There are lots of web tools and apps out there that teach specific educational material. If you tried to catalog the vast number of spelling, reading, writing, and math apps out there, you’d probably have a full time job just keeping track of everything that’s out there. There are apps for specific math concepts (like the series of iDevBooks apps that we’ve mentioned in the past) as well as more general ones. There are apps for every age group and reading level.
That said, once you make an exit from the basic reading-writing-math apps category, apps for teaching specific subjects are harder to come by. Not because they don’t exist, by any stretch, but more because they’re not as easy to find, despite the categorization of app stores. Sometimes browsing just doesn’t do it – you have to know what you’re looking for!
I find this to be especially true when looking at apps for teaching subjects like art or music. Since these are inherently practical subjects, there often aren’t great ‘teaching’ apps as there are for math or reading. But don’t be fooled into thinking these types of tools aren’t out there – they are! Here are a few of our favorite digital art class apps and web tools!
Google Art Project
The Google Art Project is a web based tool that allows users to explore collections of art from different museums around the world. From the Textile Museum of Canada to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the variety of works showcased here is substantial. The images are high-res, so viewing the artwork via the site is actually almost as good as going to the museum. Users can virtually tour the museums, explore historical context and find other information about each piece, and even ‘curate’ their own collection.
ArtSite is a web-based platform and accompanying app made with art teachers in mind. It allows students to create virtual galleries, explore information on pieces in museums, and organize their materials. It also enables students to create portfolios of their own work, and explore other students’ portfolios as well. The service is cloud based, so you can work from any computer or iPad. Teachers pay for access, but student access is free.
PicsArt is a free photo app and drawing tool for Android and iOS. It offers drawing functionality, as well as the ability for users to upload their photos and designs to share with other users. Hashtags enable easy searching (and for more people to be able to see your work!), and the site also offers some fun drawing tutorials for their drawing tool.
Paper by FiftyThree is a drawing and painting app that allows users to create sketchbooks of their work. There are lots of different pen options to choose from, though there are fewer brush options. They are easy to use and yield a pretty real result as compared with working with the physical materials. One brush is free, but there is a cost for additional brushes/pens.