Apps to Motivate and Enhance Remote Learning

The Remote Learning Funk

The ongoing pandemic has been hard on school children. They have had to struggle with adapting to remote learning and at the same time deal with being cut off from their friends and the supporting structures that schools provide. The shift to online learning has been especially hard on kids with learning and attention challenges and their families. These kids already struggle with distraction and poor executive function skills – like planning and organizing – which are harder to overcome in a remote learning environment.

The rising availability of COVID vaccines may help more schools reopen, but for now there is little certainty about when this might happen. So these families are mostly on their own to create strategies for keeping their kids motivated and focused so they don’t suffer learning loss that may be difficult to overcome in the years ahead.

Apps Can Help

Experts recommend creating a daily routine for children with attention issues and working with them to minimize distractions in the environment. Also providing regular breaks from the screen for some type of physical activity is important.

But apps that help enhance and extend the learning experience can do a lot to keep kids interested and focused on learning. They also provide an outlet for pent up creativity that may not be available in a regular school curriculum.

Fortunately, there are numerous apps to choose from. Below are just a small sample. You can many more apps on the sites in the references section below.

For Kids Over 10

  • Stack the States 2 – This app gamifies content for geography and state knowledge. For example, students play to “win” states and add it to their personal stack, with the end goal of reaching a certain height.
  • Duolingo – One of the leading language learning apps today, it creates reachable goals for students to work toward and teaches the language in stages. Students can gain knowledge of basic grammar while expanding their vocabulary.
  • NASA – NASA’s app teaches kids about the solar system and space travel using videos, photos, and live feeds. It may need some guidance, but curious children can easily navigate on their own.

For Kids with Special Needs

  • Vizzle – Vizzle is an online learning platform and app for students with special needs. Its library of 15,000+ lessons includes games and activities that collect your child’s data and instantly personalize their curriculum of concepts and skills.
  • Learning Ally – This is a non-profit education solutions organization that provides resources to students who struggle to learn and read due to a reading deficit.
  • SoundingBoard This app lets your child turn their iPad or iPhone into a custom communication device. The app comes with preloaded pictures, sayings and boards, and it also lets individuals input and create their own personalized words and boards.

General Learning Platforms

  • Khan Academy – A popular resources for quality education across subjects like math, literature, science, and even life skills. Materials are available for students of all ages.
  • Outschool – Provides live online classes and camps for kids ages 3 to 18, all led by teachers. Offers a wide variety of subjects including arts, coding, health & wellness, math, life skills, and more.
  • Brilliant – Helps kids build quantitative skills in math, science, and computer science using more than 60 online courses crafted by teachers, researchers, and professionals.

Higher Education Learning Platforms

  • Coursera – Coursera offers 4,300 free and paid courses in partnership with more than 200 of the world’s top universities. Users have the option to obtain paid certificates upon course completion.
  • Udemy – An online learning marketplace that offers more than 150,000 courses in areas like business, design, photography, IT, and more. Users can learn at their pace from industry experts.



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