Mobile Learning | Features

5 Study Aid Apps for Middle and High School Common Core

Common Sense Media’s service Graphite, which offers independent ratings and reviews of learning apps and websites, has compiled this list of apps that can help middle and high school students study for subjects that are aligned with the Common Core. For complete reviews, and for each app’s "Learning Rating," visit the Graphite website.

Grades: 5-12
Price: Free
Concepts: Goal-setting, self-assessment
Using Brainscape, teachers can create digital flashcards — filled with images, audio or text — that encourage students to move beyond rote memorization and think critically about what they’re learning. As students flip through cards, they can tap a color to indicate how well they know the information shown. The app tracks colors and recalls the card subjects that students need to work on to develop further understanding. Read the full Graphite review.


Inspiration MapsInspiration Maps
Grades: 5-12
Price: Free to try; paid version is $9.99
Concepts: Forming arguments, using supporting evidence
Inspiration Maps is an easy-to-use mind-mapping tool. Using touch-screen gestures, students can create a text outline and convert it to a diagram, or start with a visual mind map and convert it to a text outline. The app comes with dozens of templates to get kids started organizing ideas for writing assignments, planning speeches or essays or thinking through group projects. Teachers can project the map on a screen or interactive whiteboard for class brainstorming sessions. Read the full Graphite review.


Grades: 6-12
Price: $2.99
Concepts: Brainstorming, self-direction, group projects
If you’re a visual or audio learner, note-taking comes alive with Notability. Pen and paper aside, students can create engaging references by taking snapshots of charts/graphs, drawing, recording audio, adding content captured from websites, typing or cutting and pasting. Notability is a great tool for brainstorming ideas and for collaborative group projects. Read the full Graphite review.


iMathematicsiMathematics Pro
Grades: 7-12
Price: $2.99 to $4.84
Concepts: Equations, functions, memorization
iMathematics Prois a useful reference tool covering a wide range of math topics. Students can find examples on topics such as prime numbers, fractions or algebra, and take quizzes to assess what they’ve learned. For teachers, the app functions as a useful supplement to math lessons and for interactive small group work. Read the full Graphite review.


WordFlexWordFlex Touch Dictionary
Grades: 7-12
Price: $11.99
Concepts: Vocabulary, literacy, knowledge gain
Type in a word and multiple nodes appear, forming tree-like branches that plot definitions, pronunciations, synonyms, antonyms and more. An interactive touch feature enables users to explore, expand each node and move the branches to create a visual linguistic poster. With WordFlex Touch Dictionary,kids discover word origins and meanings — and possibly inspiration to sign up for the next spelling bee. Read the full Graphite review.

About the Author

Common Sense Education helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Go to Common Sense Education for free resources including full reviews of digital tools, ready-made lesson plans, videos, webinars, and more.