Eight apps that can increase connectivity in the classroom

8 great apps for the classroomOne of the best things about being an educator in the 21st century is the increased ability to be connected, share experiences and learn together. Sometimes we wonder about different technologies and have questions about what programs or apps to use in our classrooms. I learned about some apps this past year, and I wanted to share my learnings. The following are all in addition, of course, to the amazing free Google Apps for Education that are provided to our board, including Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Chrome, Hangouts and more.

Here are the top apps that I will be using consistently this year on the iPads:

1. Shadow Puppet Edu (Free)

This is a free, and very simple way to record students’ work and their thoughts about it. Perfect for reflections, assessment for learning, sharing with families and uploading to ePortfolios. It opens seamlessly on any device. You can record on the iPad and open on Windows.

2. Blogger Jr & Easy Blogger Junior

What better way to get our youngest students blogging than with a very easy blogging app that allows students to record their voices, take pictures and video. You can take part in a blogging challenge, conduct reflections for portfolios and help students engage in self-assessment too. It’s a Google product that links well with Google Apps for Education, but WordPress equivalent apps are also available.

3. ePortfolio by Desire2Learn (Free)

This app links seamlessly with the Desire2Learn Learning Management System provided free to all students in Ontario by the Ministry of Education. Download this app to the iPad, sync it to the D2L account you are interested in, and upload any links to the ePortfolio!

4. Remind (Free)

This app lets you send and receive communication with parents, but addresses and phone numbers are kept anonymous. You can share links, pictures, updates and possible pictures and videos. Remind is excellent because parents can also send messages – and emails, phone numbers will all remain private. You decide what communication method works best for you.

5. Voice Record Pro 7

This app offers an easy way to record your students and create podcasts or transfer files to iTunes. It also makes it very easy to record group discussions for evaluation later.

6. Audio Boo (Free)

Looking for an easy way to record your students and share content online with parents? Looking to be able to attach photos and tags to your recordings? This may be for you! This app is also available in a web-based and mobile platform – so it is simple to use. It is also free to download, and can be shared on social media. A note however: all recordings are limited to five minutes maximum.

7. Book Creator

This app lets your students take pictures or screenshots and add their stories to create beautiful picture books. Create your own course material for your students or parents. You can even create amazing PDF’s to send home to parents and upload to iBooks.

8. Graphic Organizer Apps including: Lucidchart (free), Mindmeister, Kidspiration, Inspiration & Popplet (free)

Open up the Lucidcharts on your google drive and work with students to co-create plans and brainstorm new ideas. It’s a great way to help students organize their ideas and it allows students to save and upload to their ePortfolios or ShadowPuppetEdu to show and share their work.

Share the apps that you use with your students in the comment section.