Building Your Digital Toolkit: 6 Must-Have Apps

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Building Your Digital Toolkit: 6 Must-Have Apps

One of the most effective ways of developing engaged learners is to support the students’ sense of responsibility for their own learning while respecting their interests. As more and more schools are bringing digital devices into the classroom, many apps are adapting to provide an incredible array of options, having the potential to transform a teacher's typical day. These tools empower teachers to be creative and utilize a plethora of interactive tools to differentiate their lessons while staying aligned with educational standards. The addition of high-end teaching tools including premade lessons, ones that can be modified and/or the option to create your own, as well as collect essential data are now the norm. So what apps should you have in your digital toolkit? Here are 6 apps that every teacher should know about.
Free for Basic or $51.99 annually for Gold
iOS / Android / Desktop
Trello is an easy-to-use project management tool that allows you to create boards for each project you’re working on. Fill those boards with lists that break the project down into stages, and fill the lists with cards for individual tasks. As tasks are completed, you can drag and drop cards into the appropriate list to track your progress across the board. Organize everything from parent/teacher conferences to daily lesson plans to student projects. You can create individual boards for each subject or class to plan tests, papers, and projects, or you can work collaboratively with your colleagues on school-wide projects. Use Trello with your students by creating boards for group projects and inviting them to work together.
Kiddom  Free / iOS /Desktop
Kiddom is the easiest way to plan, assess, and analyze learning. Kiddom’s vast library of premium, standards-aligned resources helps teachers save time without reinventing the wheel. An integrated planner helps design flexible curriculum for the class and individual students. Communication tools facilitate an uninterrupted learning process between teachers and students. Insights from beautiful, actionable reports help teachers pivot curriculum and instruction. Kiddom is free for teachers and students. Kiddom's tagline: The easiest way to plan, assess, and analyze learning.
Free with a GAFE
(Google Apps for Education) account
iOS / Android / Desktop
Google Classroom is a document management tool that connects teachers and students by simplifying assignment creation, distribution, submission, and grading. Google Classroom allows teachers to create templates and assign work to their class via Gmail, and have students do their work right in Google Docs. When students submit a completed assignment, teachers are notified in real-time as assignments trickle in. You can review, grade, and provide feedback right in the app, meaning you can run a virtually paperless classroom. Students can ask questions or post comments to their teachers privately within the app, allowing for easy student-teacher interactions.
Free or Enterprise pricing available
iOS / Android / Desktop
Nearpod is a must have application for teachers and schools that have access to a set of iPads, iPods, iPhones or Macs for their classes. What's Nearpod? The Nearpod platform enables teachers, schools, and districts, to use their iPads to manage content on students' iPads, iPhones, iPods or Macs. It seamlessly combines interactive presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution. Nearpod's tagline: Tools for the most important job in the world!
Free or Enterprise pricing available
iOS / Android / Desktop
Schoology is a comprehensive learning management system (LMS) for the classroom. Post content for students, run online tests, create and collect assignments via Google Drive, and conduct online discussions that work much like other social networks that students already use regularly. You can also use Schoology to track attendance, record grades, assess student performance, and provide one-on-one feedback to students and parents. The secure platform can connect with classrooms anywhere in the world, and provides a forum for teachers to share resources and communicate, both in groups and privately.
Free for basic version or $35 annually for Classroom tier
iOS / Android / Desktop
Symbaloo is a cloud-based social bookmarking tool you can use anywhere. The easy-to-read tiles are laid out on a grid so you can quickly find and organize your favorite links and share them with friends, colleagues or students. This is a great timesaver for the classroom because students can quickly find what they’re looking for. And since there’s no advertising on the site, you don’t have to worry about what students might see. You can set Symbaloo to public or private viewing, meaning you can search other users’ Symbaloo pages. This is handy for educators looking to see what their colleagues are reading.
Angie Kalthoff originally authored this post. Updated on 1/17 by Teachers with Apps
This by no means is an exhaustive list, please feel free to leave comments and add any other essential tools that you use and recommend.
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