5 Essential No-Nonsense Apps Teachers Need Every Year

With the thousands of Apps available for the Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Windows how is a teacher supposed to narrow the field for the most essential and no-nonsense apps?  In this roundup post, I'll give you the run down on five important Apps and websites you can rely on year in and year out.  These Apps and websites have only improved with age.  Take a look at each video so you can learn the features of why these Apps and websites are so essential.


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Essential App #1:  Google Classroom

Before you watch the video, there are some exciting new updates coming to Google Classroom and Google Forms!  Check out this link:  10 ways we’re making Classroom and Forms easier for teachers this school year.  


If you are in a 1:1 classroom environment or are heading in that direction, "get thee to Google Classroom," a modern Shakespeare my say.  Google Classroom is a platform that allows teachers to assign, distribute and grade assignments and projects in a paperless way.  Teachers can access Google Classroom on the desktop (classroom.google.com) or as an App on their tablet or phone (both iOS and Android).  I've blogged about how important it is to organize your Google Classroom in this post, and Google makes organization easy and convenient.


Check out this video tutorial for Google Classroom to get started:





Essential App #2:  ClassDojo


If you're looking for a great way to combine Growth Mindset, parent communication, student accountability and classroom management you've just found it.  ClassDojo is both a website (www.classdojo.com) and an App available for tablets and phones (both iOS and Android).  I've also blogged about using ClassDojo with my students.  Create a class roster and start rewarding students for good choices.  If students make bad choices, you can document that through ClassDojo as well.  But the best part is keeping parents informed not only about the student's behavior but also about the happenings in your classroom.  Parents download the App and join by a unique code provided to them.  Parents can keep track of their child's behavior, receive notices from you (including pictures and videos).  ClassDojo has now added a new feature called ToolKit which is viewable through the App.  The new ToolKit has eight new features including a timer, group maker, directions display and more.


Check out this video tutorial for ClassDojo to get started:




Essential App #3:  Remind


Everyone is busy.  Teachers and parents.  So what is a quick and sure fire way to make sure parents receive important school and classroom information?  Use Remind!  Sure, you can send messages through ClassDojo, but that means the parent has to open the app to see the message.  What if you could text the parent directly with relevant information?  That is what the Remind App (and website at www.remind.com) does for you.  When you sign up, you'll be given a random telephone number that will be used to text parents.  Parents sign up directly from their phone.  I like to use Back to School Night to have them all take out their phones and sign them up.  Sign up takes 30 seconds!  From them on, they'll receive text messages from you with your important announcements.  It has many other features, too.

Check out this video tutorial for Remind to get started:




Essential App #4:  EdPuzzle


This website is one of the coolest sites available to teachers.  Ever find a great video on YouTube or some other site and think how you could use it in a lesson?  This site allows you to not only assign a video (it communicates with Google Classroom so you can assign it through Google Classroom), but you can develop questions for the students to answer and interact with the video!  I've blogged about how I use EdPuzzle in my classroom.  You can trim videos or even add your narration.  A video is a powerful tool for teaching, and this website makes it easy to develop assignments and projects with the videos.


Check out his video tutorial for EdPuzzle to get started:





Essential App #5:  Kahoot



What is Kahoot?  The Kahoot blog explains it well:

"A Kahoot is a collection of questions on specific topics.  Created by teachers, students, business-people and social users, they are asked in real-time, to an unlimited number of "players," creating a social, fun and game-like learning environment."

You can make up your own questions or pick from those made by others.  It's a great way to check for comprehension or use as an exit ticket quickly.

Check out this video tutorial for Kahoot to get started:





What Apps do you consider essential for teachers to use?  Let us know in the comment section!

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