Every moment is a teaching moment. We engage learning with simple and profound lessons. We protect America's Family when we remember her history.
Apps in the classroom. When are they appropriate? When they are used to interact with more than just the screen and the user. Use an app that goes from screen to user to the classroom. When are they not appropriate? When they are habitually handed to the sped/iep student, or when they are used in rotations to play games. Yes I love technology……But Kip is right…human relationships are much more important than our continued love of technology.
As teachers (and as humans) we need to find the right balance in the classroom. Technology will increase your engagement, but only if you are using technology as a teaching tool to allow more time for personal interaction and instruction. I am not going to list game apps because I hate to see them misused in the classroom. As teachers we need apps that improve our teaching and learning processes. They need to be used in whole class instruction. The following is a list of the creme de la creme of apps, both free and those worth the investment.
Best Free Apps (K-6):
Write About This. The perfect writing app. Students can use pictures and writing prompts in app or take their own pictures in their classroom to write about. It includes voice prompts too. Share directly to parent, principal or teacher email, live in classroom. Write your own prompts for students or use one of theirs: “The perfect summer day……” Teachers have been raving about the benefits of this app for years
Kahn Academy Every teacher knows about it. Use it for ideas, inspiration, as a substitute teacher, or for the kid that just doesn’t get and needs a new approach.
Counting Money For all ages. Practice those money recognition and counting skills.
Weird But True Take a brain break and let the kids share the crazy weird but true facts they discover on this app. They love it. It is shocking, laughable, unbelievable, and keeps kids interested with bizarre facts.
This Day In History Students love to begin our day with this app. Includes photos, facts, movie clips etc.
NASA Discover the latest photos, video, stories, missions. Space is amazing!
Prezi Students learn by teaching. This is an easy to use beginner app for sharing presentation to the class. A must have.
Apps worth their $$$$:
Barefoot World Atlas $4.99 A most beautiful, interactive look at the world. Perfect for text features. Discovery and exploration at its finest. Imagery is beautiful. Use for reports, whole class instruction, individual research.
A+ Spelling $.99 Input spelling words for the students to practice. Voice prompts. Practice and tests. Students love it. Teachers love it.
Animalia $3.99 Read or have the narrator read the classic Animalia. This is way more than a book. The artistry is exquisite. Kids and adults love searching for hidden pictures and so much more.
Endless ABC $6.99 For Kindergarten. Although I have seen a teenage boy soccer team use it for hours on a bus ride and love it. Learning letter sounds at its finest.
Toontastic $9.99 If you spend your money on anything, spend it on this app first and foremost. Draw, animate and share cartoons, add your own narration, sound effects, and music. Every teacher and parent needs this app. You will love what this does for your students growth in language arts.
Ansel and Clair $4.99 They have an entire series. Students love to explore Africa, learn about customs and cultures, animals, and landscape. Paul Revere’s Ride is also worth the money. Students love to learn with Ansel and Clair.
March of the Dinosaurs $1.99 Wow. Dinosaur lovers in your classroom? This is 3-D, realistic sounding and looking imagery. Watch, hear and learn about dinosaurs in a unique way.
We wish you the best of luck in implementing apps into classroom instruction. Don’t get discouraged if there is a technology glitch. Practice teaching with apps in your instruction or class projects for a short time each day. “Oh! I love technology!”