4. Quizlet Live: Part of a family of Quizlet apps, this program lets students work in teams. It also has flashcards and study aids on many subjects for students.
5. Flipgrid: Here, teachers pose a question and students record an answer. This can be used for formative assessments, to engage students in discussion topics, or to let students make presentations and videos.
6. Duolingo: This free app teaches over 30 languages; students can use it home, in school, and on-the-go. Broken down into bite-size lessons, it can reinforce language lessons or be used as the primary instructional tool.
7. IXL: Based on current educational standards, this app provides reading, writing, and math instruction. It also tracks student progress and gives teachers thousands of questions to ask for each subject. For the student, its key feature is that it explains why a student got a question wrong.
8. Photomath: Using the camera on their mobile device, students can take pictures of a math problem and get step-by-step explanations on how to solve it. While not a good app for students to use during exams, it helps students and parents work through problems after hours and understand not just what the right answer is but why it’s the right answer.
Of course, there are some caveats to using apps. First, teachers must make sure that there is good company support. Even as Holden prepared for this presentation, two of the apps he wanted to share were discontinued. Next, there are hacks for many apps, letting students either game the system or overload it so the program can’t run. What Holden doesn’t like to hear, though, is that tech is bad for learning or that kids are spending too much time in front of a screen.
“You can say that things are bad—if you use them to excess—about anything. Even if you drank too much water, you could cause yourself some health problems,” said Holden. “People want to say, ‘Mr. Holden, I hear that technology is bad.’ Well, technology used to excess is bad. So, what we want to do as adults is give [students] positive ways to use their screen time.”
About the Presenter
Assistant Principal at Republic Middle School in Missouri, Shannon Holden has been a high school and middle school administrator and teacher in Texas and Missouri for 20 years. Holden presents frequently to teachers and administrators about classroom management, maintaining positive relationships with parents, instructional strategies that engage students, and implementing technology in the classroom. He is the host of the Teacher HELP! and TechTools for the Classroom communities on edWeb.net. Follow him on Twitter @newteacherhelp.
Join the Community
TechTools is a free professional learning community on edWeb.net where educators can discover new resources, free technology, and great ideas for integrating technology into the classroom to engage and inspire students.
[Editor’s note: This piece is original content produced by edWeb.net. View more edWeb.net events here.]
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