7 Little Known Ways To Use Popular Apps In The Classroom

7 Little Known Ways To Use Popular Apps In The Classroom
Summary: In this article, I will describe how educators can benefit from using popular apps in the classroom. I will also focus on how exactly they can build it in the learning strategy and which purposes every tool can serve.

Using Popular Apps In The Classroom

The digital world makes a lot of things easier; that’s the purpose of technology. The education sphere can also benefit greatly from it. Now, the educational and learning process is much faster than it used to be. Think only of copying documents (previously students had to rewrite everything), looking up some unknown word (now we don’t need to go to a library for that), etc. Work in the classroom also gets new colors thanks to modern technology. Now we can use not only books and notebooks, but also computers, tablets, and even smartphones for educational purposes. There are so many apps, programs, and websites that can help teachers diversify and simplify the studying process. Let’s have a look at some ways of using popular apps in the classroom.

1. Grammar Correction Apps

Well, many teachers will probably disapprove this one, but it is an existing and working method of using apps at school. Some may see it as cheating, but these apps actually improve students’ knowledge. If they see the same mistake corrected for five times, they only won’t make it the sixth time. Of course, you shouldn’t allow your students use such apps during written tests or other important assignments in class, but using them at regular lessons and at home may be quite useful.

There are many apps and computer programs offering grammar corrections including Grammarly, ClearEdits, etc.

2. Screen Time Limits

Other kinds of apps to use in class are quite "ironic". These are the apps that block other apps or the whole device for some time. Teachers may use these applications so that students focus on the class and do not get distracted by different social networks, games, amusing websites, etc.

Using such apps may be tricky, as you will have to install them on every student’s device. Therefore, you will need either their own permission or the one from their parents. The best way out here is to talk openly to them and to explain that, in this way, it will be much easier for them to study.

There are many free cool apps to use for limiting students’ access to their devices. The most popular include Screen Time Squish and Screen Time Companion App.

3. Inspiration Apps

Students need to write lots of papers; many of them they write in class. Often students have no ideas and write meaningless papers due to so-called writer’s block. In this case, they can use certain apps that will help them come up with some ideas.

Again, probably not every teacher will agree to this, arguing that students need to think of the paper topics on their own. However, it is sometimes better to get an idea from somewhere else and to write a significant piece than to think of a lousy idea on your own and to write an article accordingly. You can find excellent apps and sites for these purposes, such as Answer the Public or Portent’s content idea generator.

4. Connecting With Students And Parents

Using apps to connect with students and relatives can have many pluses. You can send your students assignments, remind them that tomorrow is the due day, encourage them before a test, etc. Parents can be notified of the coming events, their kids’ progress, etc. With these apps, you can send texts to one person, the whole class, or all the parents.

Such apps can be very convenient in many situations. A good example here is Remind 101, which has all of the described options and much more. Another nice app to try here is Edmodo. Edmodo offers many attractive opportunities for parents, teachers, and students. Teachers can assign homework, follow the progress, post discussion topics, and quizzes, and connect with other educators. Parents can get announcements from teachers, see their kids’ progress on homework, get informed about forthcoming events and tests, etc. It is definitely worth trying.

5. Apps For Group Projects

Group projects are a usual assignment for students. Many great apps and computer programs can be used for these kinds of tasks, too. You can create mind maps for coming up with project ideas (SimpleMind), save the information students find for the project in one place (Evernote), organize that information and work on it (Trello or Asana), etc.

Google Drive can also be very useful for group projects, especially for the writing part. In Google Docs or Google Sheets, students can work on the project at the same time, make notes, correct others’ mistakes, and discuss what information to use. These documents can be shared among the whole group and the teacher.

6. Foreign Languages Get Easier

Learning a foreign language is a good thing for brain development and expanding one’s horizons. Many students all over the world are somehow not into learning other languages. Today teachers can make the whole process more fun and engage students more with modern technologies.

It is possible to listen to and translate songs in foreign languages (Pandora Radio), watch videos in foreign languages (Amazon Instant videos or Viki), read magazines (LeKiosκ), etc. Boring classes can be transformed into multimedia experiences for students; this should definitely awake their interest to studying.

7. Games, Quizzes, Polls

The typical learning process can be mixed up with fun activities, especially if you teach in elementary or middle school. There are many options to use in class. A very popular one right now is Kahoot!. Teachers can create their own quizzes adding different pictures, videos, or diagrams. Students then take these exams on their devices, and the results can be displayed on a shared screen in the classroom. Students can also make and share their own games, which can help them remember the material better. There are many other similar apps to try, too.

Using technologies and popular apps in the classroom is an excellent idea if you organize the process right. Students need to start seeing their devices not only as communication and entertainment tools but also as a powerful educational assistant. Teach them to use the tools wisely and to pick the apps that can improve their knowledge and help to learn.