We bet to get your teaching license you didn’t have to take a class about how to pick the right apps.
Regardless, as an educator you’re often in charge of picking the right apps for your students. Thousands of teachers purchase technology items from vendors like Best Buy and Office Depot via AdoptAClassroom.org every year. With more than 4.5 million iPads and 4.4 million Chromebooks sold to U.S. schools, you know the value new technology can bring to your classroom. You put in all those extra hours to get these new tablets in the hands of students… so how do you make sure they’re treated like tools and not toys?
To get the most of your new laptops or tablets, here are five free apps you can use in your classroom.
It’s difficult to get students excited to take a quiz, but Kahoot attempts to do just that. Teachers can use Kahoot to create quizzes by adding their own questions, answers, and pictures, which can then be displayed to the class on a projector. Students are able to take the quiz on tablets, computers, or smartphones to answer each question alongside their peers.
With Kahoot, students find out if they picked the correct answer after every question. When they choose correctly, it enables them to feel an immediate sense of accomplishment. Giving an incorrect answer can also create a positive experience. Students have a chance to learn from their mistakes, as the educator can explain why a specific answer is correct while the question is still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Building mind maps is a great way for students to generate and arrange their ideas when beginning a new project. MindMeister allows users to create neat and organized brainstorming diagrams on their computer or tablet. With this digital mind mapping software, students can implement pictures, charts, and videos into their research notes.
Collaboration is key when developing a group project. Students are able to use MindMeister to brainstorm together across multiple devices. This also allows teachers to easily check their student’s progress throughout the early stages of an assignment.
Instead of giving your students gold stars, you can use ClassDojo to reward them for their classroom achievements and good behavior. Whenever someone follows a class rule, participates, or even just stands out, they can receive positive reinforcement through the app’s point system. ClassDojo also keeps track of areas that students could use progress, which promotes self-improvement in the classroom.
Teachers can use the app to keep parents in the loop by sending them classroom pictures, personalized messages, or a timeline of their child’s progress. By getting parents engaged in their children’s learning experience, they can help reinforce positive behavior and work on areas where improvement is needed.
Disorganized and messy note-taking can cause problems for students when it’s time to study for an upcoming test. Evernote allows students to type their notes neatly on a laptop or tablet, and then file them into identifiable categories for later use. Those that prefer to hand write their notes can use the app to take and store pictures of pages out of their notebook.
Students who forget their notes at school the night before a big test can access their Evernote account from a computer or tablet at home. Digital note-taking also allows students or teachers to send study materials through Evernote to those that miss class.
Keeping students engaged is an important part of the learning process, and using interactive games can be a fun way to do this. TinyTap gives teachers the tools they need to make their own educational games for the classroom. Each activity is easy to make and can come in the form of puzzles, stories, trivia, and interactive presentations.
While TinyTap caters to elementary age students, learning exercises can be created for K-12 topics. If you’re have trouble coming up with ways to integrate games into your lesson plan, the most popular activities can be downloaded off of the TinyTap webpage.
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