MP900387696 (1) resized 600Educational apps have created a happy medium between learning and having fun. There are apps available to help your teen learn everything from the periodic table to geography to exploring Sherlock Holmes mysteries while having fun. This is the magic formula that app designers are using to create today’s most popular apps. Here are a few of the most educational and fun apps for teens, as recommended by some of sites like Fun Educational Apps, and non-profits like GreatSchools and Common Sense Media who serve families who desire more from their apps than fruit chopping and disgruntled birds.

Vocabology - Word of the Daygives users a new word to learn each day. To inspire retention of new vocabulary, this app gives users the opportunity to incorporate the word into their lives quickly through quizzes and social media. It also gives users new words to learn in other languages each day as well. There is also an audio playback feature, as well as a favorites feature to insure you can find certain words quickly. And as soon as you master your word in a sentence, you can click and post or email your achievements. The quizzes become an even more challenging and valuable aspect of this app, as your vocabulary grows.

Periodic Table Exploreroffers students 1400 vibrant pages that make the elements of the periodic tables come to life to help them ace chemistry class. There is even an audio pronunciation of each element available, molecular mass calculator and search function for quick navigation of the 1400+ pages of periodic table information. 

Maxjournal is a hugely popular app that can be used to inspire your teen to busy themselves with writing and journaling when a pen and notebook just won’t do. Adding dozens of photos, customized backgrounds and password protection are just a few of the features that makes this app a must for encouraging fun, creative expression through writing in today’s tech driven world.

TED's free app gives teens over 900 inspiring and “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” This is beyond an educational app because there are infinite amounts of educational content to engage a teen’s imagination and inspire them to become active participants in the world’s community of digital learners and teachers.

Star Walkis an out of this world app that captures the imagination of even the most finicky teens in the magic of the night sky, as they point their iPhones and iPads at the stars to see real time graphics of the cosmos. They will be captivated by the other apps offered as well: Solar Walk’s 3D solar system technology, Geo Walk, Dino Walk, and Gyrocompass 3D each exploring it’s topic with fun, insightful facts that keep users engaged and learning, while having fun.

The Human Face of Big Data Tablet App is a fascinating reference and educational app that uses graphics, stories and essays to illustrate how “big data” and the digital-information age is changing our lives. It won this year’s 2013 Webby Award for best Educational Tablet App.

What are some of your favorite app finds for teens?