There are so many Chrome apps available that will greatly benefit any classroom!
Before I explore the apps themselves, I’ve listed some resources about what Chrome apps actually are, and how they can be used, generally speaking, in the classroom environment!
There are so many wonderful Chrome apps you can use within Google Drive. For more information about those apps, check out my Wonderful World of Google post!
There are SO MANY awesome Chrome apps for education, but with today’s post I’ve chosen to highlight apps that I think will benefit TEACHERS!
This is a planner for students and teachers! Store all of your information in this valuable app and access it on any device with Internet connection! Available for Chrome, Windows, and Android devices…and soon for Apple devices!
Apps for Common Core
There are so many apps that teachers can use for implementing the CCSS, and this Chrome app organizes the apps for you! Search for apps by grade level, content, and standard. Great resource!
By using this twitter-like program, teachers create an account and are given a specific “phone number.” Instructions are given through the account for students to sign up to receive text messages from the teacher. The teacher’s actual phone number is never given, and neither are the students! Teachers send out a mass text message, students receive the text, CANNOT reply to the text, and are reminded about important information. Yes, there’s a Chrome app for this awesome program!
There are so many awesome Chrome apps available for use in education! Check back for posts on Chrome apps for classroom content, as well as apps for creating awesome products, coming soon!
Thanks for reading!
- The benefits of using gmail are absolutely amazing. Communicate with students who are absent. Share documents with students. Remind classes about upcoming due dates or quizzes (they need reminding!).
- Students and teachers alike can benefit from the amazing benefits of Google documents in the classroom. Students can create and edit their documents on or offline. Students can collaborate with one another in real time, even if they’re not in the same room! Teachers can easily embed documents onto their class Google site or calendar. Students can peer edit their documents (a Common Core requirement), teachers can offer suggestions by commenting on students’ documents, the list goes ON AND ON!
- Slides are Google’s answer to Microsoft Power Point. Students and teachers alike can benefit immensely from this application. Create and share presentations with students through Drive. Easily embed presentations created with slides on a class Google site! Allow students to collaborate with each and eliminate the forgotten homework or broken jump drive excuses!
- As you’ve probably suspected by now, this application is very comparable to Microsoft’s Excel program. Create sheets to record data, create lists to export, and even compile results from a Google form! Awesome!
- What an awesome tool! Create quizzes, review activities, pre and post assessments. Use for self-evaluations after a project or paper. Have students create surveys to distribute to students. Record data collected from the form in Google sheets! Embed forms and slides on your Google site, then have students view the presentation and complete the form…this can help implement a flipped or blended learning environment!
- Create a calendar simply through your Google account. Create multiple calendars…a calendar for school events, a calendar for class events, historical events, sporting events, educational programming on TV, the possibilities are endless! Share your calendar with your students and parents, which allows everyone to know what is going on in your classroom! Embed the calendar on your class Google site. Attach links to your your calendar for students to access. Include Google documents, slides, sheets, and forms that you’ve created within your Drive on your calendar. The list goes on!
- QR Codes can be used to start a classroom discussion
- In my classroom, I have a bulletin board near the door where I place all of my QR Codes. Some of these codes link to a video that I want students to watch before class begins. Other codes on my board direct students to an article they need for their Bellringer. Students simply scan the code as they walk in the door with their electronic device. (Some of my students don’t have an electronic device that can scan…so we use the buddy system a lot!)
- At the end of every unit, I create a QR Code that links to my unit presentation (Keynote, Power Point, or Prezi). If students are absent from class, or are unsure of their notes, they simply scan the QR Code that links to their unit presentation.
- Some of the QR Codes on my bulletin board link to extension information for students who want to learn more information about the topic being discussed. For example, after discussing the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, I briefly discussed Puritan norms with my students. Since the course is only a semester long, we unfortunately do not have time to discuss all topics in great detail. So, I found a website that describes Cromwell’s laws and created a QR Code that links to the site.
- An essential part of social studies classes is the use of primary sources. I strive to teach my students to think and read like a historian, which requires primary source analysis. Some of my students would rather read a primary source on their electronic device, so QR Codes are perfect for my classes. When I’m creating a presentation for lecture or discussion, I simply create a QR Code that links to a specific source url. Then, I copy and paste that image into my presentation. Voila!
By now, many people have heard of “ted talks,” and have most likely viewed a few. Ted talk topics (tongue-twister!) are wide ranging, covering everything from technology to education to business, science, global issues, and the list goes on and on! Ted talks can be used very effectively in the classroom…students can listen to speakers from a variety of backgrounds discuss virtually any topic. Imagine the possibilities if this media in the classroom setting!
Ted talks now have an education platform, called…Ted Ed! Teachers can find awesome lessons that are ready to use broken down by content and duration of the video. By clicking on the “series” link, teachers can choose videos categorized by specific content, like the 23 videos available in the “Inventions that Shape History” series.
The most beneficial aspect of the site, in my opinion, is the “Create a Lesson” option. This allows teachers to choose a YouTube video or a Ted-Ed Original video and create a lesson around that video! If anyone is looking to “flip your classroom,” this would be an awesome place to start!
When you have decided to create your lesson, Ted Ed provides you with a variety of aspects to include.
First, students watch the video you provide, then they answer questions about the video in the “think” portion. Teachers can include background or enrichment information in the “dig deeper” section, and can encourage students to share their ideas of the subject through the “discuss” option.
The possibilities really are endless with Ted Ed. When I create a lesson (or utilize a lesson that already exists), I upload it to a folder on edmodo, and my students can access it whenever they need to!
The apps available for use on the iPad are absolutely amazing! Even if you’re like me and only have one iPad in your classroom, your students can benefit enormously from using the incredible iPad apps!
