Teacher aides: Best apps for running your classroom

Oct 16, 2014
Tech

Teachers need every tool at their disposal to maintain order in their classrooms. These five mobile apps cover student behavior, presentations, grading, assignments, and more.

 

Teachers need every tool at their disposal to maintain order in their classrooms. These five mobile apps cover student behavior, presentations, grading, assignments, and more.

iDoceo (iOS $7.99)

Looking for a gradebook, planner, attendance tracker, and a system for delivering messages to students? The iDoceo iPad app includes all of these features in a gorgeous and straightforward design. The spreadsheet engine averages grades as teachers enter them, removing a secondary device or application for making calculations from the process! They can even set up custom grading systems, upload files of all sorts, create seating charts, and make notations in the planner. iDoceo’s customization features and its independence from a Wi-Fi connection make it a must-download for teachers, especially those managing multiple classrooms.

Socrative Teacher (iOS Android, Free)

Socrative Teacher by Mastery Connect, an app specializing in quiz and poll creation, removes grading from a teacher’s routine. Imagine a classroom where every student is assigned and instantly receives their true/false or multiple choice quizzes on an iPad, iPhone or Android device. Once completed, Socrative sends the results via email, Google Drive, or direct-to-device download. The reports are available as an Excel spreadsheet for a whole class, a PDF for specific student(s) results or a PDF based on a specific question. Teachers can use any of this real-time data to determine when one-to-one teaching is appropriate, focusing on concepts where particular learners are struggling.

Subtext (iOS, Free)

Changing gears, the free Subtext iPad app provides a unique and interactive reading experience for teachers and students. After creating a classroom group, you can use Subtext’s resourceful public library, which incorporates Google Books and the Associated Press, to upload books and articles that are ripe for critical analysis and lively discussion. Teachers can insert assignments, questions, polls, or just interesting notes for the entire class. In addition to these content tools, there are templates and curated assignments available that dynamically link students to the text. Subtext is definitely handy for elementary through high school classrooms.

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Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Track Student Behavior (iOS, $5.99)

The Teacher’s Assistant Pro app, developed by middle school teacher Chris Hoovler, is a foolproof tool for logging student behavior and classroom participation. Using this app educators can adopt a color-coded and point reward system, then import student and parent contact information. The app transforms teachers into academic detectives, allowing them to cite the infraction or incident, including location, time, photos, and description. This makes parent-teacher conferences a lot more succinct when discussing whether a student’s behavior has a positive or negative impact on the classroom. There’s a free version available, but it has a limit of three actions per student, so we recommend going all-in on the paid version from the get-go.

Doceri Interactive Whiteboard (iOS Free)

There are numerous whiteboard apps available in iTunes, but the free Doceri Interactive Whiteboard app has great customization options and is consistently bug-free. You can create hand drawn (or is it hand-swiped) presentations directly on the iPad and insert photos that compliment the lesson topic. Doceri accesses (with permission) your iPad’s microphone so that you can convey key points with an eloquent or humorous voice over. Teachers can present using their iPad (via Airplay) or through a desktop, which is available for individuals ($30 each) and administrators can request a quote for cost if they want to implement Doceri software schoolwide.

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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