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Best educational apps for kids

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Family

Best educational apps for kids

No more excuses – with today's tablet and smartphone technology, kids can study and do their homework almost anywhere. Plus, let's face it: Practising times tables is a lot more fun when there's visual stimulation and you're racing against a clock.

Study this guide to the best educational apps for kids and you'll instantly expand your personal reference library.

Best educational apps for English and French homework

A Mini Book Report
Available for: iPad
Cost: $0.99

This app helps your child put together a basic book report with all the classic elements -- characters, setting, author information and opinions -- without all the mess of a cut-and-paste report. Once your child has filled in all the information, the app compiles everything into a PDF document which can be emailed to a teacher, parent or friend.

Dictionary and Thesaurus
Available for: BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBerry devices
Cost: Free

This two-in-one educational app is simple, straightforward and easy to use. Kids can enter their search once and get definitions, synonyms, antonyms, related words and similar words all in one place. For iPad users, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app, also free, is a great choice.

French Verbs
Available for: iPad
Cost: Free

Whether your child is taking his first French course or is in a French immersion program, this app is handy to have on your device. You can search by verb in either French or English, then choose a tense, and you'll get a simple, clean list of conjugations. It can be used as a study tool, for quizzing or as a quick reference guide.

Best educational apps for geography homework

The World Factbook for iPad
Available for: iPad
Cost: $1.99

Everything you've come to expect from the CIA World Factbook online is contained in this handy educational app. You'll find reference maps, stats and facts about everything from a country's government to its economy.

Globe for iPad
Available for: iPad
Cost: Free

This straightforward app is exactly as it sounds: a virtual globe kids can spin with their fingers. It also comes with extra features: For instance, you can touch a country to open a panel with all the information on Wikipedia about that destination.

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Best apps for math homework

Math Academy
Available for: iPad
Cost: Free

This cute app makes math fun. It's more polished than other basic practice apps and lets kids test themselves on addition, subtraction, multiplication and division on three levels. (All are designed for elementary students; for example, the "hard" addition setting goes only as high as 9 + 9.) They can choose to drill themselves by time trial or endurance.

At the end of each sequence of questions, kids are awarded points, which they can then redeem for "stickers."

MathOps
Available for: BlackBerry PlayBook
Cost: $0.99

This app is another bright and colourful math game, but this time, instead of inputting the answer, kids are asked to choose the operator (for example, 2 [blank] 2 = 4 and the child chooses +). Kids race against the clock to correctly answer as many questions as possible.

Quick Graph
Available for: iPad, iPhone
Cost: Free

For older, more advanced math students, this app helps plot equations and various points on a graph. It has all the functions of a graphing calculator, but students should ask their teachers if it's OK to use their own app in the classroom.

Best study apps for kids

Evernote
Available for: Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, BlackBerry smartphones, iPad, iPhone
Cost: Free

No matter where they are or if they've forgotten every pen, pencil and piece of paper they own, students can take notes with Evernote (they never forget their electronic devices!) Users can take notes, photos, screenshots and recordings so they never miss a bit of information.

Flash Cards
Available for: iPad
Cost: Free

Students of all ages can create study decks with this app and test themselves over and over. The program asks users to input information for the "front" and then "back" of the card, then the questions can be shuffled into random order and students can work their way through the deck, testing themselves on whatever information they're trying to absorb. (For BlackBerry users, Flash Cards for BlackBerry PlayBook is similar.)

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