These 5 apps are perfect for both students and teachers!

Technology is only increasing in popularity.

So let's make the most of it. With technology use only growing in students, it's natural for teachers to increase their knowledge of it in efforts to keep pace with what students are involved with, to try and connect technology with potential learning opportunities in classrooms, and to keep themselves and their teaching organized. If used effectively, both students and teachers can help to create a more positive and engaging classroom environment, and teachers can improve student learning through redefining or recreating the classroom experience. While there are countless apps available, these 5 stood out for me based on what I'll be teaching, and what I would find most valuable in a junior/senior high school setting.

And here they are...

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Evernote is an app that allows you to save all your notes, documents, saved articles, and to-do lists all in one place, and across all of your devices. Within the app, you are able to collaborate with others, and share your ideas or work with others.

I'd use this app to mark assignments or exams, and use it to remind me what I need to complete as a teacher. This way, I can share my work with other teachers that I'm working with more easily so that they can provide their feedback sooner, and I can share my assessments with my students more quickly by posting their grades immediately after grading either to the class' LMS, or through email. It can also help me to stay organized as a new teacher, and keep me on top of my own work.

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Stress Check

Developed by clinical psychologists, this app asks series of questions to provide users with an overall stress score that provides them with an idea of what their current level of stress is, and which areas of their life that their stress affects them most (interpersonal, physiological, situational, or control). Users are also able to track their levels of stress over a given time period.

Once again, I'd use this app in a health education classroom setting. I think this app has the potential to give students some insight as to how stressed they are, and gives them a chance to connect their learning on stress in the body to a real-life example - themselves! With this app, students can track their own stress levels over the term as we learn about the causes, effects, and solutions for it, and connect their learning to their changes in stress levels.

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Proloquo2Go - Symbol-Based AAC

This app was designed for people who may not be able to speak, or who have difficulty speaking. It includes symbols with words that can either be used on their own, or crafted into full sentences. In either case, the word or sentence are read aloud by the app. With this app, students are better able to communicate effectively with their peers and teachers, which reduces a barrier to their learning and their experience in the classroom.

As for use in a classroom setting, I think that my description of this app says it all. For students who find communication difficult, this app will improve the way they interact with their peers and teachers no matter what course they're in, and can used for countless activities, such as presentations or group discussions, which may not have been possible for the student beforehand.

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The Homework App

This app acts as a homework organizer for students. Subjects can be colour-coded, reminders can be attached to upcoming due dates, due dates can be uploaded to an iCloud calendar which will sync to all of the student's devices, and the teacher's instructions can be attached to different homework tasks.

I think this app would be especially helpful for students who struggle with organizational skills, but also assist even the most organized students. I would have my students download this app during the first week of classes, so as to prevent late homework later on in the term, and to help the students who do struggle with their organizational skills tackle this problem early on and prevent major issues later. This way, every student in the room has a way to organize what's due, which may be especially useful for those who have just transitioned from elementary or junior high school, and for the grade 12 students who will take on post secondary in the following year.

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Easy Portfolio

Easy Portfolio is a mobile app that allows students or teachers to easily upload files to add to their ePortfolio. Files include audio or music files, photos or videos, documents direct from email, web links, and notes or text entries.

For me, I could use this app in any one of my classes in order to assess progress or product. For example, in one of my health education classes, I could implement use of an ePortfolio to assess how my students have improved their health over the term, or where their knowledge on health/healthy choices has expanded to over the course of the term. This would be done by their own careful selection of completed assignments that would be placed into their ePortfolios.

This app could also be used to monitor homework completion in any class. For example, if a biology course has 5 units, and within each unit there are 5 assignments with separate due dates, I can use my students' ePortfolios as a way to make sure that they've uploaded their homework by the due date. This is also a way to organize my marking, and have an easy way to see who did and didn't complete their assignments on time.

If you found these apps useful, or sparked your interest, connect with me!

Check out my own ePortfolio, connect with me through Edmodo, or check out my Pinterest page for more information on what I've learned so far in EDU 210, and for other useful educational tools. Let's build up our PLNs and bounce ideas off each other!