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20 helpful apps for teachers and educators

Students attempting to text in class might be the bane of teachers everywhere, but even the most jaded luddite would have to admit: Tablets and smartphones in the classroom bring a number of advantages too. From greater student engagement to an expansion of the learning environment beyond normal school hours, gadgets can open new educational doors. But hardware is only part of the puzzle. You also need the right software to spool up those eager young minds.

That’s where these come in. From creating lesson plans and keeping attendance, to behavior records and communicating with students outside the classroom, these apps let teachers harness tech instead of fighting it. Knowing, it turns out, really is half the battle.

Apps 1-10

Dropbox (free)

Dropbox App Final

Chances are you’re already familiar with Dropbox. The service and accompanying application are terrific when it comes time to upload and store presentation photos, assignments, videos, and anything else you might need to access while at home or in the classroom. The dedicated app also lets you create and edit Microsoft Office files on your mobile device, and moreover, share file links with your students so you don’t have to clutter their inbox with a cacophony of enormous files.

download it now from:

iTunes Google Play

Pocket (free)

Pocket App Photo

Education takes place inside and out of the classroom. That said, Pocket gives you a way to quickly save articles, videos, and other Web content that might seem pertinent to your current or future class lectures. The app also lets you view anything you save offline, while presenting your articles with an easy-to-view layout that typically enhances the reading experience, regardless of your device. Sharing that enlightening article on the Roanoke colonists with your students couldn’t be easier.

download it now from:

iTunes Google Play

ClassDojo (free)

ClassDojo

ClassDojo isn’t your typical classroom-management platform. Whereas others concern themselves with gold stars and charts, this app lets teachers emphasize positive feedback, allowing you to elaborate on the behavior of your students with comments such as “working hard” or “participating.” You can even send parents public and private messages regarding their child’s progress, and if they desire to do so, they can view their child’s feedback in real-time. No school newsletter required.

download it now from:

iTunes Google Play

eBackpack (free)

eBackpack

Lackluster name and interface aside, eBackpack excels where other collaboration tools do not. The app allows you to share information and course assignments with a class or individual group, while subsequently providing you the tools to annotate and grade said assignments before digitally returning them. Additionally, you can upload items from you camera roll and provide audio and video feedback wherever you see fit. Classroom discussions and chat functionality are just a bonus.

download it now from:

iTunes Google Play

Amazon Microsoft Store

Creative Writing Prompts ($3)

Creative App Photo

Writing can be a difficult task, particularly when you’re just beginning to learn the ropes. Creative Writing Prompts aides both teachers and students alike, though, offering more than 1,000 starting lines and unique prompts designed to improve one’s writing process. The app also lets you save and share your work via a host of social media avenues, and while it might be more suitable for free writing than anything else, the daily writing reminders help keep you motivated regardless of the circumstance.

download it now from:

iTunes

Edmodo (free)

Edmondo 1

Edmodo allows the discussion to continue even after that school bell rings. Teachers and students can share content and use the app as a conduit for new information or notifications, submitting assignments and receiving grades in the process. The ability for teachers to post assignments, messages, polls and quizzes, while providing access to relevant resources and calendars, is simply invaluable.

download it now from:

iTunes Google Play

Amazon

Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Classroom Management Notes ($6)

Teacher's Assistant Pro App

Organization is key in the classroom, but it’s not always easy. Teacher’s Assistant Pro allows you to keep a set of behavior records for each student in your care, offering a quick method for looking up and noting bad behavior, and letting you email specific incidents from directly within the app’s main interface.

download it now from:

iTunes

Teacher Aide Pro 2 ($15)

Teacher Aide App

Teacher Aide 2 is the Android counterpart to Teacher’s Assistant Pro, allowing you to easily record attendance and student information. Clicking a student’s name reveals their contact information and that of their parents, providing options for calling and emailing on the spot. The app even houses a gradebook function for assigning different weights to assignments.

download it now from:

google play amazon

ScreenChomp (free)

Screenchomp 3

As a clever alternative to standard presentations, ScreenChomp allows you to record your own narrations as you sketch out and explain an idea on your iPad. Whether you sketch on a plain background or choose a specific image from your camera roll, you can explain as you go after sharing the video with students or other educators via a unique URL or downloadable MP4.

download it now from:

iTunes

Educreations (free)

Educreations App

Simply put, Educreations is an interactive whiteboard app that allows you to create easy to follow tutorials for students. You can record audio to narrate your actions as well, allowing you to create diagrams, commentary, simple animations, or instructions with coupled audio covering any topic. Plus, you can share video via email, Facebook, or Twitter in addition to the classroom.

download it now from:

iTunes

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