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5 Apps Being Used in the Classroom Right Now

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Close up of smartphone on paperIn this post, Sarah Fudin, a community relations coordinator for the University of Southern California’s online Masters Degree in Teaching program, shares 5 mobile apps that teachers are already using in the classroom to aid learning.

Apple’s catchy tagline — “There’s an app for that” — is proving to be true in today’s classroom. Educational apps that are well designed and highly interactive engage students and make learning more enjoyable. A quick online survey shows that there are hundreds of apps available for every educational level, from pre-Kindergarten to college.

Many schools are putting iPads into the hands of students in the classroom. Even in classrooms where only the teacher has an iPad, Apple’s Video Mirroring technology allows the screen image from an iPad to be shared with the class via a projection screen or HDTV.

Here are five extraordinarily useful Apple and Android apps that are being used in classrooms across the country right now:

1. byki
byki AppMillions have people have used the byki (or “Before You Know It”) system to learn a foreign language. Byki utilizes spaced interval repetition to help users build a strong language foundation by locking words and phrases into memory. It’s a powerful tool for students and teachers in foreign language, ESL and TESOL courses. Programs for more than 70 languages are available for the computer and online versions of byki, though the byki Mobile app for Apple and Android devices supports only English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.

2. World Wiki
World Wiki AppThis Apple app provides quick access to detailed information about more than 200 countries around the globe. According to Macworld, World Wiki uses data from the official CIA World Factbook. Country data includes maps, flags, native language, motto and national statistics, with more detailed information about a country’s government, economy and geography also available. World Wiki’s presentation and depth of information make it a useful tool for teachers and students of all educational levels, with particularly innovative applications in the ESL / TESOL teacher’s classroom, where bridging the cultural gap may sometimes be challenging.

3. Motion Math
Motion Math AppInitially developed at the Stanford School of Education, this app makes learning about the number line and fractions a physical experience. A video game format helps elementary school students gain an almost tactile understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts. Eye-catching HD graphics, sound effects and increasing levels of difficulty keep students engaged, and availability in seven different languages ensures that students from around the world can access it.

4. Blackboard Mobile Learn
Blackboard Mobile AppThis app works with the Blackboard Web-based teaching and learning software, allowing students and teachers to access grades, assignments, coursework, discussion boards and school announcements. This app is available on a variety of mobile platforms and is free for schools that use Blackboard software.

5. Dictionary.com
Dictionary.com appNo roundup of educational apps would be complete without mentioning this app, which is listed as the #1 app for students by U.S. News & World Report. Over 1 million words from Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com are included in this app, along with audio pronunciation, word origins and example sentences. The app can be downloaded free of charge for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices and conveniently works without an Internet connection.

As technology continues to advance and become even more ubiquitous, permeating our everyday lives and routines, it is certain that the classroom of the future will also become more high-tech. The apps being used by teachers and students today are only the latest wave of the digital revolution sweeping over education. As the processes and programs currently available are advanced and refined, technology will offer teachers and students even better ways to work, to connect and, of course, to learn.

Do you use apps in your classroom? Which ones do you use? Share them in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of viskas, via flickr]
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Author: Oxford University Press ELT

The official global blog for Oxford University Press English Language Teaching. Bringing teachers and other ELT professionals top quality resources, tools, hints and tips, news, ideas, insights and discussions to help further their ELT career. Follow Oxford ELT on Twitter. Find Oxford ELT on Google+.

9 thoughts on “5 Apps Being Used in the Classroom Right Now

  1. Thank you for posting this quick primer on five apps that I need to explore and deploy.

  2. Pingback: 5 Apps Being Used in the Classroom Right Now | English for work | Scoop.it

  3. last semester i taught english teaching media the electronic one, and i decided to apply some of the web that i could find from the internet. some of them are : wikipedia, facebook, some game online which deal with teaching some english skills and video. i gave them the example of how to apply them and then i asked them to use that web to peer-teach their friends… the result is amazing… the students are creative enough, they do not get bored during the class because it is relaxed…

  4. Hola! I was reading your blog and thinking that maybe you or your readers find interesting this new language learning website. It has a lot of music videos subtitled in English, Spanish and French! Check it out! http://www.mylingo.org
    Thanks!

  5. I currently use the Dictionary/Thesaurus App among others and I use it often. Thank you for the information on the BYKI and the World Wiki. I am going to download them, they will be a big help in my language research. I really like apps but sometimes I have gotten over enthusiastic and downloaded some that I didn’t really need or want. I always like word of mouth or blog suggestions.

  6. Technology will only get better. I hope its get alot more useful.

  7. This is very helpful and loved reading it!!

  8. For a great vocab building game app, try out the ‘Lex Flashcard Game for Quizlet’ at http://www.lexwordgameapp.com

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