Common Sense


Best 1-to-1 Android Apps for High School

Looking for the perfect high school apps for Android tablets, smartphones, or maybe even Chromebooks? Take it from us: it's not easy. The Android marketplace is overflowing with options. In this list we've narrowed things down for you, targeting highly useful and flexible apps that are up to the challenge of a high school classroom. These apps are both high quality, and designed to give you the best bang for your buck, so they're well-suited to pre-loading on devices in a 1-to-1 classroom. You'll notice the tool on this list are also, with a few exceptions, not content-focused. Instead, they're what upper-grade students need to demonstrate knowledge and gain new skills no matter the content area. 

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Google Earth

Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom line: Google Earth is an engaging and completely open-ended app perfect for use across the educational spectrum.


Interactive slide show tool engages students and promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and brings slide shows into the 21st century.

Adobe Capture CC

Magical design tool extracts colors, patterns, and more from images

Bottom line: The rare combo of "wow" factor and utility, this tool help students recognize and use the designed world around them.


Vast word reference features tons of content and word games

Bottom line: Powerful tool crammed full of games, classic reference information, and flexible controls.

Sketchbook Express

Creation tools hook kids, connect them with global community of artists

Bottom line: Solid resource encourages students to get creative in the classroom.

Explain Everything

Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

AndroVid - Video Editor

Versatile must-have creation tool for classrooms using Android devices

Bottom line: Easy-to-use tool enables Android users to create movies or slideshows.

Google Maps

Cool extras bolster top navigation app

Bottom line: Google Maps is an essential navigation tool that can empower students to explore their world.

Adobe Photoshop Express

Top-notch photo editor helps perfect pics for creative projects

Bottom line: This is a powerful, free creation tool from the industry leader in photo editing.

Adobe Premiere Clip

Decent on-the-go video editor shines when using other Adobe tools

Bottom line: It's a good tool that gets better when using other Creative Cloud apps, but the limited features make this a hard sell for anything other than introductory editing.


Impressive organizational tool has limitless uses

Bottom line: This free information-management tool can help kids become tech-savvy and learn to better organize their digital lives.

Microsoft OneNote

Note-taking giant built for flexible, collaborative work

Bottom line: A powerful (and free) tool for thinking and organization that's making smart strides in the education space.


App to find, create, use digital flashcards; website is better

Bottom line: A convenient way to find, create, and review digital flashcards, which have all the advantages and disadvantages of paper flashcards.

Science Journal

Turn your Android into a lab sensor to collect and analyze data

Bottom line: Science Journal does a good job recording real-time motion, sound, and light data using Android phones.

Skitch - Snap. Mark Up. Send.

Add a hint of fun to note-taking or annotating images

Bottom line: It's easy to annotate images and screenshots, take handwritten notes, and organize it all with Evernote.

Animoto Video Slideshow Maker

Slick video slide-show tool lets kids tell stories and share them

Bottom line: Anything that happens during school can be turned into an engaging video slide show.

Autodesk Sketchbook

Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art

Bottom line: Gives students easy access to professional tools for creating digital art.

Explain Everything Whiteboard

Refreshed version of the original presentation tool still excites

Bottom line: While this app lacks the options of the full-featured Explain Everything app, teachers and students can still make powerful presentations.


Customizable reader has top-notch features, but beware of iffy content

Bottom line: A stellar, easily customizable way to browse and share the news, best used with some patient fine-tuning.


Slick DIY app with projects that have classroom potential

Bottom line: Cool project ideas and let tweens and teens showcase their creativity and instruction-writing skills; supervision required.

Cogent Education

Think like a scientist: Solve biology case studies

Bottom line: Practice problem-solving skills and learn biology through interactive case studies.

Google Drive

Nifty tool for collaboratively editing and syncing files across devices

Bottom line: Google Drive is a smart choice for budget-conscious schools, with its free productivity tools and file syncing.

Mindomo (mind mapping)

Organize ideas with cool mind-mapping tool; beware design flaws

Bottom line: This sophisticated mind-mapping freebie could use some design tweaks to improve ease of use.

NPR News

Top-notch digital content takes students beyond the airwaves

Bottom line: Provides an easy, fun, and effective way to engage students with radio.


Inviting, customizable mobile blog platform with easy-to-use interface

Bottom line: Wordpress's app makes it easy to create and edit blog posts, manage comments, and view friends' blogs, and could be an indispensable tool for communication and collaboration if well-implemented.

My Study Life

Organizational tool makes managing complex schedules a cinch

Bottom line: If they can make it a habit, students will love staying on top of assignments and test dates with this handy, pocket-sized "personal assistant."

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