Have you ever caught a student using his or her smart phone in class? Now you have a reason to encourage students to use them!
With the increasing prevalence and use of smart phone and tablet devices, educators now have the opportunity to connect with their student’s interests by using Apps for educational purposes. Using Apps in the classroom is a fun activity that utilizes technology, teaches curriculum-related content, and engages students in learning. This is a great solution for classes that do not have easy access to multiple computers!
Over the coming months, Bay Backpack will be posting suggestions of apps to use for education about the Chesapeake Bay and environmental science, history, and more. To get you started though, here are some helpful Apps for teachers in general:
This may app may not be about the Chesapeake Bay, but with the deadlines for new assessment benchmarks fast approaching, the Common Core has been weighing heavily on the minds of educators across the nation and throughout our watershed. The Common Core Standards App is a free reference guide to encourage greater understanding of the Common Core. This app places K-12 Core standards at your fingertips and allows teachers to search math and ELA standards by subject, grade, category or keyword. For educators teaching about the Chesapeake Bay, this could be a great app to help you align your lesson plans to Common Core Standards.
Knowmia Teach is a new lesson planning and recording tool for teachers. It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on Knowmia.com so your students and the public can find them. Knowmia Teach makes it easy to bring in visual aids from multiple sources, organize them in steps (like slides in a presentation) and use your own voice and fingers to bring your lesson to life. You can design each step in the lesson, record illustrations as you draw them, and create sophisticated animation sequences with a simple stroke of a finger. Knowmia Teach also gives you the ability to describe your lesson in a way that makes it simple for any student who is interested in the subject to find your video.
Edmodo makes a teacher’s daily life easier by providing a safe and easy way for teachers and students to engage and collaborate for free, anytime, anywhere. Teachers can use this app for hosting secure classroom discussions, posting assignments, gradebook tracking, file sharing/uploading and more. Awarded the 2013 EdTech Digest Award for Best Product, Edmodo makes the idea of a paperless classroom a reality.
Want another App to help green your classroom by reducing the amount of paper you and your students have to use? Instead of printing out class reading selections, image files, or data sets, just download the Dropbox app, upload your files, and share them with your students via a link. Since you are not sending files as email attachments, you can even share large PowerPoint files! You and your student will be able to easily access any file you save to your Dropbox from any computer, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website!
Before you begin using these great resources, take a look at Apps in the Classroom: Using iOS Apps for Teaching and Learning – this is a great guide from Apple about how educators can get started using Apps in their classrooms, and provides some suggestions for how to select the Apps for educational purposes. Want more information on how to teach with smart phone and tablet devices? Check out the following articles and blogs:
A quick note: Make sure you get parent/guardian permission before having students use Apps as a part of a classroom activity. Since smart phones are personal property, you should seek permission from guardians for their use in class. The Apps we have identified in this blog are all currently free to download, but cellular providers may charge fees for downloads or use of data plans.