The current generation of students going through our classrooms are tech savvy, and at times a bit tech obsessed. Teachers are already embracing this interest in all things technical and many schools now use tablets and laptops as part of their teaching day.
With the presence of these tools in schools, teachers can access apps designed to make their lives easier – through organisation, collaboration and assessment. Many are available free with the option to upgrade for more functionality.
Here are a few examples of some of the free apps available for teachers:
Google Classroom for organisation
This is an organisation tool for distributing and grading assignments and organising materials online via Google Drive. You can create folders on the drive for assignments and projects and leave copies of documents there for your students. You can also use it to give feedback and engage in discussion online. Classroom is available to schools using G Suite for Education, described by Google as ‘a suite of free productivity tools for classroom collaboration’.
QuickKey for easy marking
This is an app that saves time marking work. The app can be downloaded to a phone, into which teachers enter the answers to a quiz or test. They can then use their phone to scan the students’ answers (on paper) to the same questions and to grade them.
Socrative Teacher for assessment
This allows teachers to easily set up assessments, such as quizzes and polls, to gauge levels of understanding by student or by topic. Open ended questioning or multiple choice can be used and teachers have access to reports and visual representation of the results. The free version will work with 50 students per session and there is also a paid for ‘pro’ version.
Nearpod for engagement
This is used to create interactive lessons, taking information from other applications such as Powerpoint, PDFs or Google Slides, and to share them with students online and in real time. They can be accessed from any device and remotely using a pin. There is also a pool of ready to use content that can be accessed for lessons, as well as assessment tools.
Noise Down for managing noise levels
Teachers looking to manage noise levels in the classroom could try this app. You set a certain noise level (by decibel) and if the noise goes above that level an alarm rings letting the children know it is time to pipe down.