Apps That Can be Used in the Classroom

on Monday, 29 July 2013
Today, in the classroom, tools have advanced far beyond things used in simpler times:  the basic calculator, slide rule, compass. After all, the shift of education itself has shifted to the online environment with online education degree’s becoming the norm.

With the computer power and memory of most "smart" telephones, students of all ages are coming to rely on "apps" (applications) available to download on their smart phones, for assistance in the classroom, where such tools are permitted by educational institutions.

There are two operating systems in the widest use today, the ones employed by Apple products like iPhones and iPads, and the "Android" system, used by a host of phones and tablet computers.  Both systems have a wide variety of apps, for free or for a fee, available to be place on their device.  You purchase these apps from specialty online stores.  Your purchase is instantly transferred to your device and is ready to use immediately.

Student Apps

Apps are available for "both sides" of a classroom; students and instructors. Some of the more popular apps for students include the following:

Evernote - makes note taking easy and keeps your scholastic materials organized in a simple and easy to locate fashion.

• Hi Q Voice Recorder -  if you're not the world's best note taker, take your lecture home with you to review later.  Record the lecture to your advice and play it over and over again.

• Kindle - is an electronic book reader.  Some text books and many supplementary materials are available for Kindle.

• Document Scanners - Scan books, articles and journals in the school library.  If your library doesn't allow checkouts of certain materials, scanning the material lets you review it later.  You can often 'tag' documents  with keywords to make searching a breeze as well.

• Doodle Buddy and 30 Hands are fun iPad apps that let you create art and collaborate on stories.  

• Mathboard and Mathbingo help you learn math concepts in an easy to follow, interactive way.

Of course, all of the standard printed materials are available, from encyclopedia sets, to dictionaries, atlases, thesauruses and other reference books.
Educator Apps

On the educator side, many apps are available to assist instructors of all types.

• Teacher’s Assistant - helps teachers track individual student data, from achievement to behavior; instant reports can be generated to send to parents via email.

• Mathematical Formulas - keep a reference volume handy to nearly every mathematical formula ever devised.  Don't let a student stump you!

• Outliner helps you design your curriculum months or a term in advance. Gather all your talking points, notes, easily organized by date or subject matter.

• History Maps of the World, for iPad allows you to show maps of the world and how the borders have changed over time.  This interactive app is very useful in explaining how governments and conflicts have changed the shape and size of countries over decades and centuries.

• Keynote allows educators to design simple graphics and charts to go along with their lectures.  Using Keynote on an iPad or tablet gives you the ability to plug your device into classroom AV tools for large format display.

Another useful tool is "Dropbox" which allows you to 'park' large files on the internet and give access to those who need to use those files.  This is great for giving students access to specialized study aids.

If you can think of a classroom problem, chances are there is an app to help solve it!