Today we’re excited to debut a new monthly feature on Learning Liftoff highlighting the most educational and useful apps for families. This month’s collection of apps coincides with our theme for the month of February, all about teens.
While some of the apps in today’s post are educational, others encourage art and other hobbies, and some are just for fun. For more great apps for teens, be sure to read our previous post on the best educational apps for high school students.
Available for iOS, Android, and on the web, Scholly is a robust scholarship finding platform. It was created by Christopher Gray, a 21-year-old college junior who received $1.3 million in college scholarships and is now dedicated to helping other students pay for college, too. $0.99
Perhaps the most popular productivity app around, and for good reason. Evernote lets you save projects, documents, notes, lists, webpages, photos, audio and more and syncs them across all your devices so you can access them anywhere. It’s available for Android and iOS, on the web, and for Windows and Mac computers. Free
For the teen who loves to build and invent, the app version of the popular DIY website is a must. Users can find inspiration and how-tos, share their own projects, participate in the Instructables community, and even enter contests. The Instructables app is available for iOS and Android devices. Free
If your teen loves music, they’re sure to love this popular online radio service. Pandora lets you stream music for free and discover new artists based on the types of music and artists you like. Pandora is available for free for most mobile devices and on the web, however if your teen doesn’t have unlimited data on their device, you’ll want to keep an eye on data usage when using the app away from a WiFi signal. Free
A professional-grade drawing and painting app for tablets, Sketchbook Pro is a great choice for teens who love to draw and create art. The free version includes an extensive tool set with more options available in the premium version. Users can organize their work into albums and easily backup their creations to the cloud. Free
One of our favorite educational resources, Khan Academy offers free lessons for almost anything, and now it’s available for iPad. With more than 150,000 exercises with step-by-step instructions and instant feedback, this app will be a huge homework help for any student. Free
Teens who like to create videos will appreciate this powerful and easy to use video editing app. Add music, stitch together footage, create photo slideshows and add music and effects easily. Find Magisto in iTunes, GooglePlay and the Amazon Appstore. Free
We’ve written before about this free photo-sharing app, and while there are certainly safety concerns—as there are with any social network—it’s still one of the most popular apps with teens and may have more value than similar apps. The app offers a private profile option, which we would recommend to parents and teens, and the Instagram team is proactive about dealing with bullying, abuse, and inappropriate content on the network.
Unlike other photo and video sharing apps, including Snapchat and Vine, the Instagram community has more of an emphasis on artistic photos. It’s popular with professional and amateur photographers and for teens interested in photography, the app can offer a lot of inspiration, however parents should be sure teens use the app safely and responsibly. Free
Developed by the experts at K12, this series of 13 mobile apps will help high school students prep for the important AP® exams which take place each year in May. Available for every subject, from calculus to European history and everything in between, the apps cover all topics and each part of the AP test, and include study statistics to show what students have mastered so far. Apps are available in iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Appstore. Free-$43.99
What are your teen’s favorite apps? Share your picks in the comments.