Top 15 Apps for Tech-Forward Teachers: 2010 Edition

With new apps coming out daily, the Smartphone is quickly becoming an effective, convenient device for teachers. Your mobile device really can help you be more effective in the classroom. Want to get up to speed? Here are the top 15 apps that will help you stay plugged into your curriculum and keep up with students.

 

ORGANIZATION

1.       Dropbox: Make sure you are never without your grade books, or the PDF articles your students need. This organizing tool keeps your document folders so you can access them anywhere you may be.

2.       Evernote™: This app helps you keep all your media organized, from text to audio, photo to video. Next time you have a genius idea to integrate multimedia into your lesson plan or class time, save it here!

3.       Salesforce®: Here’s a treasure for keeping secure track of sensitive student data. It’s a great tool for teachers, counselors and administrators.

4.       Google™: There is an entire suite of amazing apps under this one Google roof, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Buzz, News, Earth and Maps. You can easily find just about anything on the web quickly through voice or text search—the ultimate tool for any teacher on the go.

5.       Firefox® Home: Did you have a great video to show for class, but forgot to send yourself the link? Start up Firefox Home, which can open up your home computer’s history and bookmarks via your Smartphone.


ACCURACY AND IN-CLASS RESOURCES

6.       Dictionary.com: If you can’t always define every word with the tip of your tongue, it pays to be able to with a few clicks of your fingers. For a mobile reference source, this dictionary app is amazingly comprehensive.

7.       Percentage Calculator: Are you having a tough time grading exams? Get some help with this quick grading tool.

8.       Dragon Dictation: You’re unsure of the correct pronunciation of a word and afraid you’ll butcher it in the class room. Never fear: use this text-to-voice app to ensure accuracy.

9.       Public Domain Classics: This tool will allow you to access an entire catalogue of apps that offer audio and text versions classic literature now available in the public domain.

10.   Amazon Kindle®: Need to access non-classic texts? Have you been prompted to quote a long passage from Jack Kerouac on the spot?  This Amazon Kindle app will help!

 

COMMUNICATION

11.   Google Voice: Here’s an amazing tool to help you stay in voice contact with your students, and that makes it unnecessary to exchange personal phone numbers. When students call your Google Voice number, the call is transferred straight to your mobile or home and your number always remains hidden.

12.   Facebook ™: Everyone’s using it. Although you should be wary about connecting with your students, Facebook ™ is a great way to network with other teachers: share tips, lesson plans and funny stories to get you through the day.

13.   Twitter:  You may be skeptical, but this social media tool is one of the quickest, most effective ways to find and share news, articles and studies—be they about teaching or not. Your feed can become a personal, up-to-the-second window to the world, all in the palm of your hand.

14.   Foursquare™: This app lets students know where you’ll be holding your next study session by announcing your current location. You can link the info to your Facebook and twitter feeds, too.

15.   LinkedIn™: LinkedIn helps ensure you stay connected with graduated students. Better, by linking and providing recommendations on the site, you can help students grow their professional record even before they graduate. Best of all—you can do it all on your mobile.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Brooks Doherty is the Dean of Faculty at Rasmussen College in Minnesota, where he oversees students seeking degrees in business, education, health care, and technology. Brooks has worked in higher education for nearly five years as an Academic Dean and General Education Coordinator.

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