Examples for the Modern Classroom
Sandbox is a browser available for all Apple devices which only allows access only to a predetermined list of websites. A teacher can utilize this by restricting the websites a student can use, helping to keep them on task when using their devices within the classroom. This would be especially useful if a teacher had access to an iPad cart, as Sandbox could be installed on the devices prior to the classroom activity in which they are being used.
Though already quite popular at the university level, I think Google Docs are an under-utilized resource in K-12 classrooms. Google Docs attach email addresses to an online, collaborative document, allowing different contributors to work on a project from different spaces and at different times. Especially at the high school level, this allows for many possibilities in group work across all subject areas. Instead of having to use an abundance of in-class time, or getting students to physically meet on their own time, Google Docs allow for students to complete group work when it is convenient for them.
OnPoint Digital's Cellcast
In our age of Smartphones and Tablets, OnPoint Digital's Cellcast program allows for a teacher (or employer) to share specific assignments, quizzes, and content with a selected audience. The idea is similar to that of a virtual classroom, only Cellcast allows for this in a increasingly portable manner. In addition to offering these services, the program also allows users to track their scores and progress, offering real-time assessment for teachers and feedback for students. In a high school English class, for example, a teacher could have students complete a simple quiz on terminology prior to a class. This would ensure students know certain words that they have to, while also allowing the teacher to assess without using class time.
All of the joys of Edmodo are now available on a conventional website as well as a mobile app! Students have the ability to interact with an online class environment from almost anywhere, reading posts from the teacher, reviewing material, taking quizzes, and more. One of the best assets of Edmodo is the fact that the webpage a teacher creates is specific to every class, making it easy for students to know exactly what they need to. It is free and easy to use, for teacher and student alike, making it that much more appealing.
Hot Lava by Kenexa
Hot Lava allows users to create content on PowerPoint and push it (make it available) for a wide variety of different devices. The program allows the creator to build and deploy the content and also track the results of its findings, useful for instant feedback and assessment. Teachers could easily use Hot Lava in two ways: they could have students complete quizzes which they have created, but also they could get students to create quizzes themselves and have their peers complete them. This second option would be great for a more student-directed classroom, as each student could hypothetically be an expert on a different topic and then that knowledge could be shared.