There are so many apps and digital tools available today, it can be a daunting task to identify the best ones. When looking for educational tools, searching through the pool of available apps can seem downright impossible. Below is a list of apps—some made specifically for educators and others that have applications in the classroom. Most of these are free, but a few do charge a fee or have in-app purchases. Take a look, and let me know how you use your favorite apps in the classroom.
Note: All app prices where accurate when this article was published.
Remind — Cost: Free
I love Remind because it’s a safe way for students, teachers and parents to connect with one another after school. Using text messages and chats, teachers are able to send secure reminders and updates to students without exchanging phone numbers. This is a great way to get and keep families engaged and to help students remember to complete their assignments.
Twitter — Cost: Free
This pick may seem obvious, but I love how creative teachers can get with Twitter in the classroom. From tweeting out assignment specifics to live tweeting field trips and connecting your class with other students all over the world, Twitter’s easy-to-master 140-character model isn’t that intimidating for students. And, for teachers, it’s a great way to network with other educators. (Note: Can be used as an app or as a digital tool on the computer.)
Storify — Cost: Free
Storify is a great way to take various items from the Internet (tweets, pictures, videos, sound clips, etc.) and use them to create a story. I particularly love the idea of using this tool to help students with the beginning stages of a research project as they brainstorm and collect different pieces of information from across the Internet. (Note: This app is currently being updated, but the website works on mobile devices.)
LightSail — Cost: Check with LightSail, as the app requires a subscription.
Although this app isn’t free, the program can really help engage students while reading. LightSail has more than 80,000 texts that match each student’s grade and reading ability. As students read, they take in-text assessments, and teachers can monitor their progress. When students finish a book, a new one is recommended based on their interests.
Slice Fractions — Cost: $2.99
This is a game and a math learning tool all in one. With this app, students will learn about fractions while they slice their way through a lava field. This app is the best combination of learning and fun.
Tynker — Cost: Free (with in-app purchases)
Learning to code is a skill that is becoming more and more valuable, and this app helps kids from elementary through high school get a head start. Tynker helps students use their imaginations to build apps, games and math art—really anything they can think of to create with code.
Field Trip — Cost: Free
Students are always asking to take field trips to learn about different places and get out of the classroom, but they might not even know the history of their own towns. Field Trip runs in the background of your mobile device, and alerts you to information about different areas as you travel by them. This is a great tool to help students learn more about their community.
TeacherKit — Cost: Free
This app is a personal organizer for educators. You can use this app to take attendance, plan seat assignments and track grades. Behavior can also be logged. This tool is perfect for teachers who want to go paperless in their day-to-day activities.
Meerkat — Cost: Free
Meerkat is a live stream video app that allows you to instantly share videos from your phone. This might not seem like an immediate fit in education, but imagine the possibilities: live streaming a class to kids who are absent, having live study groups before exams, or broadcasts of student plays or events that parents may miss because of work. I’m eager to hear how this new app works in classrooms.
Knowmia Teach — Cost: Free
Flipped teaching is still a trend that is going strong in education. If you’d like to experiment with this strategy, this is a wonderful app to use. The Knowmia Teach app allows teachers to plan lessons and record their lessons for students. In addition to making videos for a flipped classroom, these videos can be used as tutorials to help students who need extra support at home.