Best of the Best Lists

Classroom Audiovisual Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. Today’s teachers will never know the pain of having their overhead projector bulb go out in the middle of an important lecture. They can use smart boards to display essential visuals and use a stylus to draw and write important notes on top of the visual. They can use the smartboard screen as a giant touchpad, and drag and drop and manipulate the visuals at will. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these classroom audiovisual apps, tools and resources:

ActivPanel: ActivPanel provides a new approach to an interactive whiteboard that is far more advanced and user-friendly than the first models. Their design is meant to mimic a tablet that resides at the front of the classroom. It offers better visuals and a more natural writing experience for everyone.

Uscreen: Uscreen is an all-in-one platform for anyone that needs to build content online and add subscribers to their services. It can be used to create online courses, videos, podcast, and other digital materials. It can be used to provide video subscription platforms including native apps for iOS and Android devices. Uscreen can also be used to design websites and launch streaming services quickly, and it can be used to deliver video content to mobile devices and other streaming platforms.

Haiku Deck – This is a tool for preparing presentations using images, text audio, and video to make engaging presentations. It has default themes and layouts and stock photographs across the spectrum that users can choose from the gallery for their slides or images. Work can be shared via different means or exported as an MP4 file (with or without audio) that is compatible with PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides format. This tool supports integration with Google Classroom.

EdPuzzle– This app is perfect for a classroom in which video clips are used to drive home points. Videos can be imported from YouTube, Khan Academy, and Learn Zion; the teacher can add his/her voice to the presentation to ask questions and more. This also allows the teacher to know whether students truly understand the message the teacher is trying to get across.

Knovio– Knovio helps you turn PowerPoint presentations into high-quality video presentations with the use of a web browser and a webcam. This app makes it extremely easy and fast to transform your basic slideshow into an all-access video presentation that can be shared through social media and email with ease. With moving pictures, seamless transitions, background music, and fluidity, your presentation will come alive and help you attract and hold your audience’s attention.

In 3D gallery–  This is a cloud-based tool that can be used to create presentations online and play them back with the use of a browser and Internet connection. It helps to convert your presentation ideas into professional animations without being an expert.

NearPod– Create interactive PowerPoint presentations and send them out to your students’ devices using NearPod. It has creative features such as polls, quizzes, drawing activities, fill-in-the-blank, and open-ended questions. You can include 3-D illustrations in your lessons to engage our students. Get immediate feedback on your device for questions you include for your students.

Slidetalk: Convert your PowerPoint presentations, eLearning content, business presentations, and tutorials into interesting videos with high-quality audio. Slidetalk creates high-end text-to-speech output in multiple languages, eliminating the need to record voice-overs for your presentations, which can be quite costly and time wasting.

SMART Boards: Give your students an immersive experience that encourages them to learn math and science topics. The platform allows teachers to develop more learning opportunities for their students and help them acquire the skills they need to succeed. It also allows teachers to sync materials from their computers to the board automatically.

MC Squares: Help students to collaborate and display their work with MC Squares. These miniature whiteboards allow students to fill out their information, design, or response to a discussion. When they’re finished, the boards join together to create one large whiteboard on the wall where everyone’s MC Square will be displayed.

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9th Grade Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love

Are you looking for apps, tools, and resources that you can use with your 9th-grade students? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.

7 Speed Reading– This app can help you become a proficient reader in the English language while eliminating old habits that hold you back. With 7 Speed Reading, students can learn to recognize large clusters of words and read without first vocalizing in their heads

StudySync – StudySync offers a comprehensive, technology-driven English Language Arts curriculum for grades 6-12. The curriculum integrates reading and writing with embedded skill lessons to build foundational knowledge and improve critical thinking, comprehension, and inquiry skills. Teachers have the option to use StudySync as a completely digital curriculum or turn to the printable options. With the belief that all students deserve equal access to education, StudySync offers tons of differentiation options for various student needs, including English Language Learner segments, extensive use of video and audio components, and repeated readings. Extended writing projects use explicit instruction along with self, peer, and teacher assessment to encourage deep understanding and future skill application.

