6 APPs For My Classrooms


Evernote is a free note taking app that is best suited to the needs 21st Century learner. It is an excellent app that helps consolidate information in a variety of forms at a touch of a button. Evernote is a tool that makes your notes accessible to you at all times through smart phones, ipads, ipods, laptops, or computers. Evernote makes it easier for students to gather, capture, and annotate information researched.

I would use this tool in my ELA classroom and have students keep an organized and annotated record of all the research they do for an assignment. With the help of this tool students would be able to make accurate and correct citations to ideas they gather while researching a wide range of sources of information.

2. Instagram

Instagram is undeniably one of the most popular apps out there and needs no introduction. The snap, edit, and share feature of this application can be used as a hook for students to extend their learning. In an ELA class (or for any other subject), teachers can use this tool to get students to create photo essays, and reflect on the image they capture. I would ask students to use this app for the purpose of daily journaling to build writing skills. Through this app students will be able to reflect on an image from their daily life and use it as a prompt to complete their journals. Instagram can be used for students to reflect on: "A day in the lifeGeometric shapes, Geographic features, Locations tied to local history, Daily meals, Weather patterns, [and/or] A local current event" (from:http://tinyurl.com/mnjfa5a)

3. Google Earth

Google Earth is a fascinating app that takes you anywhere in the world, while sitting in the classroom. Google Earth is another application that speaks for itself. Google Earth is a virtual map using satellite imagery. It is an app that can be used across disciplines to calculate shortest distances to destinations (mathematics), study terrains (geography) and architecture (history and geometry), and get a better understanding of descriptions of places in texts (ELA). Google Earth can truly enhance a learning experience by making textual connections to physical places around the world.

Google Earth can be used in an English Language Arts class, for example, while studying a shipwreck story situated around the Galapagos. Students can use Google Earth and make visual connections to the description of the islands or visually understand the tumultuous journey that the survivors make to reach home.

4. TED Talks

TED Talks is an app that gives access to talks by remarkable people from around the world at the ease of a click - as Jeff Dunn  puts it, "with the click of a button you can be inspired, educated, encouraged, wowed, or entertained by speakers from all walks of life" (from: http://tinyurl.com/kjrbcd2).
TED Talks has some exceptionally inspirational talks that are only a few minutes long and can be shared with a class to get them thinking on important social issues. These videos can be used as a tool in an ELA classroom or any other class to start a debate and get students engaged in discussing a topic related to the subject, or to classroom management issues.

For example: Joachim de Posada: Don't eat the marshmallow! (self-discipline)
                        Joe Sabia: The technology of storytelling (Technology in ELA)

5. Google Drive

Google Drive is a mobile app for sharing and storing files online. Google Drive allows for collaborative creation of documents with multiple users working on the same file from remote locations. The owner can share the drive privately or make it a public document that can be viewed by anyone surfing the net. Google Drive holds a huge potential as a tool for collaboration among students and teachers.
I would use Google Drive as a tool to monitor students process of writing in an ELA. Having access to view the process of writing (as a student writes) can provide a teacher the ability to truly scaffold a learning experience for a student. The teacher can give instant feedback that actually helps a student improve their work in the working stages, instead of receiving feedback on a handed in assignment (which will probably be discarded once a grade is assigned).
A teacher can use this app to ask students to write their essays online and provide feedback to students as the write. For the successful use of this application the teacher must first model her own process of writing to reduce student anxiety and inhibitions about sharing their work at early stages with someone they view as an "expert."


Tackk is an excellent tool that allows you to create and publish customized content instantly on the internet. Without having to deal with the hassle of website creation, you can have your very own website in moments. The best thing about this app (and I have experienced it personally!) is that in case you need support - it's available almost instantly.
I would use this app with my students to have them experience a sense of ownership and extend their work, research, creativity, and reflections from the traditional teacher-student interaction to student-world interaction. By having them post their work on to Tackk and sharing it online would help create an authentic and greater audience showcasing their efforts beyond the classroom walls.
(This 6th app was added to the list soon after I tweeted about this Tackk which was initially titled "5 Apps for My Classroom". I instantly got tweeted back:

"@Tackk: 4 Aug Great list! We hope to see makes your top five soon too. Keep us in the loop re: your experience and uses."

When technology is not robotic and has human responses - it definitely makes the cut to my top lists!!

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