-readers and text books, to apps that cover every imaginable curricular subject (and then some).
This comprehensive guide to education apps includes well-known learning apps like Kahn Academy, BrainPop animated learning, Haiku Learning, EduPad’s math apps for grades 3-8 and Adaptive Curriculum’s math and science apps for older students. Free media tools like The Economist and SkyNews, and content creation tools like the Didlr drawing app. E-Textbooks are well represented with Kno and others. Microsoft tools like OneNote, OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) and FreshPaint are also on the list. Importantly, this list covers tools that help teachers and students stay organized and on-task – from Class Policy (classroom management) and Common Core Standards to MyHomework (student planner).
Of course, apps are only as good as the devices and operating systems that power them, and at this week’s Global Forum, educators will be able to test-drive many of those tools at the Tech Showcase. We’ll not only be showing off the latest Surface tablets; we’ll also feature powerful Windows 8 devices from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba.
Technology innovation has given us a proverbial embarrassment of riches: scores of education tools that can engage students, address their particular challenges and prepare them for their next steps – whether that’s higher education or the workplace. And as these tools become more accepted and widely tested, we’re getting better at identifying those that will make the greatest impact. Educators can continue to count on Microsoft to deliver these tools – just as we’re counting on educators to share insights with us on the tools that are transforming their classrooms.
This week we introduced some new apps for Windows 8 – check out the latest in the