Kids Discover Online is home to over 1000 articles covering an enormous variety of science and social studies topics. For those familiar with the Kids Discover publication, the organization has now made some impressive moves into digital content. For those not familiar, stick around, because Kids Discover Online has some excellent content for 3rd - 8th grade students. See more on our Reviews Page
National Geographic has just released their new, free Puzzle Explorer app for iOS and Android devices. The app is meant to be a fun way for students to use creativity and problem-solving skills in order to design their own unique mazes which they can share with friends. Additionally, the Nat Geo team has also put together some great teacher resources to help bring the app to the classroom. Find out more on our reviews page.
DocentEDU is an exciting new app (iOS, Android), and browser plugin (Chrome, Firefox) that essentially lets you turn any webpage or online document into an engaging, interactive, digital lesson. With the tool, you can easily add questions, discussions, notes, and HTML widgets into an already existing webpage, and send it out to your students or classes. Read more on our reviews page.
Gamedesk is an organization that has a ton of avenues for exploration. Not only do they design educational games for iOS and Android, but they've also created a space for research, training, interactive simulations and role-playing, and much more. If you've never check them out, I highly recommend it. Find our review of their two new apps, Geomoto and Pangean, on our review page.
Today’s review focuses on ADVANCEfeedback™ from the educational technology and consulting company Insight Education Group. ADVANCEfeedback™ is a cloud-based platform that allows for teachers to easily upload videos of themselves teaching for reflection, feedback, sharing, or for informal and formal evaluation purposes. Find out more on our Review's Page.
myON is an online, interactive, digital library with over 10,000 books for pre-K to 12th grade students. Teachers can use myON to assign books, encourage reading, and assess student growth. Plus, students can find books based on their own personal interests and ability levels, and they have a large collection of Spanish reading materials as well. You can find out more on our Review's Page.
The folks over at Dell were kind enough to send me one of their new, 13” Chromebooks for review from the education/classroom perspective. If you’re not familiar with a Chromebook, imagine a laptop that runs on a web-based Google operating system, instead of the traditional Windows or Mac operating system. You can find out more about the new Chromebook on our Review's page.
While the leaves haven't started to change their colors yet, fall is right around the corner. And with it, the start of a new school year! Although my guess is, a few of you have probably already started...
I wanted to put together a list of 7 great and free apps I have discovered over the past few months, and hopefully there is a little something here for everyone. If you've got other favorites that you've found, please share them in the comments!
1 | Otus: The Complete Learning Management Systems for the K-12 Classroom
If you're not familiar with Learning Management Systems, they are basically an online environment where a teacher can manage all their course needs. From creating and assigning tasks, to providing feedback and grades, LMS are designed to take care of it all. Otus is awesome because not only is it completely free for teachers and students, but it is jam-packed with features.
From standards-aligned assignments, to blogs, and even to seating charts, Otus everything you could need. Plus, it works on all web-enabled devices, so regardless of the technology you have at your school, you'll be good to go. You can read our complete review of the service on the review's page.
2 | Answer Pad: The Free Student Response System
I think most teachers are familiar with the classic "clickers" response system, where teachers show a question on their projector, and students use a remote-like device to punch in their answer. Well The Answer Pad takes that idea to an entirely new and awesome level. Teachers can send out all sorts of templates and questions to any web-enabled device that students may have.
Then students can answer/draw on/or interact with those questions and send them back in to the teacher for feedback or sharing. There are tons of other possibilities with this app, and it has become one of my favorites. Despite the seemingly simple idea behind it all, The Answer Pad has an enormous number of excellent features for creating engaging and data-driven content. Check out our full review for a complete exploration of all the possibilities.
3 | Bloomz: Community Begins in the Classroom
If you work in a K-8 environment and you're looking for a way to quickly and easily connect with parents and PTA members, Bloomz is the app for you. It is an excellent tool for helping create connections and can even be used to help find classroom volunteers and schedule conferences! The app can be used on any web-enabled device and it's incredibly user friendly.
Bloomz is set up similarly to most modern social media applications, so the interface will immediately be familiar. Parents and teachers can share photos, post updates, and keep every stakeholder in the loop of what is happening in the classroom. Check out more details in our review!
4 | Chalkup: Learning Together, Learning Better
Chalkup is another LMS (like Otus) and is also completely free for teachers and students. The goal of Chalkup is to help create a collaborative online environment where students can not only receive and turn in assignments, but where they can interact with each other and engage in discussions. Chalkup easily integrates with Google Drive and has a simple, intuitive interface.
On top of that, teachers can embed any type of HTML app or activity within an assignment or post. This way, if you're using 3rd party applications to design resources, you can still share them within Chalkup. You can explore all the features of this LMS on our reviews page.
5 | Remind: Reach Students and Parents
A lot of teachers (1 in 5 actually) are already familiar with Remind (formerly Remind 101). For the other 80%, this service is absolutely worth trying. Remind offers an easy, free, and safe way for teachers to keep in touch with students and parents. You can send out polls, announcements, files, voice clips, or just chat with individual students as needed.
In short, it is a perfect application for keeping in touch with the people that matter the most when they are not in the classroom, and you can easily send SMSs (without giving out your phone number) to anyone who has registered for the service. For complete details, check out review.
6 | OfficeMix: PowerPoint Gets Interactive
A quick caveat for Office Mix, while it is completely free, you do have to have PowerPoint (which isn't free), so as long as you've got that, you're good to go. Anyway, Office Mix is an absolutely wonderful plugin for PowerPoint that lets you create interactive presentations by adding audio and video recordings and incorporating interactive elements.
With Office Mix you can add polls, quizzes, animations, screen recordings, and a whole lot more to your PowerPoints. The best part is, it's built into to an interface (PowerPoint) that most teachers are already familiar with! Check out all the details in our review.
7 | GoConqr: Create, Organize, and Study for Free
Finally, if you're looking for an app that lets teachers and students create, save, share, and embed mind maps, quizzes, flashcards, and notes, then GoConqr is exactly what you need. It's incredibly simple not only to use, but to share the resources you create with other teachers or students. For teachers, you can also create classes and subjects to better stay organized.
This app is also one of my favorites because it combines so many useful tools into one. So many online services focus on just one of these tools (Quizzes OR mind maps. Flashcards OR note taking) but GoConqr does it all! Read our full review to see all the details.
And just in case you're still hungry for more, check out last year's post, which cover 8 additional apps to check out for the classroom.
Well, that's it for this post! Again, if anyone has additional apps and services they've discovered, please share them in the comments! I hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful school year!
Otus is an application for iOS and web devices that aims to offer everything a mobile classroom could possibly need for both teachers and students. They've got assignments, assessments, polls, feedback, and more, all packaged within a free and easy to use app. If you're at a 1:1 school I highly recommend checking out Otus because, quite simply, it's awesome. Read more on our reviews page.
This week I had the opportunity to attend my first EdCamp at Chapel Hill 7th & 8th Grade Center in Indianapolis. If you’re not familiar with their Google EdCamp, it’s an “unconference” which means that it’s participant driven, with conference attendants being in control of what sessions will be held and who will facilitate those sessions.
For this particular EdCamp, there were three main “strands” that all the sessions fell under: Teachers; Technical Management; and Leadership and Planning.
The day started with attendants telling the conference facilitators about the topics they were interested in learning about to help create the schedule for the day. Over the first 30-45 minutes of the day, the schedule began to take shape, and more and more people arrived with ideas on what they wanted to learn about. Then we were off!
Round it up!
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