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By Terry Ng

Give students — and yourself — a much-needed break from Zoom sessions. Get everyone outdoors this spring for some educational activities that can also help improve health and well-being. (Please follow COVID-19 guidelines when outdoors with students.) From stargazing to plant identification, these apps will challenge students to learn and develop hands-on skills they can use throughout life.


Tablet showing view of constellation

Star Chart (iOS, Android; age 4+)

Using state-of-the-art GPS technology, Star Chart calculates in real time the current location of every star and planet visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are, even in broad daylight. It’s like having a virtual planetarium in your pocket!

Cellphone showing view of flower

PlantNet (iOS, Android; age 4+)

Identify over 20,000 species of plants simply by photographing them with your smartphone, including flowers, trees, grasses, conifers, ferns, vines, wild salads and cacti.

Logo with goose footprints

GooseChase (iOS, Android; age 9+)

Blend the tried-and-true fun of scavenger hunts with mobile tech for a learning experience like no other. Increase student engagement, collaboration and communication by creating class missions and monitoring student progress from an easy-to-use dashboard.

Promo showing photos of birds

Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors (iOS, Android; age 4+)

Based on the hit PBS KIDS show, this app is an on-the-go toolset that will inspire your students with more than 100 new daily adventure prompts — including for sunny, rainy and snowy days. Students use their smartphones to record and share their observations in fun, creative ways.

Bird graphic

BirdsEye Bird Finding Guide (iOS, Android; age 4+)

A powerful tool for your students to discover the birds around them and find the birds they want to see. Stunning and detailed photographs from many top birders, bird photographers and guides help identify the birds.