There are thousands of Apps available for the Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, and Windows. How does a teacher narrow the field for the most essential Apps to use? Apps that are no-nonsense and useful?In this roundup post, I'll give you the rundown on five essential Apps and websites you can rely on year in and year out. Click To Tweet Thankfully, these essential 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.
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 might say. Essential to any 1:1 classroom, 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.
Watch this video tutorial for Google Classroom.
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. Next, parents can keep track of their child’s behavior, receive notices from you (including pictures and videos). Finally, 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.
Watch this video tutorial for ClassDojo.
Essential App #3: Remind
Everyone is busy. Teachers and parents are busy. 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?Remind is one of those essential Apps to improve parent-teacher communication.Click To Tweet
That is what the Remind App (and website at www.remind.com) does for you. First, sign up with Remind to get a random telephone number that is used to text parents. Next, 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.
Watch this video tutorial for the RemindApp.
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 about 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. Another one of those essential apps if you teach with video! Edpuzzle can be accessed online at edpuzzle.com or as an App for your device.
Watch this video tutorial for Edpuzzle.
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. Kahoot is another of those essential apps teachers need in their inventory. Great for making practice reviews, checking for understanding of the class or for challenging more capable learners.
Watch this video tutorial for Kahoot.
More Articles for the Technology Minded Teacher
Are you new the 1:1 classroom setting? Then you’ll want to read my Valuable Tips for the 1:1 Classroom.
Check out how I use Google Classroom to present at Back to School Night for Parents.
Here’s a hand tool every teacher should have to display in their classroom or on student desks. KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS! Students should learn these as soon as possible. Get a copy of the poster and student desk version by signing up for my newsletter.
What Apps do you consider essential for teachers to use?
Let us know in the comment section!