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Specialists in girls' education

The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) represents independent girls’ schools in the UK.

Changing language of education – Teachers list favourite apps

26 June 2012

Learning your ABCs has never been more different.

Remember ‘b’ for Bat and ‘c’ for Cat? Now it’s more likely your children are learning ‘b’ for Bluetooth and ‘c’ for Chat with the new digital-age inspired alphabet.

And it’s not just the alphabet that’s changing. Once upon a time, when a teacher talked to you about ‘application’ you knew it was time for your daughter to pull her socks up and apply herself to her studies. Not any longer. Today, they’re more likely to be talking about the latest computer and mobile phone apps to help her with her homework.

Head teachers from the Girls’ Schools Association have now pooled resources to come up with a list of their favourite learning apps for the advice and information website

“There are thousands of learning apps out there,” says GSA president Louise Robinson, “and if the hundreds we’ve gathered together for My Daughter visitors is anything to go by, it’s clear that today’s pupils are definitely getting plenty of opportunity to engage in the latest multimedia technology in a positive way that enhances their education.”
A selection of the MyDaughter top tips for learning apps is listed here. These are apps for use at home as well as in the classroom.

Apps by Subject


iF Poems – Poems in a variety of categories for all age groups – some have audio of poem being read.
Shakespeare in Bits – supplements study notes with an animation of the play and audio. Versions available for different plays


Maths Gym
Algebra Touch
Quick Graph
Khan Academy : a library of ‘how to’ videos, mostly for Maths and Science but also available for Humanities too.


The Elements – premium science encyclopaedia.
Anatomy Lite – Biology for KS3/4/5
Mitosis – Biology for KS4/5
Pocket Heart – Biology for KS3/4/5
HudsonAlpha iCell – a 3d view inside a cell, adaptable for all levels
Powers of Minus Ten – cells and genetics
Frog Dissection – life science featuring a virtual dissection.

PeriodicTable – Chemistry for KS3/4/5
MahjongChem – a fun way to learn AL Chemistry
Elementals – Chemistry for KS3/4/5

Hubble – Hubble images
Building serial circuits – also available for parallel circuits
Exploriments – virtual science experiments
NuclearPlants – shows the position of all the nuclear power plants in the world and links to the internet to give you information on the power plant and how close it is to fault lines.
JustScience – climate change data from satellite mapping
Orbit Architect- design satellite orbits
Video Physics – uses the iPads video to record motion, which can then be analysed using the software
Eye Refraction – visual aid to show students where sharp images are formed with short/ long sightedness & astigmatisms.
NASA – Solar System & satellite reference app
Star Walk – Solar System data
NASA VizNASA videos of the Earth from space. Mostly mapping data.


Economics AP – lectures and practice tests on major economic models and theories
A2Z Economy – up to date economic and business indicators from a diverse array of government sources
the Economist – weekly publication focusing on international politics and business news and opinion.

Modern Languages

Word reference – free dictionary
Conjuverb – Spanish verb conjugation helper
Spanish Essentials – understand, pronounce and learn new spanish words. Also available for French, Italian and German
MindSnacks – language learning game for French, Spanish, Italian and German


GCSE Latin – tests the user on the current OCR higher tier Latin vocabulary. It selects a word at random from the list and offers a multiple choice selection of the correct meaning for that word. It also tests on verbs and their endings.
SPQR Latin dictionary and reader – includes both the Lewis & Short lexicon and an English-Latin dictionary. It has dozens of Latin texts with English translations, a grammar tester, numeral converter, quotes of ancient wisdom
Lexidium Latin dictionary – includes both dictionaries found in the SPQR App, but also includes a parser, so students can instantly find out the grammatical form of a word.
Latin hangman – vocabulary game.
Certamen – the official game of the National Junior Classical League. You can play the app either solo or as a group.
Ancient Greek – includes a Greek to English and English – Greek lexicon as well as a huge library of works in Greek and English.
JACT vocab – a vocabulary tester which accompanies the JACT Reading Greek textbook
Type Greek – a useful app which allows you to convert your text to Greek.


GeoBee Challenge – National Geographic quiz questions including photos and maps
World Facts – extensive information on over 250 world countries
Name the flag – test your knowledge of world flags
iGeology – interactive geological mapping of the UK


Virtuoso – learn and play the piano
DigiDrummer – learn to play drums


Doodlebuddy – paint draw, scribble & sketch – all with your fingers
SketchBook – professional painting and drawing application
Brushes – easy to use drawing app with multiple tools


Comicstrip – create your own comic book
Storykit – create an electronic storybook
ReelDirector – powerful video editor
Harmonious – smart sketchpad to create and share your works of art


Philosophy Bites – downloads the latest podcasts from Nigel Warburton (who has written some fantastic philosophy books.) There’s plenty of other content there too
iTunes U – access to university lectures, course notes and other podcasts
Guardian Eyewitness – Photojournalism – displays 100 or so selected photos – updates with a new photo every day. The photos include a description of the event/story as well as a ‘pro-tip’ on what makes it a successful photo. Possibilities for politics, history, social sciences, citizenship, art/photography and prompts for creative writing.
Art authority – collection of works by over 1000 major artists, from ancient times to today
Quipper – Interactive quizzes for all ages
SpellTower – a word game that goes beyond Scrabble and Boggle
DataAnalysis – for empirical data and graphing.
Songify – turn speech into song – useful to help remember events, dates, vocabulary lists etc

Apps for Juniors

A selection of apps to support mathematical learning in various areas and techniques:

Math Bingo
Hungry Fish
Jungle Fractions
Fraction Basics
Early Birds
Squeebles TT
Mr Wolf
Jungle Time

Barefoot World Atlas – an interactive 3d globe for discovering the world
Back in Time – an interactive journey through the defining moments in the history of mankind

My spelling test – create your own spelling bee


DK The Human Body – an accurate, visual and accessible look into the human body
Mini-Monsters – a photographic exploration of hte microscopic world of insects
A Life Cycle App – illustrated descriptions of various life cycles
Solar System for iPad – interactive exploartion of the Solar System
SkySafari – a journey through the Solar Sytem using NASA imagery

Apps for Nursery & Early years

Phonics apps:
Hairy Letters
Mr Phonics 1
Mr Phonics 2

Spelly – spelling game for 3-5 years
Spellboard – suitable for all ages

Any of the Busy Things Apps:
Tunnel Trouble
Line Up
Shape Up

The Land of Me – create your own story adventure
LingoZoo – complete animal jigsaws and learn animal names in English and Spanish
TapATune – choose intruments and make music with musical animals

Apps for Study and Productivity

Evernote – multi-platform note taking – students can access their ‘notes’ from most internet enabled devices.
Flashcards – pupils can make their own sets of cards
Skitch – add labels, text and notes to any image or photo
Explain Everything – a very easy to use tool for creating narrative presentations with images, text, symbols and a recording of your own voice.
Show Me – interactive whiteboard plus access to a range of presentations on a variety of subjects
VoiceThread – add text and voice commentary to slide shows.
Quick Voice Recorder – record your voice and make your own podcasts.
Dragon Dictation – a basic but effective dictation tool. Speak slowly!
Notability – take notes and annotate PDFs, good at recognising handwriting
iA Writer – simple and distraction free writing app!
iProcrastinate – planning tool

Mind mapping

SimpleMind+ – for brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring
Mindjet – enter ideas, tasks and notes into visual maps
Popplet – create mind maps and spider diagrams. Very visual, creative and easy to use.
iThoughts HD – a more complex and powerful mind mapping tool.

For further information, advice and opinion about educating and raising your daughter, see

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