The Education Apps You Need To Start Using Now

TeacherVision advisory board member, Mikaela, shares her favorite education apps. She outlines the details of each app and how she utilizes them to optimize student learning.

Updated: March 13, 2019

Teacher Phone Apps

I'm sure you’ve heard it before, technology can be an incredible tool in the classroom. But if you’re anything like I was in my first 1:1 classroom, I wanted nothing to do with it. Technology, for all it’s powers, can be overwhelming. Trying to incorporate it into your classroom can feel like one more thing on your plate. But I’ve learned a few things over the years, and I hope that I can save you a lot of frustration and tears by sharing some of those things with you.

First things first, technology is intended to make our lives simpler. If it’s making your day harder, don’t force it. I found that planning one lesson that included technology slowly led to units, and then a whole class structure built around it! This took a lot of trial and error. In the same vein, be sure to have a back-up plan or the flexibility to work around technology glitches. I scrapped a few lessons, maybe more, when videos would not load, the WiFi went out or we just forgot to charge iPads.

"But, on the best technology days, it makes your job as a teacher much easier and empowers students to take ownership over their learning."

So, without further ado, here are a few of my favorite technology tools to use in the classroom.

SeeSaw

Why it’s valuable: SeeSaw is a digital portfolio platform where you can save and share student work with other students, parents and teachers. When work is posted it creates a newsfeed where students can comment on their own work and the work of their classmates. Parents can comment and see their own child’s work by downloading the app and using a specific code. It’s a great way to knock some positive parent communication off your to-do list. Another nice feature is nothing can be posted without first being approved by the teacher, which prevents any misuse.

How I use it: I have my students select pieces from different subjects and either voice record or create a video to explain their work and the target. I also require students to give kind, specific feedback on a fellow classmate’s work at least once a week. It is a great opportunity for peer feedback and student self-reflection. It has also become a great way for me to save high quality work examples for the incoming class. We can access videos and photos of projects for work presentations at the end of the year, and to pass on to their new teachers!

SeeSaw App

 

ShowMe

Why it’s valuable: The app has lots of different boards and backgrounds that you and students can use to record videos. The app allows you to write and record at the same time. Final videos can be saved, posted and shared so that anyone with the link can access it. Just like SeeSaw, it’s free!

How I use it: I created step by step videos so that students can pause it, go back and pull it up anytime they need. Now I have these videos to use every year! Other teachers at my school use it as an informal, or even formal, assessment. Students can create videos, guided by a rubric or criteria, to demonstrate their learning.

ShowMe app

Google Classroom

Why it’s valuable: Google classroom is a beautiful thing because it really can be used however you like. You can use it to organize your whole class, different subjects, and homework. It has lots of capabilities like quizzes, projects, feedback, grading and class discussions. Everything that is created or turned into the classroom is also saved on the drive. A bonus; it saves so much paper!

How I use it: The best way I used it was to create a pen pal discussion board between my class and a 4th grade class in England. Students in both classes were able to respond to prompts, as well as create videos and share work with each other. I also use it for my math centers and Daily 5 options, as a way to post discussions, assignments, and collect exit tickets. It keeps everything organized for me, and helps me see who missed assignments without having to sort through a bunch of papers.

GoogleClassroom

Google Drive

Why it’s valuable: The Google suite includes docs, sheets, slides, and a lot of other extensions with potential for really cool projects. Students can collaborate on the same projects even from different continents, and the work can be accessed anywhere because it is all saved on the drive.

How I use it: I use drive for everything, including my lesson planning. In the classroom, we used docs and slides the most. My favorite aspect is that you can even go back and look at the earlier versions of a document or project. This is a great way to recover work that a student accidentally deleted and I use this feature to show how editing and revising changes your work and makes it stronger!

Video Chatting with Experts!

Why it’s valuable: During my first years in the classroom, I always struggled to figure out ways to bring experts in. With video chatting you have access to so many experts and special guests that you can virtually bring to your classroom! While an in person visitor really can’t be beat, video chatting is definitely a close second.

How I use it: My favorite is Skype or Google Hangout, which usually hold up well throughout an hour session. Using these tools have allowed my students to see astronauts, interview scientists, share their poetry, and learn about their state’s history from people who were actually there.

GoogleDrive

For more of our favorite education apps, check out: 8 Apps You Need To Be Using In Your Classroom, Top 10 Education Apps For The Classroom, and Diary of a Busy Teacher: Using Technology.

Which education apps do you use? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.


Mikaela Prego is an elementary educator from Massachusetts. She spent the last 3 years teaching 4th grade in Colorado, now she is back teaching in Massachusetts. Her favorite subjects to teach are math, science and social studies and she is a huge fan of putting the students in charge of as much of their learning as possible. You can follow my classroom @whoareweintheworld on Instagram.  

Pair your morning coffee with a custom newsletter created just for educators. Sign up for The DailyTeach today

Join TeacherVision today

Spend more time teaching and less time searching.
Get full, ad-free access to all our learning resources—curated and vetted by teachers
and curriculum specialists—for one-low price.

Sign Up Sign Up

Go Premium

Get unlimited, ad-free access to all of TeacherVision's printables and resources for as low as $2.49 per month. We have a plan for every budget. 

Select a plan

All plans include a free trial and enjoy the same features. Cancel anytime.
Learn more about Premium