Apps

7 Apps for Helping Others

Children can practice empathy through apps that encourage collaboration, whether it’s drawing pictures together, cooking for each other, or creating lessons to share their knowledge.
February 2, 2015
An illustration of two tablets with arms and hands coming out of them, and the hands are shaking.

Teaching children about empathy and giving them the inspiration and know-how to support their peers is a life-skill lesson that plays an important part in the classroom. Students should understand the power of collaboration and what it means to come together for a common mission. The umbrella of helping others can include working with a friend, making a difference in the world, and taking time to show people that you care.

When thinking about the best way to teach students how to help others, iPads probably aren't the first things that come to mind. There are mobile apps that empower students to create and share with one another, learn about the needs of others around the world, and post or send their knowledge and favorite tips for anyone to see. Explore the following list of iPad apps to gather ideas about using tablets as a medium for teaching students how to help others.

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Drawing Together!

Drawing Together! is very cool app that lets users of any age wirelessly connect their iPad screens. Students can then work on the same shared screen from their own device to draw together. They can choose from coloring-book pages or a blank canvas. Another nice feature of this app is the ability to do a voice call as you draw. Whether older students are helping younger students illustrate a story they've written, or you're looking for a new way to connect pen pals, Drawing Together! is a neat choice.

Gro Recycling

Introducing students to the concept of sustainability and the environment is a fantastic way to teach empathy and the importance of helping others. Gro Recycling is a kid-friendly app that shows students the importance of recycling. Using a variety of cartoon characters, students will watch reusing and recycling in action.

Kindoma Storytime

Students who need extra help as readers or children who want to share their own love of reading with a struggling peer will love Kindoma Storytime. This partner-reading app connects two people through the wireless internet connection on their tablet. Sharing a view of the same book, users can watch the pages turn together, see each other's face, and hear the voice of their friend all at the same time. Kindoma Storytime is a great app for having students choral read or work with a buddy to practice fluency and comprehension.

WeCookit

If your students want to make a special treat for their friend or classmate, you'll want to check out WeCookit. Designed for children, this app is full of simple recipes, cooking tips, and facts about food that are perfect for first-time chefs. It includes colorful pictures that will make it easy for kids to create a fantastic dish to share with a friend or family member.

WWF Together

The World Wildlife Foundation has created WWF Together, an informative app to teach people about endangered species and help them learn how to support their dwindling populations. It includes lots of pictures, maps, and interesting facts about animals like the giant panda, monarch butterfly, and marine turtles. Kids can learn how to help these animals by reading about their habitats and the threats that they face.

Snapguide

Helping others can include teaching them what we know. Snapguide is a creation tool that makes it simple to design how-to or step-by-step guides using multimedia. Users can combine pictures, video, and text to make a guide that's easy for others to follow. This can help them solve a problem or figure out how to create something new. Your students can search through the user-generated guides to gather new ideas in addition to creating their own.

Just for You - Little Critter

A picture book that can help children think about helping others is Just for You from the Little Critter series. Your students might already be familiar with Mercer Mayer's characters. This story focuses on Little Critter as he tries his best to help out around the house. It includes interactive storybook features like "read to me" and the ability to add your own narration.

What apps have you used to teach students about helping others? Is there a tech-friendly activity that you've tried in your classroom?