Apps For the Classroom

5 Clever Apps that Teachers can use to Enhance their class

1. Spark Notes

The Spark Notes app is an incredible tool for any teacher. The app has all kinds of supporting information for literature in the class. For example, if you are teaching a class on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet the app has created notes on a character list, analysis of major characters, themes, important quotations explained, key facts, study questions and more! I know from experience there were times when learning Shakespeare that the language was very difficult to understand. By using this app, the language can be explained and make sense. Using this app appeals to the kinesthetic and visual learners and allows students to go beyond what was learned in the classroom outside class time. If your interested you can follow this link.


In a classroom setting if I was teaching Romeo and Juliet, once we had completed the unit I would have the students (for homework) read through the "important quotations explained" and "key facts" then proceed to go through the quiz as prep for the unit exam on Romeo and Juliet.

2. Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard is another essential app that all teachers must use. With this app, teachers can create individualized lessons either for a single student or for the whole class who can then access that lesson at any time and anywhere. The user uses the Interactive Whiteboard to write, add images/videos, add links and more. So you could add a picture then circle items on the image and explain what they are.


This app has many uses for in the classroom but one that stands out to me it taking a concept that is key in the course and elaborating on it. For example, if I were teaching Math and the students were having difficulty understanding pythagorean theorem, I could create 2-3 questions and record the process of how to solve for side c while talking over the visual representation. By recording it students can pause or re-watch the lesson as many time as they want to get the concept.


If you would like to download the app you can do so by clicking here.

Educreations at Launch Conference

3. Pocket

Pocket is an app that allows the user to save content (videos, articles etc.) to a cloud so that they can view the content later (Pocket, 2007). So if you see a great article that you want to read but don't have time and don't want to forget where you found it, you can save it to pocket and view it later. For a quick video on how to use the app and what it looks like check out this video.



This could be a great tool in the classroom for Social Studies teachers. I say this because I would use an app like this for research projects. When I have done research projects in the past I sometimes find great articles online that I could use but then something happens and I forget where I found the article. As a teacher I would have the students, while working on their research, to save ALL articles to their pocket. This way the teacher can see things like how many articles the students found and which ones they used/didn't use. It also allows the students to access the article from where ever they are on their mobile devices, laptops, or the computer lab at school.


If you would like to download the app you can just click here.

4. Edmodo

Edmodo is “a social learning platform for teachers, students, and parents. It is commonly thought of as the Facebook of schools, as called by pupils and teachers alike” (Wikipedia, 2013). Edmodo is an incredible tools that can allow teachers to create a “group” where the teacher can post due dates, assignments, polls, quizzes and other items. Not only does it give students access to this wherever they have a computer but students can also access Edmodo on their mobile devices. This gives the teacher the ability to send a message through Edmodo which will send a notification (which is like a text message) to all the students who are in the group and have the app installed on their devices. Students are also able to interact with each other under the supervision of the teacher. If you would like to watch a quick video tutorial on how to set up an Edmodo account as a teacher click this link.


This another app that has a very large variety of uses for the classroom. One that stands out to me is the ability to post important dates and assignments which sends the students a message to their mobile devices. For example, if I were teaching a Construction class and I required that the students find a safety video on YouTube to show for the next class, that evening I could make a post on Edmodo to remind them of this. They would immediately get a reminder on their phones so if they forgot they would now be reminded. In today's society it is rare for a student to not have a cell phone. So if a teacher can use that to their advantage by sending students messages to their phones about important dates and assignments it can help they students remember. The app is great for this as the teacher does not have to have the students' phone number or vise versa, but can just send a message through Edmodo. I definitely want to take advantage and use this is my classrooms.


If you would like to download Edmodo for free you can just click this link.



5. TeacherKit

TeacherKit is an app that allows a teacher to get rid of all those binders. Many teachers carry around all sorts of binders, some for grading, some for notes on students, some for attendance, all of which can be gone with TeacherKit. This app allows a teacher to "manage your class, manage your students, create a seating chart, take attendance, add behaviour notes, record students' grades and more! (TeacherKit, 2012).


This app is a teacher's greatest friend. It's a great tool for keeping track of all your students and classes. This is definitely an app that I will need to use as a teacher as I love to have have things organized in one place and this will do just that. One of the ways that stands out to me the most about this app that I am excited to use is the grading. The app allows the user to "Log student grades as you add gradeable items in the intuitive Gradebook (Teacherkit, 2012)." For example, if you have a quiz with your math class that you want to add to your gradebook you can very easily add another column to your Math 9 class called quiz 3.2 and quickly add the marks that each student received. It's a quick and easy way to save paper and save your data.


For a quick video on the app click on the video below. If you would like to download the app click this link.


TeacherKit

References

Educreations. (2013). Frequently Asked Questions. Educreations. Retrieved on November 11, 2013, from http://www.educreations.com/faq/.


Pocket. (2007). About Pocket. Pocket. Retrieved on November 11, 2013, from http://getpocket.com/about


Wikipedia. (2013). Edmodo. Wikipedia. Retrieved on November 7, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmodo


TeacherKit. (2012). Features. TeacherKit. Retrieved on November 11, 2013, from http://www.teacherkit.net/features/