Best Apps And Tools For Online And Offline Teachers
As teachers, we’ve come to accept the fact that technology is a part of modern learners and the advantages it comes with. From e-learning to virtual reality, the world is changing and we need to change with it.
Technological evolution within the past century has been phenomenal, evolving from the Gutenberg-era print and mail system.
And although educators have always had a profoundly ambiguous and often suspicious relationship with technology, the last few decades have seen a tremendous increase in its adoption rate.
With loads of applications available for each industry including education, teachers need to leverage some of these applications to make their jobs easier.
But with tons of applications available for teachers, learners, and educational institutions in general, identifying the right application for specific tasks takes time and research.
Over the weekend, I was tasked to put together a presentation on generations of digitally-enhanced teaching and my extensive research enabled me to identify some great applications for teachers and schools.
This article puts together some of the best apps for online teachers that will be useful for teaching online.
Device: Android, iOS
ClassDojo is a great app that aims to connect teachers, students, and parents to create an amazing classroom community.
Instead of missing all the fun times in school, parents can easily access these with ClassDojo. Unique moments where learners work together to accomplish a task can be celebrated with parents.
Using ClassDojo, teachers can award points for hard work, creativity and take photos and videos of exciting moments.
Parents can access this information and share in these unforgettable moments with the help of the ClassDojo.
Device: Android iOS
BehaviorFlip helps schools develop and infuse social-emotional learning, restorative practices, and trauma-informed strategies through the creation of sustainable and effective behavior monitoring solutions.
BehaviorFlip effectively tracks and manages student behaviors and provides high-quality social-emotional data to create student snapshots for administrators, instructors, families, and students.
With BehaviourFlip, teachers can assign negative and positive behavior events to learners while parents are also able to monitor these behavioral events, assess progress, and reports.
Device: Android, iOS, Chrome
Socrative is a tool for effective formative assessment. It enables teachers to engage students through real-time activities with visualized answers and detailed feedback.
Easily create a poll, start a quiz or even play a fun game using the Socrative application.
The live results table enables teachers to see learners’ graded responses in real-time while taking a quiz.
This enables teachers to easily group learners based on results and easily ascertain which areas learners require additional lessons on.
The pro version of the application provides you with further customizations to specific icons, increased student limit per room, and even managing multiple live activities simultaneously.
Device: Android, iOS
Remind is a communication tool for teachers, schools, parents, and learners. It enables teachers to easily and safely text parents and students.
It was built specifically for education making it easy for teachers to use and communicate directly to the people who matter the most to learners.
Although the app was initially created for one-way communication, it now allows students and parents to easily send replies.
Remind still provides the teacher the option to turn off the two-way communication and opt for one-way communication instead.
The platform enables teachers to send text messages, share pictures, videos, files, links, and even collect funding for supplies or events.
Using Remind, teachers can manage up to 10 classes with an unlimited number of recipients in each respective group.
Remind parents of an upcoming quiz or test so they can prompt their children to study with the Remind app or schedule changes with the remind app.
Some great features include the ability to get read receipts, create collaborative groups, add co-teachers, schedule meetings, and set office hours.
Device: Android, iOS, Windows
TeacherKit is an application geared toward making classroom management easy for teachers all over the world.
With TeacherKit, teachers can easily record attendance, grades, behavior and also communicate with both learners and parents.
It’s essentially a classroom management application that makes classroom activities paperless and also helps analyze and share information.
The application comes with an intuitive interface that allows all processes to be completed with quick taps and swipes.
Useful apps for teaching online
Device: Android, iOS, AppGallery
Kahoot is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share and play learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes.
The app makes it easy to create fun learning games and trivia quizzes in just a few steps. These they call “Kahoots”.
Kahoot can be played in companies, at events, companies, at home, and even parties to make learning fun and interactive.
Easily discover and play millions of existing games from the Kahoots library on a big screen, in a live setting, or on your smartphones.
Device: Android, iOS, Microsoft, Chrome
Nearpod helps educators make any lesson interactive whether in the classroom or virtual. It enables teachers to create interactive presentations containing quizzes, polls, videos, and more.
Nearpod also provides access to thousands of pre-built K-12 lessons and the teachers can also upload and make their existing lessons interactive.
Learners can easily access presentations through the app and teachers can carry learners through the lesson presentations.
Teachers can also opt for Student-Paced mode, where the student controls the flow of the lesson.
This mode is perfect for sub days, weather days, homework assignments, or independent work. The app is web-based and works on any device with an internet connection.
Device: Android, iOS, Web
In comes Google with the Google Classroom service. Like most applications from Google, Classroom is a free service for schools, NGOs, and more.
Google Classroom can be used with any personal Gmail account but a G-Suite for education account will enable you to use the integrated Google meet video conferencing tool.
It is easy to use and enables learners and teachers to connect both inside and outside schools.
Google Classroom saves time, paper and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized.
Classroom is designed to help teachers create, collect, and grade assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student.
It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized.
Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click.
Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn’t completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.
Besides the web application, Google Classroom also comes with both Android and iOS applications that enable learners and teachers to view upcoming classes and communicate with classmates in real-time.
Learners will be able to receive notifications when new content is added to any particular course and teachers will receive notifications of submissions.
An overview of all results from each course is also available for learners to easily access and learners can submit assignments and tasks directly using Google Docs, Slides, or Drive links.
