Language skills are vital in a world economy that becomes increasingly integrated.
- The best app for foreign language teachers
- A great teacher-parent communication app
- A grading and attendance app for teachers
- An app that is great for assessment…
- A huge upgrade for Geography lessons
About how I became an educator and my experience as a young teacher I wrote some time ago here. I love my job and I always research the best tools and strategies available to catch my students’ attention – even though that may sometimes mean to resort to technology. And I say “resort to” because I know some of us condemn the use of modern tech like apps in the classroom (I’ll get back to that later). But as I found out in my 4 years as a teacher, not all technology is bad. After doing some extensive research I discovered some of the best apps for teachers and I want to share them all with you.
Back to what I said about “resorting to” apps or other types of tech in the classroom – yes, technology might not always be our best friend. Black Mirror, Netflix’s star show, emphasizes superbly that aspect, but whether we like it or not, technology is incredibly smart! It can help teachers everywhere teach better, smarter and faster. It doesn’t have to replace us, but it can support our work with clever educational apps for teachers that are willing to adapt and improve their teaching style – teachers like you or me.
Since we are here, I figured it would be best to classify my recommendations into two major categories – best apps for teaching and best apps for learning – and then take it from there.
Best apps for teaching
If you want to upgrade your teaching style in order to get closer to your elementary or secondary school students and win their interest and attention, I absolutely recommend researching some school apps for teachers. It won’t only help you; it will also make you look cooler in your students’ eyes. You know how teenagers’ minds work.
But don’t overdo it. If surrender yourself with software for teachers and countless tech solutions, it might be too much in the end. I used to work a full-time job at a multinational company before becoming a teacher and the managers insisted on working with one-page reports, project management apps, smaller Excel reports and daily reports on Slack. Honestly, I got lost. It was too much. That is why you have to focus on the basics. You don’t want “fancy”. You want “useful”. So here they are: the best educational apps for teachers.
1. mondlyWORKS – one of the best apps for foreign language teachers
I will recommend Mondly in the “best apps for learning” category too, but its integrative B2B platform also makes it one of the best educational apps for teachers – foreign language teachers especially.
Its principle is simple: the same way we share apps to watch movies we can now share Mondly to learn languages. As a teacher, we get access to a dedicated dashboard where you can manage, invite new users, see their statistics and track their progress.
The platform includes all the language learning experiences Mondly has created so far: the main app, the Augmented Reality module, Mondly VR – the virtual reality app for learning languages and Mondly Kids – the language learning app for kids and toddlers. So depending on your target – elementary school, junior high or senior high – Mondly offers a dedicated language learning solution for every age segment.
Additionally, you can also share mondlyWORKS with your family or work colleagues.
2. Slack – a great teacher-parent communication app
You definitely need to communicate with both the students and their parents and Facebook is not the right place for it. Lately, I noticed that more and more teachers use Facebook groups for communication, but Slack is much more appropriate given the fact that Facebook is a place where personal stories and photos get shared.
Besides, if you are not a high school teacher, you’ll probably need a different communication channel since teens are allowed on Facebook only after the age of 13.
With Slack, you can create different “workspaces” for every group of students and their parents, communicate with the whole group at once or individually, give feedback, share reminders and homework to make sure everyone is up to date or use integrations such as Google+ Hangouts, Google Docs, and Google Calendar to share documents or set video call meetings with the parents. Very complex and helpful, but at the same easy to use – I can assure you.
3. TrackCC – grading and attendance app for teachers
I did a lot of research for this one, I must admit. The first two are not necessarily dedicated apps for teachers, but rather general apps that teachers successfully use in their activity. And that was completely intentional. I believe that we sometimes like to overcomplicate things, but why use a dedicated app for parent-teacher communication when you can use Slack – an easy app that most parents already have access to?
Back to TrackCC – this is still not the perfect grading and attendance app I was looking for because of its somehow dull design, but the fact that it works is more important right now. While doing the initial research I found some grading apps for teachers that did not include the “attendance” feature and vice-versa. So TrackCC is really good because it includes both, it is intuitive and allows you, as a teacher, to keep track of grades and attendance and share them all in real time with both student and parents.
4. Youtube – great for assessment groups and interactive lessons
You probably didn’t expect this one, but Youtube can actually be of the best educational tools for teachers if you know how to make the most of it.
If you’ll do some research on your area of interest, you’ll soon discover a lot of great content to share with your students. Ask them to watch the videos at home – or during class if they are shorter – and then discuss the topic, ask questions, give feedback and keep them involved.
Just test this theory on the Youtube educational channel “Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell” and see how your students react to your new learning strategy.
5. Google Earth – and all the other school subject-related apps
I don’t know about your school, but there are countless educational institutions around the world that still use the good, ol’ paper map. That’s not necessarily bad, but Google Earth is a free service that looks absolutely amazing. And this is not just about the students. If I’d be a Geography teacher I’d love to use Google Earth. Is one thing to identify Mount Everest on a paper map and another to see it in the Google Earth app. Just look at this:
And that is not applicable only for Geography, but also for Biology or Physics. Again, don’t overdo it, but apps like The Human Anatomy Atlas can do wonders with teaching young students.
Best apps for learning (by yourself)
From classroom apps for teachers, I am moving on to some of the best “home apps” you can recommend to your students for thoroughgoing study or self-study. Depending on their talents or interests, you can recommend them interesting apps for every subject. Here are some of the best ones I found so far:
- Mondly & Mondly VR – for fun, fast and easy language learning
- Elevate – for building communication, math and analytical skills
- NASA – for astronomy lovers
- TED – for inspiring speeches about… everything
- Daily Art – for daily doses of art history stories
- Oxford Dictionary of English – for a great vocabulary
- Masterclass – for courses on almost everything from the world’s greatest minds
This was my top 5 best apps for teachers in 2019. If you have your own teacher apps recommendations that you would like to share with me, tag me on Twitter at @dianathewizard. I’d be glad to find new inspiration with your help.
Do you want to find out more about how you could help your students learn languages in a fun, fast and interactive way? mondlyWORKS allows you to bring the power of Mondly to your classroom. Add and manage users, customize content and track usage & progress!