Virtual Writing Tutor – This website is a free grammar and essay checker that also proofreads your work. Simply copy and paste your writing into the text box and click a button. Virtual Writing Tutor can also provide word counts, calculate average sentence length, and assess word choice. The website does not automatically correct errors. Instead, students must review a list of suggested errors and make the corrections themselves. This forces students to think about the errors they are making, and over time, can improve their writing. The Virtual Writing Tutor also offers an error correction game for students to practice finding and correcting common English language errors and has a portal for teachers to set up pen pal exchanges.

Grammarly– Grammarly is your personal grammar coach and an automated proofreader that helps students get better in the proper use of grammar and gain confidence in their writing ability. Grammarly helps correct about 10 times more mistakes than common word processors, and it corrects more than 150 types of grammatical errors and does a plagiarism check.

3D Brain– Apps and AXS Biomedical Animation Studiodeveloped 3D Brain for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center. The app provides 29 interactive structures and detailed information about the anatomy and physiology of the brain. It also explains how the brain is affected by mental disorders and brain injury; each detailed structure also includes information on functions, case studies, and links to modern research.

A.D.A.M. Interactive Anatomy– An in-depth digital database of anatomical pictures, featuring over 20,000 anatomical images in different planes of view. Structures can be searched in different languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and many others. Images of different body parts, organs, and systems are available in detailed, colored forms. Images also have relevant and appropriate labeling for easy identification.

Bio Digital Human– Explore the human body in 3-D using the Bio Digital Human platform. Choose from thousands of immersive images to build your personal library. Responsive tools, along with detailed medical explanations, provide a fresh visual perspective for understanding the human body. This platform makes the knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and management of medical conditions accessible and available.

Bloom by Megalearn– Has your child ever asked why trees produce sweet fruits or how plants give birth? Bloom teaches your child the various methods that plants use to propagate their seed. The game teaches three methods of propagation and the plants that use them. Children also learn plant anatomy, physiology, and the names of common plants. There are no ads or in-app purchases.

InMind– InMind is a short adventurous app with arcade elements developed for Google Cardboard. This app is great for learning about anatomy as brain tissue and neurons looked so real than you can imagine. It enables players to have a lovely adventure into the human brain to look for the neurons that give rise to mental problems. It is free and can be played with any special viewer.

Mr. Body for MERGE Cube– Mr. Body for MERGE Cube will help young children learn about their bodies. With this app, you can observe the heart, brain, lungs, and more as you learn about anatomy. The app includes many facts about each body part, and you can learn their functions. Learn about your body and have fun at the same time with this hologram-esque application.

Sim Cell– Sim Cell is an engaging puzzle game that has you lead a miniature nanobot on an operation to avert a virus incursion. It lets you explore the world of a living cell, and it collects data about the cell’s anatomy and physiology. The accumulated data is then used to suggest solutions to the puzzle and rescue the cell from virus incursion.

The Human Body by Tinybop – The Human Body by Tinybop allows students to explore anatomy and biology through the lens of the human body. With a fully functioning circulatory, respiratory, and digestive system, students can explore the sounds of the heart, the gurgle of the guts, and more. In all, The Human Body by Tinybop covers eight bodily systems: muscular, skeletal, nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, immune, and skin. Students can study interactive organ models, feed the body, watch sound vibrations travel through the ear canal, and learn new vocabulary with in-app text labels. The app also comes with a free handbook for teachers and parents full of discussion questions and additional

The Miracle of Life – Focused on the human life cycle, The Miracle of Life covers fertilization, gestation, and human growth. The app is designed in a narrative format so students can follow the lifecycle as if it was a story. Interactive illustrations, games, and animation clips bring the human life cycle alive and allow students to explore and engage on a deeper level with some of the anatomy aspects such as gestation. The Miracle of Life begins at fertilization and continues through middle age. This app is available in both English and Spanish.

ZygoteBody – ZygoteBody allows for the in-depth study of anatomy in a completely virtual environment. Students can add notes, dissect parts, pin, sketch, and customize scenes to study any part of the body or bodily system. ZygoteBody has advanced navigation and a 3-D library so students can locate and zoom in on any body part quickly and easily. With a premium account, dissections, notes, and pins can be saved for later reference.

IXL Learning– IXL Learning has been proven to be effective in providing comprehensive, curriculum-based math and English language arts content for kindergarten to grade 12. It also provides an immersive learning experience in science, math, language arts, and social studies for K-12. It produces real results, which is why it is trusted by top teachers and presently used by The Elite 100.

