Educational Apps For History Lessons

Two students using an interactive display/ interactive whiteboard in the classroom working on a history lesson

Published: June 23rd, 2022

Most children are excited about technology. And, most of your class probably have plenty of apps downloaded onto their smartphones or other devices, so learning in this manner is familiar, highly engaging and likely to yield better results.

In this post, we’ll focus on history apps, in particular, helping you understand their benefits, the best history apps, and how to integrate them into your class.

What’s better yet is that most of the history apps that we’re about to cover can be used on an interactive display or interactive whiteboard. This makes it easy to integrate any free app into your lesson plans.

How Can Educational Apps Enhance Your History Teaching?

When teaching history to 20-30 students in a classroom, it can be very challenging to know where every student stands in terms of their knowledge and progress.

Equally, students can find it challenging to keep up with the pace of the class. Education apps can be highly beneficial, as they offer a personalised experience. This means that children can engage with the history app at their own pace, ensuring a more customised and beneficial learning experience.

Another benefit associated with history apps is their remote access. iPhone apps and apps for an Android phone can be downloaded anywhere, so long as you have an Internet connection. If someone has missed a lesson, they should be able to catch up easily. If one of your students wants to do more work at home to improve their knowledge, they will be able to do so.

Ultimately, history apps can help your students to enhance their knowledge. Education is a very dynamic area. History apps are continually updated, ensuring students get the most accurate news and information. 

Plus, the future is undoubtedly in technology, so getting your students familiar with apps and devices can only be a good thing, especially for those who may not have access to devices like this at home.

10 Of The Best Educational Apps To Learn History

1. Google Earth History Tours

Google Earth allows you to explore the entire world from above, using 3D terrain and satellite imagery of the whole globe. This means you can view 3D buildings in hundreds of cities around the world. 

Google Earth can be great for supplementing your lessons to give your students a realistic picture of the world around them. If you are teaching the history of a particular area, you can compare Google Earth images now with a time period from the past. 

There are a collection of National Geographic, NASA, and BBC Earth guides.

This app is free to download, and you do not have to worry about any in-app purchases either. You can also use it with Google Assistant.

2. The History Of Everything

Next, we have a free app called The History of Everything. This vertical timeline gives users the ability to navigate, compare, and explore events over time, be it the birth of the Internet or the Big Bang.

The beautiful illustrations and animations for every event help make learning more fun and interactive. Plus, they don’t use much data! 

3. Google Arts And Culture

Over the past couple of years, students have not been able to go on many excursions. Google Arts & Culture can take your students there remotely. You can do virtual tours inside world-class museums and tour landmarks and famous sites.

Placing this on a big screen and allowing students to feel like they are exploring a famous museum can be a fun and highly beneficial experience. Even now that we’re going out again, Google Arts & Culture means you can visit museums worldwide, with more than 2,000 cultural institutions featured from 80 different countries.

4. BBC Civilisations AR

This is an exciting, free AR app to download on any device, which is a collaboration between Nexus Studios, BBC, and over 30 museums across the United Kingdom. It claims to put history in your hands, bringing culture and art directly to you from around the globe. 

From revealing hidden layers beneath Renaissance masterpieces to the secrets of Ancient Egypt, your students will learn everything you need to know about these cultural artefacts and their origins. 

The treasures students can find include iconic sculptures from the past, such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, Rodin’s The Kiss from the National Museum of Wales, and an ancient Egyptian mummy from the Torquay Museum.

5. History Timeline

As the name of this free app indicates, it provides a comprehensive overview of history from around the world, with thousands of entries. The app covers the complete range of history, from the Evolution of Life to Ancient History up until the present day.

No matter what history you teach, you will find suitable content. It covers all of the following:

  • History of Music
  • History of Philosophy
  • History of Art
  • History of Literature
  • World History: Life Events, Nations, Leaders, Wars
  • History of Science

6. History Quiz

There is no denying that there is usually a collective moan when the word “quiz” comes out of a teacher’s mouth. However, with this free app, your students may just grow to enjoy history quizzes. 

This app features over 2,000 questions, with new ones being added all of the time. The interface is simple to use, it won’t use a lot of data, and you can choose topics to base the quiz on, ensuring the quiz fits in with the subject you are teaching. 

The different categories available are as follows, Disasters, Cold War, Vietnam War, Second World War, First World War, Napoleonic Wars, Crusades, Space Exploration, Contemporary History, Modern History, Age Of Discovery, Middle Ages, Ancient History, Prehistory, Archaeology, History of Science, Civilisations, and Famous Dates. 

Some cool features that your students will also enjoy using, including the “50:50” feature – just like the one in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

7. BBC Bitesize

We are sure you are already aware of BBC Bitesize, and this is certainly a free app you want to download. This app, in particular, is suitable for anyone in the Highers, Nationals, or GCSE camp, helping them to study effectively. 

If your students are preparing for a test, you can use this app to help them do so. History is broken down into helpful bite-sized chunks, designed to make studying easier and not as overwhelming.

This app is completely free to use, works with Google Assistant, is compatible with iOS and Android, and has no in-app purchases, so you do not have to worry about school budgeting when it comes to this one! 

There are lots of great features, including flashcards in decks and revision guides. Plus, students have the option to sign into their profile, so they can see exam boards and subjects that are relevant to them.

8. Kings & Queens of England

If the name didn’t give it away, this is a free app that quizzes students on the Kings and Queens of England. There are six different quiz game levels. 

Your students can earn achievements by comparing their scores, which adds a gaming element that most children love. 

You can also read biographical content about every queen and king, including Wikipedia links.

9. Historical Calendar

Explore deaths, births, and events in history with an illustrated timeline to make it easy for students to filter between different periods.

A quiz is also included in this free app, enabling you to test your students’ knowledge.

10. History Hit

Finally, History Hit TV is a new type of history channel. It boasts an expansive and diverse library, including exclusive original films, hundreds of hours of documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and interviews. This is an excellent way of tapping into the notion that all children learn differently. 

Shows can also be downloaded and watched on the go, so students can watch this history channel again at home if they wish to do so.

How To Incorporate History Into Your Lessons

The only thing you need to do now is consider how you will integrate a free history app into your lesson. 

Figure out whether the lesson will be based on the app or if you will use the app to supplement your lessons. For example, Google Earth is great for finding out more information about any of the locations you may be studying, helping your students see the progression of cities over the years, perhaps pre-and post-war.

You can also use the apps mentioned above to allow students to do historical research on their iPad, Android, or iOS. After all, independent research is an imperative skill for every student. As well as putting Google Earth images on a big display will allow students to research independently.

Use An Interactive Display To Get Even More Out Of History Apps

All of the free history apps highlighted in this guide are perfect for the Promethean ActivPanel display. You can simply load them into the display, use them in a browser, or open the free app. Use the timer app to count down as students use these apps to play a game or take a quiz. Or use the screen mirroring functionality to allow students to use these apps simultaneously on their own devices. Getting your class enthralled with your latest history lesson could not be easier. 

Do you want to learn more, or are you ready to get an ActivPanel interactive display for your classroom? Speak with a Promethean expert and book your free demo today!