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5 Apps Every Teacher Should Have in 2014

Mobile apps

Image courtesy of Jason Howie via Flickr

Sarah Fudin, Community Outreach Coordinator for USC Rossier Online, shares 5 mobile apps that every teacher should be using in 2014.

2014 brings a new year and many changes in education nationwide. As innovative technology is developed, new and updated apps are making it easier for teachers and students to integrate technology in the classroom.

Here’s a list of the five apps every teacher should have in 2014:

1. Evernote

Evernote app iconPlatform: Android, iOS

Evernote is a great platform for organizing notes, pictures, and voice memos. For teachers, it can be a great tool for collecting media. Evernote allows a person to take a photo and add a note. All information is stored in easy-to-organize tabs for simple retrieval. How can this app be used? A math teacher might catch sight of some great buildings downtown to use as examples in his geometry class, and he can quickly capture and remember it for use later in the classroom. Equally, students can use this app to collect and store data for projects or homework.

2. Socrative

Socrative app iconPlatform: Android, iOS

Socrative brings a spark to class assessment. It takes three minutes for teachers to set up and 30 seconds for students to download on their phones. With this app, teachers have a variety of assessment tools they can use to gauge student process. Questions are shown on a screen, and students use their phones to answer the questions. Results are automatically tallied and stored for the teacher to review. One feature, Space Race, allows students to work in teams to answer questions. For each correct answer, their team’s rocket moves up on the screen; the first team to get their rocket to the top wins.

3. Shakespeare in Bits: Hamlet

Shakespeare in Bits: Hamlet app iconPlatform: iOS

Shakespeare in Bits is great for English teachers. With narration and animation that accompanies the text, this app allows students to read books with greater comprehension. The app also contains an analysis section complete with a summary, discussion of themes used and descriptions of various images.

4. School Fuel

School Fuel app iconPlatform: Requires iOS 4.3 or later and Android 3.0 and up.

School Fuel puts students, teachers and administrators within a school on the same page. This app serves as an interface that organizes all the apps that teachers are using while allowing students to access them at any time. Instead of teachers having students download apps from a variety of sources, students can simply use this app to view and access all the apps the school is using. Teachers can also look to see what other teachers are using and add apps to the database.

5. Springpad (no longer available).

Springpad app iconPlatform: Requires iOS 4.3 or later and Android 2.2 and up.

Springpad takes organization a step further; this app not only gives you access to everything you save on all your devices, but it also recommends different places and tasks to you based on what you already have. For example, if you have a list of school supplies you are working on, Springpad will give you local options of where you can buy those supplies. Every note, list or project can also be shared with other teachers and classmates to make collaboration easier.

For many teachers, downloading and learning how to use new apps can be a daunting task. This list can help you discover new tools to enhance your classroom in a more efficient way to jumpstart a productive new year!


5 Apps Being Used in the Classroom Right Now

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.

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