Math Ref– To help students learn math and related subjects, this app combines 1,400 equations and formulas. It can be used in physics, chemistry, science, math, and more. There really is no reason to memorize equations nowadays; instead of writing them down or searching for them every time you need them, Math Ref will keep the formulas you need at your fingertips. The app also includes essential tools such as unit converting, triangle solver, and basic calculators to aid you in doing homework problems.

Algebrator– Algebrator is one of the leading math tutoring apps available. Using Algebrator’s step-by-step explanations of the answers to even the most difficult math problems, students can learn to solve homework problems in a way that is easy to understand. Algebrator can be used by parents, adult learners, and homeschoolers to improving their math skills.

First In Math– The First In Math (FIM) online program offers comprehensive content in an engaging format, ranging from single-step addition to complex algebra. The game-style activities ensure that students engage in active practice needed for skill retention; they are motivated using electronic award stickers when they solve questions correctly.

DigitWhiz– This app helps kids from ages eight upward learn basic math and pre-algebra skills. It uses games to teach kids multiplication, division, and integer operation. Kids earn points as they play the game. It also has a multiplayer option where kids can play with other kids from all over the world.

GeoGebra– GeoGebra comes with an easy-to-use interface and many features that help you create, modify, and share math simulations and models. It comes with multiple platforms and dynamic math software that brings together tables, graphing, geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics in a free easy-to-use package. The app also comes with free and open-source software; it has received many educational software awards in the US and Europe.

PhET Interactive Simulations: Math– This is a math learning tool created by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman in 2002. It helps students learn advanced math concepts using free, interactive math, and science simulations. PhET Interactive Simulations is a project developed at the University of Colorado Boulder; it interacts with students through responsive, simulated environments in which they learn by exploring.

Khan Academy– Khan Academy has more than 40,000 interactive Common Core-aligned practice questions and above 10,000 videos and explanations in economics, history, math, and more. This is the best study app and tutoring app for students of all ages who are struggling in science and other subjects. You can easily bookmark your best content to “Your List,” which can be used offline when you’re not connected to the Internet.

DigitalEd– Helps online educators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to make learning better for students. With Maple™, the world-leading math software from Maplesoft™, providing mathematical back-up, DigitalEd creates an efficient platform for online math-based education.

FlinnSTEM Powered by IMSA Fusion– IMSA Fusion is a complete STEM program that provides additional enrichment to students interested in science and mathematics. The name IMSA Fusion comes from the blending of inquiry-based student content and in-depth teacher content. Instructors who implement this program receive much more than teacher instructions with student pages and a box of supplies; they also receive hours of video-based, on-demand online training that truly sets IMSA Fusion apart from any other solution available. 

Morphi– Morphi is an app that allows you to create 3-D models that can – be printed into real tangible objects. Using visualization, innovation, creativity, prototypes, and education, create your best models today. Morphi can also be used as a starting place to learn any STEAM subject, stop motion animation, product or graphic design, or for Maker education. One version of Morphi is free, and volume purchases are available.

Tutoring/Test Prep Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. Back in the day, teachers would have to tutor struggling students before or after school. Now, with the advent of artificial intelligence, teachers can use this technology to tutor students during class time. All they need is a tutoring app that uses artificial intelligence, and they are all set. The app will gauge the student’s present level of academic performance, and then present the student with learning experiences and assessments to help them achieve the desired level of academic performance. As a bonus, this technology can also be used to prepare students for classroom level and standardized exams. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these tutoring/test prep apps, tools, and resources:

iTalk2Learn– iTalk2Learn is a math tutoring app that uses cutting-edge technology to ensure that students learn more naturally. This app is the result of a three-year collaborative European project to create an open-source intelligent tutoring platform that reinforces math learning for 5- to 11-year-old students. This will enable educators to deliver the correct lesson at the right time.

LearnCube – This is a virtual classroom built for teaching and tutoring online. It helps to eliminate the distance barrier between teacher and students by bringing them together in a virtual classroom. It uses an online interactive whiteboard for teaching; users can draw, annotate, type, and switch to multiple boards while on the platform. The software makes use of high-quality audio and video encoders and compression algorithms for its virtual classes. Since all the content is web-based, there is no need for downloading and learning to use the software. LearnCube also provides the option for users to personalize the classroom.

