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Students using their smartphones and texting during their classes might be a nightmare for teachers and professors everywhere in the world, but even the most stubborn ones are starting to realize that smartphones and tablets in classrooms can bring a lot of advantages, as well. They can increase and expand student engagement beyond normal working school hours and can widen educational horizons.
But hardware is only the first part of the equation, it is basically useless without right software that will motivate students and generate excitement. In the past, some of the most powerful educational apps were used as a tool for supporting students with various disabilities, but nowadays we have all kind of apps for different purposes.
There are thousands of apps available on the market specially developed for teaching and learning, so finding the right ones can be time-consuming and somewhat exhausting. A few months ago we wrote about best apps for students and now we decided to expand our education category with an article about our five favorite apps for educators and teachers.
Scanner App can turn your phone into a portable scanner, so you can scan all your reading materials, presentations and important articles for your students. You can save your scans as multipage PDF or JPEG files and share them via email or supported cloud services. The app has border detection and automatic shutter feature, as well as the possibility to password protect your scans, if needed.
Available on: iOS
PDF Converter Ultimate by Cometdocs
PDF Converter Ultimate is a great complementary app to a previously mentioned one. In case you are dealing with a lot of class materials and presentations which need some changes, you will want to use a powerful converter such as this app. With it, you can convert PDFs to more than 20 popular file formats and vice versa. Even your scanned documents can be converted with great quality and accuracy thanks to the market-leading OCR technology the app is using. Gmail attachments and files downloaded from popular cloud services can all be converted in a matter of seconds.
If you would like to have all your teaching materials accessible to you anytime and anywhere, then you should think about using Google Drive. It is for sure one of the best teacher apps out there and it comes with some included apps, as well. Those apps are Google Slides, Sheets, and Docs. Also, there is an option to access Google Photos and Google Keep. You can use the app to create collaborative documents and presentations which can then be shared with your students. You get 15GB of storage for free and you can upgrade up to 100GB for $1.99 per month or up to 1TB for $9.99 per month.
As all other mentioned apps, this app can help you go paperless if you are into saving the environment. Instead of keeping grades, attendances, and class notes in some notebook that can easily be misplaced, you should use Additio app instead. It represents a classroom management app and digital grade book which lets you calculate grades, take attendances and plan your timetable all from your mobile device. The app also has some additional features like performance analytics and note-keeping but you will need to pay a monthly fee of $8 in order to use that.
Teach Learn Lead
Meeting other teachers who teach the same grade or subject and who also don’t work at your school can be difficult. Teach Learn Lead is basically like Facebook for teachers, a place where you can meet other teachers from all over the country who are just like you and you can collaborate, exchange messages, ideas and learn how others are taking on a leadership role.
Available on: iOS and Android
From creating lesson plans and keeping attendance, to sharing, scanning and converting your documents, these apps allow teachers harness new technologies in classrooms instead of persist them. If we forgot to mention some of the apps you use in your classroom, please let us know in the comments below.