Eight best educational apps for teens

Teenagers and smartphones are an unstoppable force. It would be extremely hard today to find a single high school in the Western world where the hallways aren’t crowded with teenagers texting or taking selfies.

Bu this trend has spiked a wave of worry among adults. Is all that time spent messaging, listening to music and playing gamers really good for kids? Opinions vary, of course. But we can all agree that if used right, technology can become a powerful educational tool.

So rather than trying to enforce strict time limits for phone use, parents might want to consider getting educational apps on their teenagers’ devices. A well-chosen app can boost a child’s learning or even help him/her overcome a specific challenge.

Here are eight great apps that you may want to encourage your teen to use.

The Moron Test

What it is:

Developed by DistinctDev, the Moron Test is a fun app which challenges players to solve seemingly simple yet tricky puzzles and tasks.

Why we like it:

  • It has simple but cute, colorful graphics. The background looks like a piece of paper and the numbers and images that appear look like things you’d normally hang on the wall of a classroom.
  • Each puzzle comes with its own set of instructions, so learning how to play it’s easy. Some are to the point, while others require you to pause and think a bit before acting.
  • The game includes six different sections including Skip Day, Food Fight and Tricky Treat featuring hundreds of puzzles. Want more puzzles? You can install and download The Moron Test 2.

Install The Moron Test

TED

What it is:

TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing important ideas on a variety of topics. It brings together the world’s most innovative people, including teens to deliver short powerful talks on certain issues. The TED app offers access to all these talks.

Why we like it:

  • Provides access to the entire TED Talks video library, with subtitles in over 100 languages.
  • Easily lets teens learn something new by letting them browse certain categories (for example: What would it be like to live on another planet or The evolution of music). You can also browse by mood.
  • Allows users to download the talk in video or audio format for later offline use.
  • Great for fostering curiosity in young minds.

Install TED

Lumosity

What it is:

A compelling brain training app developed by Lumos Labs, which aims to help you develop your memory, attention and more.

Why we like it:

  • There’s actual science behind this app. Games are based on common and neuropsychological tasks that challenge core cognitive skills.
  • On top of its database of games intended to work your cognitive skills (like information processing or spatial orientation), the app has also a Mindfulness category that includes meditation sessions.
  • The app is available in various languages including English, German, Japanese, Portuguese or Korean.

Install TED

Narrate

What it is:

Narrate is an app that can teach teens the benefits of keeping a dairy, as expressive writing is known for being a pathway to psychological healing.

Why we like it:

  • Narrate demonstrates journal-keeping is not as overrated as one might think. The app has a beautiful, minimalist interface that’s bound to inspire users to record their thoughts and experiences.
  • Gives you the ability to sync your journal across all the devices you own, so you can access your diary everywhere.
  • Let’s you save photos and to categorize them using tags.

Install Narrate

Ready4Sat

What it is:

An app developed by Ready4 and aimed at teens who are prepping for their SATs. It gives students access to over 1,000 questions with detailed answer explanations and more.

Why we like it:

  • Turns your teen’s smartphone into a personal tutor. Includes intuitive lessons which go through must-know SAT concepts step-by-step.
  • Gives access to hundreds of flashcards.
  • Includes customizable practice tests.
  • Comes with a list of 400+ colleges and universities and also offers additional info on each institution like the average SAT score you need to be accepted.

Install Ready4Sat

SoloLearn: Learn to Code

What it is:

An app designed to help teach kids (but not only) the essential skill of coding. It covers different languages including CSS, PHP, C++ and Java.

Why we like it:

  • Coding is becoming the most in-demand skills across industries, so the sooner kids start learning it the better. This app allows teens interested in technology to absorb the basics on their own.
  • The app includes a free mobile code editor, so you can write, run and share code right from your smartphone.
  • When users eventually get stumped on a concept or lesson, they can turn to the SoloLearn online community to get help and guidance.

Install SoloLearn

Toshl Finance

What it is:

An app developed by Toshl Inc. can be a great tool for parents who want to teach their teens financial literacy.

Why we like it:

  • The app looks like a serious digital money manager for adults, but it does pack a lot of handy features which makes it right for the teen crowd. For example, the app focuses on analyzing spending habits and helps you identify potential areas for saving.
  • It includes features like bill organizer, receipt database and currency converter.
  • Toshl is packed with fun monsters that offer occasional budget tips and tricks.

Install Toshl Finance

Wattpad

What it is:

Wattpad is an app (and a site) where teens and adults alike can publicly share their fiction writing in a blog-like format as well as read and comment on other people’s works.

Why we like it:

  • The app encourages teens to read, but also to share their creative efforts.
  • Wattpad is also a social app, as it allows you to join the community and connect with authors and readers from across the world.
  • The app also has a section dedicated to well-known writers, where you can find works from iconic authors like Dan Brown, Paulo Coelho, Margret Atwood or Kevin J. Anderson.

Have you tried any of these apps before? If not, which would you try first? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.