These back-to-school apps can help teachers and students in the classroom.

12 back-to-school apps you’ll want to use this year

It's that time of year again--here are some back-to-school apps to ease the transition as students head back to classrooms

Back-to-school apps for teachers and students

1. StudyBlue: This crowdsourced study library features more than 400 million flashcards, notes, and study guides from students. Users can make and share study materials, search for recommended study content from classmates, track progress, set reminders, and create custom quizzes.

2. Common Curriculum (Cc): Cc makes lesson planning more flexible. Teachers can quickly rearrange the parts of a lesson, drag an activity they didn’t finish to tomorrow’s lesson, or even shift lessons forward or back. The app features lesson planning, unit planning, month planning, standards tracking, and more.

3. Memrise: Memrise’s courses focus on real-life language, which is often lacking in textbooks that emphasize formal speech. The app’s team of in-house linguists are experts in the languages they speak themselves in everyday life. Courses are packed with thousands of video clips of native speakers speaking in their native language, in their hometown. Students can learn to understand authentic voices and accents, as well as taking in the scenery and getting a sense of the culture.

4. Wizer: Wizer offers a new and improved worksheet to engage students and beat boredom. The worksheet builder leverages teachers’ experience and creativity by allowing quick creation of a wide variety of question types: open questions, multiple choice, matching pairs, fill in the blank, tables, and more. Teachers can add media such as video or audio directly to worksheets, and they also have access to a library of worksheets created by other educators.

5. myHomework: This student planner app is intended to help students get and stay organized to be as efficient as possible when completing homework and assignments. The free version tracks assignments, projects, and tests; tracks classes; sends due date reminders; syncs between devices; and features upcoming homework widgets.

6. TED-Ed: This is an important tool for both students and teachers. Lessons include video-based content organized by subject, and users can find compelling and engaging video explanations on all sorts of topics. Educators can create their own video-based lessons or pull from the library, and students can create their own “student talks” in class or on their own.

7. KQED Teach: KQED Teach offers a collection of free, hands-on professional learning opportunities focused on digital media. Educators can build skills in digital storytelling, data visualization, and critical media use to support all curriculum areas. These skills allow teachers to facilitate learning environments where their students can create digital content, develop their communications and technology skills, and engage in deeper learning that encourages critical thinking.

8. Duolingo: This language-learning tool is a regular on lists of back-to-school apps. Lessons adapt to each user’s learning styles and exercises are tailored to learn and review vocabulary effectively. Students instantly see which answers they got correct, and they receive feedback and help on questions and challenges they miss. Students can earn virtual coins and unlock levels as their fluency rises with new works, phrases, and grammar challenges.

9. Khan Academy: The app from the well-known nonprofit offers personalized learning to help students learn at their own pace, filling in gaps and then accelerating learning where necessary. Content is aligned to standards and teachers can use the tool to tailor instruction for each student.

10. Socratic: Socratic was built to support Science, Math, Literature, Social Studies, and more. With help from teachers, Socratic offers visual explanations of important concepts in each subject. Using text and speech recognition, the app surfaces the most relevant learning resources for students.

11. Evernote: There’s a reason this app consistently tops must-have lists. Users can take notes anywhere, quickly and easily find information, and share ideas. A web clipper function lets users save web content. Evernote auto-syncs across all devices, including desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Ideas, photos, and clipped pages are always available, no matter the user’s location.

12. Diigo: Diigo is particularly useful in a classroom using lots of web resources. The tool lets users save and tag online resources for easy access, annotate web pages and PDFs, organize links and personal input to create a structured research base, and share saved resources with others.

Laura Ascione
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