Best Mobile Apps for Classrooms
Top 5 for K-12
Below are 5 of the mobile apps I have used most often- and with the greatest success in my experience as a pre-service teacher in 5/6 and 2/3 combined grade classes respectively. They are listed in order from 5-1 with 1 being the app I couldn't live without, but by no means will that be the same for your classroom! Give them all a try- and I hope you find a couple gems you've maybe never seen before!
#5 Explain Everything
The title may sound boastful, but Explain Everything really lives up to its name. For teachers, it provides a platform to quickly put together simple and impactful presentations for students. However, by creating presentations, and then animating, annotating, or narrating over them, your students will be able to push the boundaries of their final projects. The app does depend on the iPad's microphone for recording- sometimes they come out a little quiet, and even for older students a stylus helps a lot in creating tidy annotations and drawing, however it's versatility and relevance in classroom use far outweigh its shortcomings. It is available for purchase at $3.99 Here.
#4 Dragon Dictation
This app is amazing for students, teachers, and even for parents! It's an efficient way for students who struggle with writing to communicate on paper- to essentially have a scribe available in the classroom at any time. I often leave it open during times of teacher presented information, or class discussions, to then simply and efficiently create a transcript, or summary for students to review (after some editing of course- it isn't always perfect). This app is even great for out of the classroom organizing, right down to making simple grocery lists, or talking out ideas for lessons or activities. Download Dragon Dictation from the App Store Here.
ClassDojo describes itself as: "...beautiful classroom management app for teachers to easily encourage any behaviour or skill in the classroom, and keep parents in the loop." and certainly does just that! ClassDojo simplifies the process of awarding merits or demerits to students- and for skills you customise for your unique classroom (ex. focus, or helping others). Students are able to track their own progress, and behaviour data can be shared quickly with parents, who can communicate with the teacher directly through the app itself. Download ClassDojo Here.
#2 Inspiration Maps
This app is a great tool for the visual learners among your students! Web maps are much-loved tools for breaking down difficult concepts, organizing ideas, demonstrating connections between topics, and a multitude of other functions. While Inspiration Maps is the most expensive App on this list at $9.99, it lives up to it by transforming streams of thought into outlines, and potentially later exported for writing. Essentially, transitions thoughts from your students mind to paper. For whole class activities, the maps created can be exported to a variety of sharing options such as e-mail, Dropbox, or saving them as photos among others. Download Inspiration Maps Here.
#1 Google Docs
Last but never least- our good friend Google Docs! It may not be the flashiest App out there, but it's never failed me yet! Google Docs has been one of the best apps I've encountered for working collaboratively- whether with colleagues or to have students working with each other. The documents created within it can be accessed and edited from any computer the user logs into without having to export or share them, is a great resource to help increase students access group work. If you somehow don't have it already, download Google Docs Here.