The 12 Best Apps for Students and Teachers

The 12 Best Apps for Students and Teachers

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As schools continue to maximize technology in the classroom, they have come to embrace mobile technology as part of the learning process. From iPads to smartphones, teachers have found ways to leverage iPads to enhance their learning experience and improve their own teaching and productivity. In today's classrooms, apps have myriad uses and functionality for both teachers preparing their lessons and students during the learning experience.


An app created to assist with graphic design, Canva's flexible format can be used for a variety of tasks. Students and teachers can use this app to design easy yet professional looking graphics to go with a classroom blog, student reports, and projects, as well as lesson plans and assignments. Canva offers preset designs and graphics to choose from and inspire creativity, or a blank slate for students to start from scratch with their own designs. It works for both the experienced designer and those who are just learning the basics. Teachers can upload pre-approved graphics, set guidelines for fonts, and all the images live online for editing and revision when necessary. Plus, the designs can be shared and downloaded in a variety of formats. Even better, the magic resizing option lets users adapt one design to multiple sizes with just one click.

CodeSpark Academy

Designed to inspire younger students to engage in coding, codeSpark introduces students to computer science through a fun interface. Previously known as The Foos, codeSpark Academy with the Foos is the result of playtesting, parent feedback and extensive research with leading Universities. There are daily activities for students, and teachers can access a dashboard to track student success.

Common Core Standards App Series

The general Common Core app can be a useful tool for students, parents, and teachers to easily access all the Common Core State Standards in one place. The Common Core app explains the core standards and lets users search the standards by subject, grade level, and subject category.

Teachers who are working from the Common Core curriculums can greatly benefit from the Mastery Tracker, which contains standards for every state. The versatile functionality of this app allows teachers to assess their students using a wide range of resources, and use real-time mastery status to visual student performance. This mastery is demonstrated with a simple traffic light approach, using red, yellow, and green to show the level of status.

Curriculum maps allow teachers to mix and match standard sets, create their own custom standards, and drag and drop the standards into any desired sequence. The state and common core standards can easily be viewed by teachers to help them remain focused on teaching and assessing student progress. The reports allow teachers to assess student performance and focus on which students are struggling to master concepts and understand the teachings.


Apps like DuoLingo are helping students excel in learning a second language. DuoLingo provides an interactive, game-like experience. Users can earn points and level up, learning as they go. This isn't just an app for the students to use on the side, either. Some schools have even integrated DuoLingo into classroom assignments and as part summer studies to help students prepare for the year to come. It's always helpful to brush up on your skills during the summer months.



The edX app pulls together lessons from some of the best universities in the world. It was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012 as an online learning service and Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOC, provider. The service provides high-quality lessons to students from across the globe. edX offers lessons in science, English, electronics, engineering, marketing, psychology and more.

Explain Everything

This app is the perfect tool for teachers to create instructional videos and slide shows/presentations for students. A whiteboard and screencasting app, teachers can create resources for their students to explain lessons, annotate documents and images, and create presentations that can be shared. Perfect for any subject, teachers can even assign students to produce their own projects that can be presented to the class, sharing the knowledge they have learned. Teachers can record lessons they've given, create short instructional videos, and even make sketches to illustrate a point.


This writing tool provides services for both students and teachers. For students, GradeProof uses artificial intelligence to provide instant feedback and editing to help improve writing. It also looks for grammatical issues, as well as wording and phrase structure, and even provides word counts. Students can import work through email attachments or cloud storage services. The service also checks written work for instances of plagiarism, helping students (and teachers) ensure that all work is original and/or properly cited.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers more than 10,000 videos and explanations for free. It's the ultimate online learning app, with resources for math, science, economics, history, music and so much more. There are more than 40,000 interactive practice questions that align with Common Core standards. It provides instant feedback and step by step instructions. Users can also bookmark content to "Your List" and refer back to it, even offline. Learning syncs between the app and the website, so users can switch back and forth on the different platforms.

Khan Academy isn't just for the traditional student. It also offers resources to help older students and adults study for the SAT, GMAT, and MCAT.


The Notability iPad app allows users to create notes that integrate handwriting, typing, drawings, audio, and pictures, all into one comprehensive note. Of course, students can use it to take notes, but it's also a great way to review documents later on. Students with learning and attention differences can benefit from some of Notability's flexibility, including the audio-recording features to capture discussions in class, which frees up students to focus on what's happening around them, rather than writing furiously and missing details.

But, Notability is not just a tool for students. Teachers can use it to create lesson plan notes, lectures and assignments, and other classroom materials. It can be used to create review sheets before exams, and for groups to work on projects collaboratively. The app can even be used to annotate PDF documents, such as student exams and assignments, as well as forms. Notability is great for use for all subjects, as well as planning and productivity.


Used by more than 20 million students and teachers every month, this app is the perfect way for teachers to offer differentiated assessments including flashcards, games, and more. According to the Quizlet site, more than 95 percent of students who learn with the app improved their grades. This app helps teachers keep their students engaged and motivated by creating classroom assessments, and even collaborate with other teachers. It's a simple tool to not only create, but also share online learning materials.


Imagine you could take a picture of your assignment and get help right away. Turns out, you can. Socratic uses the photo of a homework question to provide an explanation of the problem, including videos and step-by-step instructions. Using artificial intelligence to source information from the website, pulling from top educational sites like Khan Academy and Crash course. It is perfect for all subjects, including math, science history, English and more. Even better? This app is free.



With both free and Pro versions, Socrative is everything a teacher needs. The teachers' app allows for the creation of a variety of assessments, including quizzes, polls, and games. Assessments can be made as multiple choice questions, true or false questions, or even short answers, and teachers can request feedback and share it in return. Each report from Socrative is saved in the teacher's account, and they can download or email them at any time, and even save them to Google Drive.

The students' app lets the class log into the teacher's page and answer questions to demonstrate their knowledge. Students do not need to create accounts, which means this app can be used for all ages without fear of COPPA compliance. They can take the quizzes, polls, and more that the teachers set up. Even better, it can be used on any browser or web-enabled device.


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