Summer is an ideal time for teachers to brush up on their skills. As technology evolves, so must learning. With new technology being introduced every day, keeping abreast of new devices and implementing the software applications most valuable to you takes time. Employing hardware such as tablets and smartphones in the classroom at various levels of education can encourage greater student engagement and take the learning environment beyond normal school hours. Hardware is just part of the tech puzzle. You also need the right software to appeal to those young minds and organize your workflow. If you are using tablets or smartphones with your students, you will appreciate a good educational application. Software applications can be very useful for keeping track of attendance records, presentations and other classroom management. According to App Advice, the newest apps are not only free but true time-savers. According to Huffington Post, a teacher’s job is just as much about knowing the students and understanding how to improve an individual’s learning abilities as it is about teaching students about algebra or other subjects. Studies by Teachers College Press have found that a technology rich classroom makes the ideal place for that kind of specialized learning. When teachers are trained to use the right technology, they can better track student growth, give extra resources and accelerate learning based on each student’s unique pace. When technology is enlisted, students are more likely to be engaged in learning.
List of free apps to help prepare for the school year:
Box for iPhone and iPad, by Box, Inc. Use your iPhone or iPad to easily organize classroom files and store them for convenience at your fingertips. Accessible on your computer or your iDevices, Box comes with 10GB of free storage. It allows you to search for what you want to teach your class within saved Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF documents. There are no worries about safety or security either. Content is under strong security and encryption measures, so you can be confident your materials will never get lost or corrupted. Calendars 5 – Smart Calendar and Task Manager, by Readdle What teacher doesn’t need a dependable calendar manager? You can sync your daily classroom calendar with Calendars 5 application and streamline your schedule. Using Google Calendar Sync, you are able to conveniently view daily, weekly and monthly events. You can improve the structure of your workday with this handy universal app. As you plan for your students, you can track and organize to-dos, events and tasks. It works with either your local calendar or Google Calendar and you can work on or offline. Edmodo, by Edmodo. Rely on the universal app Edmodo to enhance how you interact with your class. It allows you to easily send group messages to all involved, manage assignments and become a more resourceful teacher by getting your students more involved. Edmodo lets you involve your entire classroom group in a discussion. It changes the way everyone looks at what you are learning about, and brings your classroom to life in a new, engaging way. Essay Grader, by Gatsby Light. Download this free universal app to enhance the way you grade papers and offer feedback to your students. The online grader features a pre-written set of comments, which may not be appropriate for all students, but you may find it a useful option for your classroom. You can use the tabs and checkboxes to grade an essay, then a document is provided in email format. You can send the completed email to your students, yourself or export it to your own computer. Make sure you review the material regarding this app to ensure it is appropriate for your classes before downloading. GoodReader 4, by Good.iWare Ltd. This app features Google Drive auto sync, page previews and more so you can manage your PDF documents and student files. You can instantly read, annotate and email your PDF files. Super Note: Recorder, Notes, Memos, Photos, by Clear Sky Apps LTD. Note-taking isn’t only for students. Teachers need to take good notes about their students. You watch their behaviors, work and the steps they take to learn in your classroom. Now you can put that information on virtual paper thanks to Super Note. College professors often record audio and lectures and using this innovative app, you can organize those automatically by category and color. If you want to include photographs, there is a multi-photo import option on this app. TeacherKit, by ITWorx Egypt SAE. You begin your day by taking class attendance and organizing your gradebook. To improve the way you keep track of this, TeacherKit can be put to work. The universal app features a clean user interface for record attendance, grades and recording student behaviors. You can access summaries of attendance, customize your grade book reports and save student behavioral records, plus much more. WPS Office, by Kingsoft Office Software, Inc. View and edit Word documents, presentations and spreadsheets with WPS Office. Compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, this universal app also supports 24 file formats. The interface lets you feel like you are using a PC and not your iDevice thanks to the colorful formatting features. Once you have made the presentations or documents, you may open and edit them with your choice of Cloud servers. In order to share what you have created for your class with other students who have compatible devices, you can use AirDrop, AirPlay, DLNA or Wi-Fi. You can find more helpful apps for educators at Digital Trends. We hope these apps will improve the way you manage and teach your classroom and give your students a more inspiring semester. Spring Arbor University Online is always up-to-date on current industry news and research. In the meantime, you might also want to review the Spring Arbor University’s online master’s programs to advance your education.