Some would argue that the 21st classroom isn’t complete without a classroom blog. Students can use it to hand in assignments, explore the more creative side of assignments, and learn how to be a good digital citizen. The best part: there are many blog platforms to choose from—WordPress, Blogger, Edublogs—and most of them are free. Use these five ideas to take full advantage of this simple tool, making homework and in-class assignments more exciting and educational.
Teachers have started using Instagram like they use Pinterest, to find and share creative ideas. However, instead of pinning and viewing links to webpages and videos, Instagram allows them to share examples of projects and activities actually going on in their classroom.
MOOCs, or Massively Open Online Courses are the next generation of online courses. Completely free, MOOCs are hosted by universities who guide learners through a wide range of different subjects. MOOCs allow you to interact with other individuals to talk about the course, and some universities often give a certificate of participation at the end of the course.
Channelkit is a new tool that lets you save and organize links from the web. You group sites, articles, videos & quotes into channels, and add notes and tags to make them easy to find and share. Each link you add is displayed in form of a card – just like a library card. Each card automatically gets a title, an image, and a short note. Depending on your needs you can leave it like this or add more details to organize your library properly.
If you’re looking for a subtle, unobtrusive way to introduce a discussion of emotions into your curriculum, the multi-award winning Avokiddo Emotions is the app for your classroom. This bright engaging app will help you teach social skills and awareness through play.
Teaching students how to estimate after they have become accustomed to the precision of addition and subtraction can sometimes be a challenge. For those who have a hard time understanding the concept, and who may even be burned out by the whole process of traditional mathematical learning, Questimate just may be answer.
Qwertytown is a new browser-based app that has a unique take on a seemingly boring task: teaching students how to type. While many of the same elements are present from the typical skill-and-drill approach, this app implements a customizable Sims-style avatar system along with some healthy competition in order to make keyboarding fun.
Many students dream of being the next J.K Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, and creative writing apps can be useful to help them develop their skills, capture their thoughts and express their ideas in a structured way. Boomwriter is an online creative writing app that promotes collaborative writing, and encourages participation by appealing to a students’ desire to be published. The app offers a unique way to keep students engaged in the writing process, offers additional practice, and teaches a host of important writing skills.
Physics is one of the most difficult subjects for students to learn and an incredibly difficult one for teachers to find quality apps for use in the classroom. With tools for a variety of ages, this list will hopefully help students solidify their skills and teachers diversify their instructional tool kit.
Padlet is an online resource, free to anyone, that allows you to create “walls” where you can gather content. You can customize the background of the walls you create and onto which you drag and drop (or upload) files, images, and multimedia content so that, at a glance, you can see everything that you have collected.
Slice It! is a sneakily simple and completely engaging way of teaching users of all ages to visualize geometric figures. The goal of Slice It! is really quite simple: cut the provided shape into whatever number of pieces the level asks for, with just the number of lines the level offers you. Oh, and just to keep it interesting: make all of the pieces EQUAL.
SHAPES is a geometry app developed by Setapp, a technology company from Poland. SHAPES – 3D Geometry Learning allows kids to discover different three dimensional solids like prisms, pyramids, solids of revolution and Platonic solids.
GeoCon Math is a new iPad app for students, teachers and math enthusiasts to study plane geometry in an interesting and exciting way. GeoCon HD re-invents the study of plane geometry by empowering users to create various geometric constructions with the touch of a finger. The app also offers easy tutorial steps that provide instruction on setting and moving points, constructing lines and circles, and creating intersection points.
This interactive storybook features a focus on art and the power of persistence, as well as a protagonist who is significantly different than his peers. If you have students who feel like they don’t fit, Axel’s Chain Reaction may be an app that can teach valuable lessons to the entire class about how important each member of the learning community is.
Color Uncovered, a free app from Exploratorium, is a beautifully designed investigation of all of the ways that color is both mysterious and magical. The app is aimed at older children, teenagers, and adults, and has been used by art and science classrooms all over the globe. The magazine layout of the app has a glossy feel, and the content appeals to both the reader and the hands-on learner equally. With this app, students are bound to learn things they never knew that they needed to know from why men shouldn’t buy bananas, and why dogs shouldn’t drive!
Creating learning resources for new vocabulary words is not usually very exciting. Flashcards can be handy but can feel repetitive and unimaginative, and there are few simple, creative apps for kids to learn new words. However, elementary school students and English language learners may have another option – Word Joust for K-5. This vocabulary app uses quest-based learning to help young students learn the 300 most popular vocabulary words for K-5.
iOS app Phoster, provides students with a creative way to make high quality posters and visual aids to complement their classroom presentations. The user-friendly app is well worth the reasonable US $1.99 price tag, especially for teachers who have students frequently creating unique presentation materials.
One of the toughest challenges for any teacher charged with younger grades education is finding a way to teach phonics awareness while also keeping short attention spans engaged. “Phonics Genius,” a simple app for the iPad and iPhone, offers a way to do just that, as well as work on fluency and decoding skills that are all instrumental to literacy skills.
For today’s students, games are a more popular medium than television. Reaching and engaging them requires an innovative approach. This infographic from GameSalad explores the ways games have impacted the classroom and where the future may be headed.