Few things give students more frowns than getting homework assignments. A few pages of math, science or history problems can take hours to complete. Students today have found some homework help in the form of smartphone apps.
One of the more popular tutoring apps for iPhone users is Socratic. Parents, I'm not 'teaching' kids something they don't already know. This app has been downloaded and used by over 34 million times.
The developers of Socratic insist their app is not to help students cheat on their homework by just giving the answers, but rather as a tutor students can have at any time to help them learn.
It works like this:
Students use their smartphone camera to snap a photo of the question. It can be written by hand or printed in a textbook as long as it's legible. The questions are then answered by educators, tutors, graduate students and professionals in the math, science, history, chemistry and other fields.
Those homework helpers will provide not just the answer to the question, but they explain how the problem was solved with step-by-step directions.
I tested it out with questions in chemistry, algebra and history. The chemistry question was complete with a diagram, an explanation, detailed information and a video from an educator with the Kahn Academy, a reputable video education company.
Of course some students, maybe many students, use the app just for the answers, but others (the one's who usually excel in their studies) use it for its intended purpose.
The Socratic app is free but works only with iPhones and iPads. A similar app for Android devices is "Socrative Student" and "Socrative Teacher" for educators. Those apps also use educators to help tutor students through the app. In addition to working with Android devices, Socrative also works with iOS devices. It is also free. Socrative also supplies a Chrome Extension for the computer.