5 Educational Apps
The world of technology is continuously evolving and it's place in the classroom is up for a major discussion. Of course there are times when technology doesn't work. We have all sat in a classroom waiting to solve a not so intelligent "SMART board" related problem, but for the most part technology is only here to benefit the learner. It can cause distractions, but when teachers are focused on student centred learning and helping children to reach their full potential it can be integrated seamlessly into the curriculum. It all starts with the right teacher, and the right application. In my future classroom, I'd like to implement the following apps.
I love LeafSnap maybe a little too much… Okay, So I have this crazy addiction to leaves and have collected so many throughout my lifetime. I have sampled this app personally, but would love to see it implemented into a classroom. Essentially it's purpose is to identify the plant or tree a leaf has came from and give additional information about the species. You can save pictures of all the leaves you have found! This is a super exciting use of technology. It doesn't eliminate the adventurous child's curiosity, but it compliments an outdoor journey of collecting leaves quite nicely. I would probably use this in a grade 4-6 setting and first get the students to collect a handful of leaves and then bring them back to the classroom where we would use iPads to take pictures of the leaves. To follow I would get the children to write mini essays on the leaves they found, where these trees are typically located, and any other details they wished to include.
Socrative is an app downloadable to almost any device, thus it is super accessible. It's downloadable in two forms either the teacher version or the students. The teacher choses questions and can send them to the students. The students then log in and answer the questions. Teachers can then assess the students answers in one of two ways. They can either be emailed an excel sheet or look online at a google spread sheet. This is engaging for the students and saves time for the teacher.
Poll Everywhere is a very useful app to see where the class is at during a lesson. You can display questions in either a multiple choice format, or a short answer reply. Teachers make up the questions before class, and can open them as the information unfolds. This is used in several classrooms and would work great in older elementary all the way through to university.
Sentence Builder is a great tool for children learning to write and individuals with English as a second language. It is a game with a goal to chose the correct words to make an accurate sentence. I would use this in my classroom for younger elementary or if I was teaching a child who was still learning english. It uses visuals and is very engaging. I love this application!
The Level it Books app is awesome. It allows teachers to organize their in class libraries in a way easy for students to chose a book in the correct reading level. You simply scan the ISBN and it gives information on the book, the author, the genre, the grade level equivalent, and more.