Today’s digital-savvy educators do more than simply lecture their class. They’re creating interactive quizzes and gathering real-time feedback via an app. They’re assigning projects to students, while students complete and submit their homework digitally. They’re instantly sharing feedback with parents and students — and they’re finding new ways to engage with the world around them through the tool that students are most attuned to: their phones. Here are a few of the top apps for educators that will help keep peace in the classroom, finally memorize the periodic table or safely and securely communicate in groups.
Top Classroom Management Apps for Teachers
Is your classroom out of control, or are you just looking for a simpler way to slog through your daily tasks and assignments? Going digital may be exactly what you need to reduce your frustration — and your work levels — on a daily basis, while giving you more time for meaningful interaction with students.
- TooNoisy is the perfect app for teachers who prefer their classroom a little on the quieter side! This straightforward noise level meter helps determine when the noise level is getting out of control and provides a fun visual interface that children will love. If things really get out of hand, the app also offers an audio feedback option — also known as an alarm — to cut through the racket and get the room back on track.
- ClassDojo is billed as a classroom community that allows teachers to provide real-time feedback to both students and parents through a friendly, interactive interface. Ideal for elementary-aged children and younger, ClassDojo helps reinforce positive classroom behavior in students while providing a secure and private notification and communication platform between parents and educators.
- Google Classroom is the product of collaboration between Google and teachers to create a streamlined, easy-to-use, multi-device tool that allowed educators to manage coursework digitally. The workflow is completely paperless, from the teacher creating the classes and assignments to students completing their courses and submitting final work for a grade.
- Skyward is a grade and contact management app that is utilized by many public school districts to allow students, teachers and parents to have a holistic view of the student’s activities. This includes everything from grades on individual assignments to the ability to update parent contact information or push messages to parents. On the backend, Skyward also includes finance and HR suites that help power schools and municipalities.
Top Apps for Teacher (and Coach!) Communication
Communication between parents, teachers and students is a topic that is challenging on all fronts. Teachers need to limit the access of parents and students, or they will be overwhelmed with communication requests on a variety of different channels. Parents need to be able to relay questions or last-minute information to teachers in a way that can be acknowledged. In a world where after-school tutoring is still present but definitely shrinking, students need to ask questions of teachers in a way that’s secure and doesn’t release the personal contact information of either party. These apps are meant to keep everyone’s communication on track while protecting children and tracking communication.
- The Remind app does exactly that: “reminds” users that there’s a way to stay in touch, engaged and share resources between parents, teachers and young learners. You can quickly create a classroom and assign a unique code, which can then be provided to parents and children so they can download the app and get started. You can schedule messages for later delivery, send visual messages and receive direct feedback and messages securely.
- GroupMe is a great option for any sport or social activity where you need to share information with a group of individuals at once. You can create groups on the fly, sharing images, high-resolution video and provides a free and convenient option for group messaging. What’s better is that users aren’t required to have a chat option installed on their phones to use the app.
- TeamSnap is for all the coaches who would love to get rid of their clipboards, spreadsheets and marked-up calendars. This sports team management and communication app allow you to follow over 100 different sports. With an install base of 15 million users, you can bet that the tool is useful. It also allows a way to communicate with groups and individuals in real time via chat or push messaging.
Top Educational Apps
There are so many opportunities for education in the digital sector. From AI to flashcards, real-time digital quizzes and more — there’s never been a better time to be an educational technologist than today.
- Socrative is a quizzing app that allows you to customize questions to determine if your students are understanding the information that you’re teaching. Teachers can design and release a quiz to her students while getting real-time feedback. Quizzes are even sharable between teachers, allowing you to integrate this type of learning easily into the classroom.
- StudyBlue allows teachers or students to create mobile flashcards, quizzes or study guides — and you can even select a setup that another student or teacher has already created. Flashcards have been an exceptional learning model for many years, but StudyBlue introduces this concept to the digital generation.
- Khan Academy is an always-free model that provides instructional videos, a personalized learning dashboard and practice exercises to individuals wishing to learn hundreds of different topics from art history to computer programming, science and economics.
- Duolingo provides learners of all ages with one-on-one, interactive training in languages that they crave. Based on real-life learning techniques, Duolingo offers students the ability to correct their pronunciation and memorization in many popular languages including Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Dutch and Portuguese. You can even learn Klingon!
Learning doesn’t have to be expensive, and most if not all of these apps are completely free. Teachers will appreciate having world-class tools at their fingertips that will help them speak in the digital language of their student population.
I am an IT professional with a broad depth of knowledge and experience as an IT planning consultant, with previous experience as a network engineer. I have 14+ years in the industry providing sustainable technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. I personally thrive on making systems more efficient and I am continually interested in ways to innovate using technology applications. I enjoy working closely with colleagues and clients to collaborate and provide a best fit solution for all IT-related needs. More recently I have assisted my workplace with an implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in the “Integrator” role, where I have assisted with optimizing company operations and improving cross-departmental functional systems.