MATHiaU– MATHiaU is math learning software is offered by Carnegie Learning. It provides college-level math assistance, including one-on-one tutoring. With this app, students take thorough assessments and are given feedback that includes a personalized learning path. MATHiaU provides affordable easy-to-use artificial intelligence based tutoring.

Chegg Tutors: Find tutors in every subject area for both high school and college students by looking at their previous reviews. This allows you to search for the person who is right for you based on your needs and possibly even personality. The best part is that they strive to make it affordable by offering a discounted weekly plan to help keep students on track.

Study Island: Since 2000, Study Island has been used by children in grades K-12 for learning in an entertaining fashion. It is relevant across different subjects including math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. It comes with interactive features and mini-games that aid learning and incentivize progress.

Study.com: This website carries over 1,000 courses made of short, fun videos taught by seasoned educators. The courses vary widely from psychology to calculus, food and nutrition education to PowerPoint lessons. They provide additional learning material for over a million monthly visitors, which include children and adults of all ages and educational status. The College Accelerator membership allows students to watch videos and gather credits that can be transferred to any of the thousands of colleges and universities that participate in the program.

EMsync – This platform helps with tutoring and mentoring of young people to help them succeed in school. This platform is designed to help ignite young people’s potential.

GradeSlam– GradeSlam provides online tutoring service with certified educators delivering interactive academic support to students whenever they think they need it to be successful. The service is unlimited, on request, and available on any device around the clock. The certified educators on this platform point out student’s mistakes during the learning process and guide them on how to avoid those mistakes next time.

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Assistive Technology Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners. Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001.

For instance, teachers can use assistive technology to help special needs students succeed in the classroom. Assistive technology allows Down Syndrome students to complete assignments quicker than if they had tried the tasks on their own. Assistive technology can help students with apraxia communicate with pictures, formulate sounds, practice sound production, and improve their communication skills. It can even to help students compensate for their developmental delays. Assistive technology is nothing short of magic. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these assistive technology apps, tools, and resources:

Proloquo2Go: Proloquo2Go is an augmentative and alternative communication app that uses symbols to help those who cannot speak for themselves. It uses pictures to help users choose the right words for their unique situation. Adults can easily customize the app for more convenient use.

Articulation Games Assistive Technologies– This app includes four entertaining games with a dynamic way of teaching sound production. The games were assembled by professional speech pathologists, and they contain over 40 phenomes arranged in order of sound placement. The app comes with flashcards and professional sound recordings. Children get rewarded for making progress on the game.

Voice4U: This is an easy-to-use app intended for ELL student, people with communication impairments such as Autism, stroke survivors, and traumatic brain injury victims. The app allows its users to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings through alternative methods.

Memory Trainer: Because memory is so essential to everything else in the classroom, many teachers choose apps like Memory Trainer to help boost spatial and working memory. This program provides graphical progress so you can see the gains made in spatial and working memory. As an added perk, it also helps to work on focus and concentration.

Citelighter– Citelighter is an assistive research tool that lets you gather facts and materials and arrange them in an orderly fashion. It only takes three easy steps to use Citelighter in your research. Create an account and download the plug-in, begin a project with the toolbar or website, and you are good to go. Citelighter is also handy while you scour the Internet for suitable or appropriate information.

Natural Reader: This is considered to be one of the most powerful text-to-speech apps on today’s market. It can work with several different types of documents including PDFs, Docs, and TXT files. Perhaps the best part is that it reads with your choice from more than fifty natural voices, just as the name implies.

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Personalized/Adaptive Learning Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. Back when I was a special education teacher, the only students who had personalized learning plans where special needs students. Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) were created for them to satisfy the requirements of IDEA (Individuals With Disabilities Acts). They were notoriously time consuming, but we never complained because it was for a good cause.

Nowadays, with the advent of personalized/adaptive learning apps, teachers can create personalized/adaptive learning experiences for all students. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these personalized/adaptive learning apps, tools, and resources:

Socrative: Socrative is an easy way for teachers to identify how students are doing clearly. They can assess students or offer them prepared activities to see where they are at currently and help the system make a more personalized plan.

Newsela: Newsela combines major news and research with adaptive reading materials. Split your class up into their appropriate categories and give them an article to read. You can find relevant material for every subject area so you can incorporate literacy across your entire day.

