The green children live what they learn

Learn online for school - this is how it works!

You can play wonderfully with tablets and smartphones, no question about it. At the same time, you can learn very effectively with them (more: Learning online: advantages for students and what parents should pay attention to). But anyone who searches the net to find out how and where children can learn online for school usually feels overwhelmed by the abundance of offers.

► More on the topic: Evaluating the quality of online offers

► More on the topic: Learning online for school - that's how it works!

That is why we have taken a closer look at the most important learning opportunities for children and show you which medium is best in which situation.

Content of this article:

  1. Learning apps: Learn online for school on the go and in between

  2. Online learning platforms: learn independently and with motivation for school

  3. Children's websites: research online

  4. Online videos: Review school material

  5. Educational games: practice playfully for school

1. Learning apps: Learn online for school on the go and in between


The term "app" is short for the English word "application". Behind it are small programs that can be installed on mobile devices as well as computers. The spectrum ranges from the first picture puzzles to vocabulary trainers to applications with exercises for calculating percentages or probability.

Updates can be used to update content and software regularly, provided that the provider develops the app further. There are both free and paid offers that children can use to study for school online. These are available from the various app stores.

Parents can find an initial overview at At click-tips, a list of safe children's apps recommended by media experts is updated every month. Here you can also filter according to various search criteria.

When does it make sense to use apps to study online for school?

Learning with apps can be really fun. Refresh a few vocabulary in between or go through the math exercises again and all on the cool smartphone or tablet - great thing. Most of the time, people loll around on the sofa or learn on the go, often between the door and the hinge. For intensive learning, e.g. For example, apps are less suitable for class work. Rather, children can use them to deepen the subject and learn it in a different environment.

► Why learning math online motivates children

At the same time, there are nice apps that convey learning content "between the lines": puzzles, coloring books, games ... the list is long.

► Here are a few tips for good apps: the best kids' apps

But be careful: Parents should sit down with their children right at the beginning and accompany them as they take their first steps. Rules for media use are also important because children are not yet able to regulate their consumption well themselves.

► Smartphones for children - parents should pay attention to this

How useful are apps in preschool age?

Example from everyday life: Five-year-old Anna wipes her mother Martina's iPad with great concentration, sorts bars according to size and enjoys the tones that sound when she taps them with her finger. Kirsten, a friend of Martina's mother, asks astonished: "Isn't she too young for that?"

Martina immediately feels guilty because she often gives Anna her tablet when she wants some peace and quiet. She is also not quite sure whether her daughter shouldn't rather play with other things at her age. On the other hand, your child is seldom as enthusiastic and focused as it is when playing with the tablet.

scoyo TIP: No question about it, in preschool age children have enough to do with discovering the world directly with their senses. In principle, they do not need any media to learn during this time. On the other hand, the parents' tablets or smartphones are part of their environment that they explore. As long as it does not become the rule, there is nothing wrong with your child using selected apps every now and then.

2. Online learning platforms: learn independently and with motivation for school

A learning platform is a closed space in the network in which various offers for schoolchildren can be called up.

When does it make sense to study online for school on special learning platforms?

Multimedia, up-to-date, interactive: children like to learn with digital media | © Markus Bormann - Fotolia.comOnline learning platforms are mostly to be understood as a kind of learning companion. This means that students continuously review the school material with them, apply them and check their knowledge in short tests. Usually children have their own account in which they can save and see their learning progress. They can also prepare specifically for class work or repeat individual content.

In order to motivate children to learn, an online learning platform should be structured differently from the textbook. In this way, the platform helps to bring school material closer in a different way.More information about this: learning support vs. tutoring

At scoyo, the school material in grades 1-7 is packaged in child-friendly online learning stories that have been developed by experts. Students can put their knowledge to the test in interactive exercises and tests.

Can I let my child study online alone?

Example from everyday life:Max just started third grade. He likes to go to school and gets along quite well. Last year he was always in the middle of the field with the results of his tests in math and German. For the coming year he would like to improve his results, because at the end of the third grade he will get a certificate for the first time. His father Klaus heard that there are offers on the Internet with which children can learn for different subjects independently. This is important to him because he and his wife don't want to spend their free time with their son studying - Max doesn't have any real problems at school.

scoyo TIP: Parents who let their children learn independently support them in two ways: On the one hand, the children practice organizing themselves and working independently. On the other hand, they are more attentive at school if they don't rely on their mother or father to explain everything again in the afternoon.

If you let your child learn on their own, it is all the more important to check the quality of the learning offer in advance. Also, make sure your child is getting feedback, getting motivated, and engaging with content that is currently relevant to the school.