This makes it perfect for presenting collaboration assignments and projects.
Device: Android, iOS
EdPuzzle is a great application for customizing video content for your online or offline class.
Modern learners tend to absorb visual content a lot faster, which is why most lessons now include some form of multimedia content.
Unfortunately trying to ascertain whether your learners comprehend the video lesson is not possible with normal videos.
This is where EdPuzzle comes in. It addresses this issue by allowing teachers and video content creators to add questions to strategy parts of the video.
This means learners have to answer these questions correctly in order to proceed or continue watching the video lesson.
It’s not just a fancy tool but also provides you with the basic features of a video editing application by enabling teachers and video content creators to easily trim, edit and add voiceovers to videos.
With EdPuzzle teachers can now put together videos and quizzes in one easy place. Video lessons become interactive with EdPuzzle.
Use videos from YouTube or upload your own video, EdPuzzle will help you turn your videos into interactive video lessons.
Device: Android, iOS
ThingLink allows teachers to annotate and add links to images, videos, and 360 videos.
With ThingLink you can easily create images with audio explaining the contents of the image.
This makes it a great tool for storytelling to learners at the K-8 levels.
ThingLink offers an easy way to create audio-visual learning materials that are accessible in an integrated reading tool.
Easily add charts, forms, quizzes, and even videos to your images with the ThingLink application.
To put it simply, ThingLink enables you to add onto specific areas of your images interactive tags that show a pop-up video, quiz, form, map, and many more.
Device: Android, iOS
Looking to help your learners improve on their writing skills? Storybird is the application for you. The software is designed to engage learners and inspire them to write stories.
Using Storybird, teachers can create interactive and artistic books online through a simple and easy-to-use interface.
These stories can then be embedded into blogs, sent by email, and printed and teachers can also create projects with learners, give feedback and organize classes and grades.
Storybird is great for K-12 learners and helps them unlock their creativity and improve their creativity by creating stories, comics, and many more.
Device: Windows, Web, Chrome
Looking for great textbooks for your learners? cK-12 is an online educational content platform that provides a collection of free digital textbooks for high school-age students.
These textbooks they call “Flexbooks” are mostly based on various topics including science, social studies, photography, engineering, mathematics, and more.
Content on cK-12 is not only limited to textbooks but also includes videos, quizzes, flashcards, simulation, and interactive content that brings visualization to abstract concepts.
With multiple modalities to choose from, cK-12 is content-rich which enables learner engagement and in the long run, increases learning.
Productivity tools for teachers
Device: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Web
Trello’s my pick for the best productivity tool on the market. Although most popular in the business world, it is arguably one of the best in its bracket capable of going beyond any single industry.
I’ve personally used many productivity tools but I found Trello to be my favorite.
Although there are more powerful apps on the market, the usability of this application makes it my favorite productivity app.
It’s my go-to application for SCRUM which I apply to most aspects of my life from writing an article to building a web application.
You can easily create your board and essentially put any information you want to have on the board.
Create and group your list based on your specific requirement and also create and move tiles around.
The best part about using Trello is that your colleagues can also be invited to any particular board of your choosing, leave comments, add documents, links, checklist, and more.
Device: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Web
Also mostly used in business settings, Slack is the best tool for communication and used in various industries including education.
Slack comes with a very unique and vibrant user interface and requires little instructions on how to use the basic features.
Easily create groups/channels for your individual classes, add learners and teachers and communicate by sending messages or posting in respective channels.
Slack also comes with powerful integrations for an endless list of applications including Trello, Google Docs, Forms, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Calendar, Twitter, and many more.
Easily search threads with Slack’s powerful search feature for any conversation or message.
Device: Web, Chrome
LINER is a web highlighter for desktops and mobile devices. This application enables users to easily highlight any information on any web page.
Color code specific sections of an article with LINER and even add comments to them.
The best part is you can save your highlights which will be available to be accessed in your LINER dashboard.
Your dashboard shows you every article you’ve highlighted which can be organized into folders.
To view an article you’ve highlighted, simply click on the article and you’ll get an expanded view of your highlights.
You can also access the article you highlighted by clicking on “See in context” to view the article with the highlights and comments.
Easily export highlights to Word and other formats using LINER.
Seen an article you’d like to share with your learners but need to edit it to show them the most relevant sections?
With LINER you can easily highlight and comment on relevant sections in an article and send them to your learners who will be able to see your highlights and comments.
Easily link colleagues and learners to both highlighted and original sources with LINER.
It’s a great tool for everyone but perfect for us as teachers.
Device: Web, Chrome
Next time you think about printing an online article without the junk, look no further than Print Friendly & PDF.
PrintFriendly cleans and formats web pages for a perfect print experience.
PrintFriendly removes ads, navigation, and web page junk, so you save paper and ink when you print.
With Print Friendly & PDF, you can easily delete any contents of the page you don’t want printed, leaving only the parts of the article you want to be printed.
If there’s a sentence in the article you don’t want to print, simply delete it and save the file as a PDF to be printed.
The Bottom Line
There are thousands if not millions of applications on the market geared towards helping teachers better educate their learners.
The applications listed in this article are only a few of them that can help you in multiple ways as an instructor.
Modern technology is here to make our lives as teachers easier and it’s our responsibility to leverage it in order to provide the best education for our learners.