There are so many fabulous apps available for use in education, and there is NO WAY I could possibly list or discuss even a majority of them. Listed below are a few of MY favorite apps to use in my classroom, and encourage my students to use. I will continue to update this list!
- Google Earth
- By now, most people have heard of the awesomeness (new word!) that is Google Earth. Teachers can take their students on field trips without even leaving their classroom. My students love to visit the White House and use street view to go inside! We also love to visit Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, the Grand Canyon, and of course, Area 51 🙂
- If you’ve read my Learning Management Systems (LMS) post about edmodo, then this app needs no introduction! Students can download this app to their electronic device (iOS or android!) and access course materials, participate in discussion posts, and receive notification alerts for their teacher. The edmodo platform is VERY similar in appearance and accessibility to Facebook, which makes my students comfortable with using this program.
- I like to incorporate QR codes into my classroom learning environment. In my lecture presentation, I include a QR code that links to a primary source, a video, or information and allow students to use their electronic devices to access the resource. It is SO MUCH EASIER to create a QR code for students to scan than to provide them with an extremely long URL and repeat it constantly! Scan is awesome (and is sometimes free)!
- Educreations is an AMAZING tool for the iPad. Educreations allows teachers to upload an image, take a picture (with a tablet or smartphone, etc), or search for an image on the web. Once the image has been selected, you can draw and type on the image, which is amazing in virtually any classroom! Teachers can also record information and save the lesson! AND…it is FREE!!!
- Youtube really needs no introduction…it can be an amazing tool in the classroom! Many channels are popping up that have amazing content for your classroom. Currently, in my social studies classes, I incorporate many Crash Course videos (mostly the American History genre). Check it out for classroom use!!
- The Prezi app for the iPad allows the user to create a prezi directly on their iPad, share the prodcut, and present it directly from their iPad! A Prezi app is also available for the iPhone…the only downside is you cannot create from your phone, just present. Imagine, however, students standing up in front of your class, presenting a prezi from their iPhone. AWESOME!! Watch for a post totally about prezi!!
- This app is FUN to use as a presentation tool. Create a “gami,” customize the background of your screen, choose a voice for your gami, and enter the text you want to play! I love to use this at the beginning of class to get students’ attention and provide them with information for the day! Give it a whirl!
- Many of my students LOVE this app! Since I allow them to take notes on their electronic device in class, I encourage them to use this wonderful app to organize and manage their notes, not only for my class, but for all of their classes. Users can create notebooks, import pictures, take pictures, and do so many more things right in the app. It is awesome and FREE!
Having access to my cloud based files on my iPad is essential. These apps are extremely e
asy to use, and are used extremely often by me!!
- Google Drive
- Access your Drive files on your iPad or iPhone. The app also allows you to create (with limited options) documents and spreadsheets on your device. FREE!
- Access your Dropbox files on your iPad or iPhone. Choose do open your files in apps you already have on your device. I frequently open a Dropbox file in the edmodo app, and attach a file to an assignment or a note on edmodo directly from my iPad!
Chromebooks in the News
In my classroom, I am fortunate enough to have an iPad (purchased for me by my school!) that I can use for instruction. Some will ask why I use my iPad. Why don’t I just lecture from a power point and write on my chalkboard? My answer is….using my iPad as an instructional tool increases student engagement, allows me to be extremely mobile in my classroom, AND the content apps and access to the Internet provided by my iPad are AMAZING!
-Educreations turns my iPad into a mobile whiteboard!
-This app allows teachers to import photos from their Camera Roll or Photo Stream, take pictures using the app, or surf the web for images. Once the images are selected, users can change the size of the image and write on the image! Awesome!
-This app also allows teachers to record their voice, save their lesson, and search for relevant lessons
To me, especially in my social studies classroom, this is an invaluable asset of using iPads as instructional tool. I love being able to link to youtube videos, primary sources, interactive websites, and countless other Internet resources.
The apps available for the iPad are absolutely amazing. My students love using Google Earth to search for places we are studying. The “street view” capability on the Google Earth app is awesome in that it provides the students with an actual view of the area we are researching. If you search for the White House, street view allows you to go inside certain rooms in the White House! How awesome is that?!
For content specific information, I love to use MyCongress, which allows students to learn more information about their Congressmen…the app has a link to Twitter feeds and YouTube channels for each Congressman. It also lists recent articles that relate to the Congressman.
More to come soon about AWESOME apps in the classroom!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Learning Management Systems…why should we use them?
- Submitting assignments and projects online
- No printing! No ink!
- No papers to lose!
- Save a tree! 🙂
- “Forum” or “Discussion Board” posts about readings
- In an online environment, students and teachers obviously have no face-to-face interaction in which to discuss questions or comments about assigned readings
- In order to hold students accountable for their assigned readings, teachers post a broad question relating to the reading and establish procedures for posting (length of response, appropriate responses, etc)
- Many teachers also require students to comment on their classmate’s posts to simulate classroom interaction and to encourage students to dive deeper into the content.
- Students can work collaboratively on assignments and discussions without being in the same room
Fast forward to today…I currently teach dual credit College American History and American Political Systems, as well as a “regular” Government class. I use edmodo in all of these classes, and students have responded extremely well.
How will technology change the way we teach?
In my high school classes, I sat in an uncomfortable desk surrounded by approximately 24 students and one teacher for about 90 minutes (block scheduling school). In some instances, my teacher addressed the class for the 90 minute period while the students frantically copied down notes from the board, overhead projector, or simply from the teacher’s lecture. This continued for many days. At the end of this experience, students were given a study guide (if we were lucky!), expected to complete the study guide, and then perform well on a test.