3. Children's websites: research online

The web is full of pages that present child-friendly content. Always pay attention to the sender of the information and make sure that the offers are ad-free. (More: Assessing the quality of online learning opportunities)

When does it make sense to study online for school with children's sites?

With the internauts, children travel to different planets | © Children's sites on the Internet are particularly suitable for researching presentations or looking up something that the children have not yet understood very well in class.

The children's search engines and entry pages Frag-Finn and Blinde-Kuh are recommended for initial research. The Internet-ABC association has put together a helpful guide to help children take the first steps in online research and to show how children can learn online for school.

There are also websites such as, which give children, parents and teachers comprehensive instructions on how to use the Internet.

► Even more tips for good sites: The best children's websites

What do I have to pay attention to when my child researches online?

Example from everyday life:The nine-year-old Lisa is supposed to prepare her first presentation for the school. The topic: How do I eat healthily? The teacher recommended that she also look for information on this on the Internet. Lisa has no experience with online research and asks her mother Sarah for help. “Did Ms. Schulze tell you where to do research?” Sarah asks her daughter. Lisa shrugs her shoulders. Sarah sits down at the computer with Lisa and wonders where to start.

scoyo TIP: Find out how you can find child-friendly sites on the Internet before you start searching the Internet with your child. Surfing without a plan is always a problem if you come across sites that are not suitable for children. Also speak to the teachers: If the students are expected to research information on the Internet, the online search should also be a topic in the classroom.

4. Online videos: Review school material

Under certain circumstances, tutorial videos can help students review the subject matter online if they have not followed up in class.

But for this it is important that the parents inform in advance exactly who is responsible for the content is and what the quality of the offer looks like - that has to be checked again for each film. You can find a checklist in our free online learning guide.


In view of the range of different videos on the net, it is hardly possible to get a real overview. Some providers of learning videos have specialized in certain subjects or topics and some of them offer the films for a fee.

A current, well-founded discussion of learning videos can be found in the master's thesis by Alexander Becher, TU Dresden. Becher has checked learning videos for mathematics and English under various aspects and created an overview starting on page 73 of his work.

When does it make sense to study with videos online for school?

The advantage of educational videos is obvious: the students have the option of pausing the film if they have not understood something, rewinding it and repeating it.

The disadvantage: When just watching, the learners remain in the passive situation of the viewer and cannot ask individual questions. The motivating effect tends towards zero if interactivity is not possible.

How safe are educational videos on YouTube?

Example from everyday life:Eleven-year-old Rebecca has problems in math class. Her mother heard from friends that there should be educational videos on YouTube that explain individual areas of mathematics for students. She wonders how she finds these movies and whether watching videos really helps her daughter.

scoyo TIP: Anyone who researches on YouTube will definitely find it there. However, parents have to be aware that their children are walking on an unprotected platform here. Anyone can post videos - whether the free content in this case is correct cannot be guaranteed. Parents should always check this carefully.

In addition, children could find some bad comments on the videos - and the entire YouTube universe with films that children shouldn't see yet is just a click away. Parents should therefore pay close attention to what their child is looking at. Should a young user come across disturbing content, an open conversation can help.

The advertising that is shown on many YouTube videos is also a big topic that parents should be grappling with. Children cannot distinguish between advertising and editorial content right from the start.

► More information on this: Dangers on the Internet

5. Educational games: practice playfully for school

There are many great websites for kids - you just have to know them ... | © MNStudio - The games market is growing rapidly. There are games that are played over the Internet and those that do not require a network connection. It is particularly important here that you as parents gain an overview. Look specifically for educational games if you want to encourage your child. A good introduction can be found at the Schau hin! Initiative. The following pages provide specific tips with age information:, and

Read the product descriptions very carefully and pay attention to whether the offer is based on scientific knowledge and was developed by educators or learning psychologists. It is also important that the content is based on the curriculum of the federal states and thus covers the important school material.

Learning with computer games - useful or just a pastime?

Example from everyday life:Ten-year-old Moritz comes back from his friend Hannes, who received a new computer game from his uncle for his birthday. Moritz was allowed to play along and solved tricky math problems together with his friend. Now he wants a game like that too. His father Markus has reservations when he only hears the word "computer games". "I don't want to be unable to get you off the computer in the future because you're just paddling around with the box," he says.

scoyo TIP: Even if you as parents are strictly against it: Your child will have his or her experiences with computer games - if not at home, then with friends. Computer games are basically neither pure pastime nor are they inevitably addicting.

Some are even good at motivating children to study. So get an overview, learn to differentiate good educational games from games with which children only pass the time. Keep track of what your child is playing and how much time they spend on it. Find games together and test them out together - this is how you can stay in touch with your child.

► More: Computer games are no good for children! Or does it? | column