ThinkCERCA: This is a personalized literacy platform that helps teachers convey critical reasoning skills by using argumentative writing. The platform focuses on helping students aged nine to eighteen prepare for life after high school by strengthening their analytical skills in every subject. The platform makes use of standards-aligned close reading and academic writing lessons to teach English language arts, science, social studies, and mathematics.

Cerego – Cerego is a personalized learning platform that helps people learn faster, remember longer, and objectively measure their knowledge using AI-assisted predictive algorithms. It helps organizations improve productivity as employees learn better and are better motivated and more capable. The app uses predictive learning features to deliver individual specific learning materials to its users. Available on Android and iOS devices

Flipick – This app creates a personalized learning experience for every student and helps to develop curricula. It also creates an interactive and collaborative learning environment for learning to take place.

Kytabu – A textbook subscription app developed in Kenya. The app provides access to digitized versions of all Kenyan textbooks from Standard 1 to Form 4 at rates that are affordable for African families. Kytabu uses machine learning to help provide personalized learning for learners. The learners can access educational content that includes books, videos, audios, tests, as well as exams. A great advantage of the app is that it can be used offline. This is a crucial issue in Africa where internet access is limited and often unreliable.

Quizalize: Make your subject matter fun again with the adaptive learning platform offered through Quizalize. Every assessment feels more like a game, giving students the motivation to do their best. It allows you to easily identify where students are struggling so teachers can be better equipped to make a more personalized learning plan or offer more assistance.

Knowre: When it comes to STEM, many students struggle with the math component. Knowre offers an adaptive learning experience that can help bolster a student’s mathematical abilities. They offer supported practice time, fill in the gaps with a personalized review, and offer actionable data to educators.

Scootpad: With Scootpad, students get a comprehensive adaptive learning experience. It starts with practice, allowing Scootpad to meet students where they currently are. It moves on to offer more instructional content, real-time remediation, and assessments.

Freckle Education– Students can easily fall in love with schooling again as this app enables them to work in various subjects at their pace. Teachers can monitor students’ progress across various subjects such as science, social studies, math, and English language arts.

SmartEd: With this tool, you can make relevant changes to textbooks and other learning materials to suit the needs of your students. This platform also allows you to be in direct contact with your students. It uses a game-like approach, which aims to make learning look less imposing.

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Social Networking Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love

Are you looking for social networking apps, tools, and resources that you can use with your students? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.

Edmodo– While social networking has received its fair share of criticism about the bad influence it tolerates, this app is unlike all that. Edmodo is a powerful tool that can be used to pool the creative thinking of students. It helps them think critically while fostering student-teacher partnerships to create projects.

EduStruct– This platform creates a virtual learning structure for elementary and higher learning institutions. The platform provides a social networking service for schools to create and manage their content to be globally relevant.

Quiz ME Online– QuizMe Online is a social networking website that allows students and teachers to come together to achieve success. The site is built on the belief that when students, teachers, and others with an educational interest come together to accomplish a common goal, each student has a better chance at achieving their resolutions.

Meetup– If you have a hobby or something you would love to share with others, you can use the Meetup app to get the word out. This is the largest group networking app available; all you do is collaborate with other members and meet up face-to-face for discussions or group outings. Whether you love archery, knitting, writing, or collecting rare Star Wars figurines, there may be hundreds of groups in your area just waiting for you to join.

Bookopolis Book Search– This is a social network for young readers with a built-in book discovery feature. Teachers can use this platform to build a society of readers and writers from their classes. Students can partake in book reviews and critical thinking to develop opinion writing. Teachers can track and critique a student’s work. The BookQuest option is useful for finding new book reading suggestions.

eChalk A simple K-12 app platform used to guide and pass out information. It provides an enabling environment for users to have access to an all-in-one learning tool, encouraging teamwork in a professional level. Teachers can use this app to distribute information to parents and the community at large using email and a secured social network.

edWeb– A social network of school administrators, educators, and stakeholders. This is a forum where educators share, learn, and devise new ways to foster better education for students. Educators can join this platform for free, and they can create their network of people with whom they share ideas and innovations. The edWeb network has over 75,000 members and more than online 800 societies.

Mendeley– Mendeley is a social network that allows you to organize your documents, references, research, and papers with a quick click. You can even collaborate with other users through this software, making it your productivity hub.