Educating with Apps

5 Mobile Apps Teachers should use to Educate

Why Teach Using Apps?

Cell phones are a staple of the 21st century. Whether you're a police officer or a criminal, a doctor or a patient, a teacher or a student, you probably have one, and probably rely on it regularly. Teachers often hate cellphones because of their power to distract students, but hating phones will do nothing as society revolves around these devices more and more.


So as for the answer to "Why teach using apps?"

As a teacher, you can't afford not to.


Your students WILL have phones, and your students WILL be using them during class. Taking the phones away is not really an option, as students guard them like dragons and will resent anyone who threatens them, and parents too may be uncooperative with a teacher who takes away a device or disciplines a child for using one.


The solution to this problem? Embrace the phone through apps. If you use apps to teach, students will be more engaged because of how they love using their phone. Students may still spend some time texting during class, but if you give them access to and encourage them to use these apps, they can make up that learning and more, all from their phones whenever/wherever they please. Phones can give more opportunities to teach, more ways to teach, and more enjoyment of being taught, all if included properly.


These 5 apps will give you some ideas on how exactly to use apps for lessons, or what kind of apps to look for.

#1 Duolingo

Duolingo is a free app (it is also ad-free, which is worth noting) that can be used in language classes. The app itself teaches simple, easy to follow lessons, that range from simple word recognition, to sentence structure, grammar, and more. Plus, it contains lessons in many languages from French to Russian to Esperanto. On top of this, the app keeps track of your progress and displays it to you in various ways.

In a K-12 setting, this app is an excellent platform for providing your students with extra practice from anywhere they have their phones (Which in today's culture means everywhere).

#2 Khan Academy

Khan Academy is another app that can almost function as a standalone tool. Khan Academy can be accessed on mobile devices and contains helpful videos, lessons, and other learning tools in essentially every subject you might need them in, and students can access these on-the-go from their mobile devices. It's free, safe, and already tested.

A teacher could use it to compliment their in class lesson, or recommend it to students who require extra assistance or an extra means of representation of material.

#3 Dictionary.com

This app created by the makers of the popular Dictionary.com website could be extremely helpful for those students who have difficulties in the area of vocabulary. Students will be able to read texts with words they've never heard before by simply getting the definition of unknown words from their app.

This app is more useful in education from about grade 6 and on, as the students will need a bit of their own vocabulary to make use of the definitions in a dictionary. When used by capable students it can expand vocabularies and read to eloquent papers and writing with new terms.

#4 Google Classroom

Google Classroom as an app that allows you to conveniently use all of the services of Google Classroom's computer interface on your mobile device. This includes assigning or completing homework, viewing announcements, and anything else accessible form the computer. The Google Classroom web site allows classroom to be accessed from home, and the app is the natural extension of this by allowing access to the classroom from a mobile device anywhere.

This is useful in all grade levels depending on their level of digital fluency. It can be used to great effect with students who often lose assignments of forget them at school as this app makes forgetting an assignment at school an inconsequential mistake.

#5 Google Drive

Google Drive for mobile allows you to access all of the Google Drive services you access on computer, but on your mobile device. You can share, view, and edit documents, which is a useful ability for both teachers and students alike. The app adds the capability to do this on-the-go, with the only qualifier being access to internet.

This is useful in much the same way as Google Classroom: it can allow you or your students more flexibility in the location and time you use a document or work on an assignment. You could work on a drive document from an airport in the middle of the night on a holiday: You never have to worry about access to an assignment or document on Google Drive as long as you have internet.

Image Citations

Dictionary.com Logo retrieved from:http://www.educationalappstore.com/images/upload/642-logo-unnamed.png

Duolingo Logo retrieved from: http://ipadinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Duolingo_logo.png

Google Classroom Logo retrieved from: https://n9g240g14gn805g.storage.googleapis.com/Google-Classroom-Logo1.png

Google Drive Logo retrieved from: https://lh6.ggpht.com/k7Z4J1IIXXJnC2NRnFfJNlkn7kZge4Zx-Yv5uqYf4222tx74wXDzW24OvOxlcpw0KcQ=w300

Khan Academy logo retrieved from: http://www.ct4me.net/images/khan-academy-icon.jpg