1. Epic - by far the most popular app in my classroom. My kids love to access all of the books right from their devices. They can read books or, in some cases, have them read aloud. You do not need a class set of devices to take advantage of this app. It can be a station in your room. However, the list of devices you can use to let students interact with epic is growing. Previously it was only available in the Apple app store, now it is now available for android and via the web. The list of books that students have access to is stellar and growing daily!
2. My new favorite: Seesaw. This is a digital portfolio app where students can store work they've done. They can like and comment on one another's work and seamlessly share their work with their parents. As a teacher, I can share documents with the class and they can edit those documents. This year, I plan to let students track their progress in a self-assessment folder. They can annotate documents I send to them to instantly know (and let their parents know) what they are working on.
3. Common Curriculum - I am taking the plunge this year and going online with lesson planning. It will be my second attempt after an unsuccessful, but highly instructive year last year. I like this site mainly because it is visually pleasing:) But also because it is powerful. After some initial set up, you can plan your lessons, link to videos or websites right on your lesson plan and attach standards that you are working on quickly and easily. It also has a built-in standards tracker so that you can see how many times you've addressed each of the standards in your lessons. And best of all, it's free! Downloading lesson plans and tracking standards are part of the premium $5/month package.
4. Nearpod - As you know if you've read my previous blog post about it, I love Nearpod as a way to give students immediate feedback and to collect student data. They love taking quizzes this way. New this year, ON THE FLY interactivity. This will make it an even more powerful tool in my classroom, because it could take out some of the pre-planning. Not that I don't plan ahead:) But wouldn't it be nice to be able to change course midstream as you see a need instead of following your previously loaded lesson? I will update more as I use this feature with students.
5. Weebly - I host all of my websites, including this blog, on Weebly and I'll tell you why. IT'S EASY. The features are drag and drop. If you want to embed an image, video, map, slideshow or document, you simply drag the placeholder to the place where you want it and drop it there. Then add your image, video, etc. It integrates with google calendar for all of my calendar needs and it is visually stunning. You feel like a real professional when you have a Weebly website. Here is a great getting started guide provided by Weebly.
Have a favorite app or program? Share it in the comments!