The promise of web apps to revolutionize your classroom is something we’ve been interested in for a while now. At best, they offer new tools that can enhance your classroom. At worst, they can waste your (and your students’) time and money. We gathered the most promising web apps you can leverage to conquer the classroom in 2015. Discover them here.
We LOVE Infogr.am. Have you ever come across a beautiful infographic that not only took your breath away, but informed you? Infogr.am is an incredibly easy way to create sharp and responsive graphs, charts, and infographics. Simple, user-friendly menus guide you, generating a responsive infographic with any data you plug in. Using the tool, it’s easy to enter data and select from many beautiful displays, including a pie chart, bar graph, or pyramid graphic.
Tip: Give your students the gift of data literacy with a project that uses data about your students. For example, have students discover what each of their classmates favorite holiday is, then create an interactive graph that displays the data students collected. Older students can be challenged to research a question as part of a larger project, and report on their findings with the infographics.
Cost: Free for basic use — which is just enough for most teachers. Extra features can be found in paid options, but educators get special discounts.
EduCanon allows you to add guided learning to videos from websites like YouTube, Coursera, Khan Academy, Udacity, edX, and Vimeo. Instead of regular video, eduCanon makes it easy to insert any kind of assessment to a video: multiple choice questions, fill in the blank, free response, and more. You can then review students’ progress and answers from a dashboard. Pretty nifty.
Tip: While this can be useful for teaching and assessing with video in any classroom learning style, many teachers find it helplful with homework assignments and flipped classrooms. EduCanon puts a lot of effort into their blog for teachers, which you can read here.
Their website proudly boasts that “Canva enables anyone to become a designer,” and, admittedly, it seems true. Just a few minutes on the site yielded some sharp graphics. For educators specifically, Canva’s goal is to “spread visual literacy and enhance the classroom learning experience by providing students and teachers excellent resources, completely free of charge.” The site includes a how-to blog called Design School, design resources for teachers specifically.
Tip: Check out some of Canva’s great lesson plans. They’ve recruited several leaders in education, and the EdTech space to enhance the offerings.
Keep students and parents up-to-date with what’s happening in the classroom with Remind 101: a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents — developed with a voluminous input from their teacher advisory board.
Tip: Check out their free education blog.
5. RSS Feed Readers to Enrich Your Own Learning
Great teachers are never finished learning, but it can be hard to keep up with all the content that demands our attention on the web. RSS feeds let you collect articles from your favorite teaching resources and blogs into one place — creating a steady stream of your favorite content. There are many RSS readers, find one that works for you with a quick search, or by reading this article.
Tip: Add a few valuable blogs or websites to your feed, then set aside 15 minutes a day to skim the feeds, and get energized by great ideas.
Cost: Free for most, but RSS apps might cost money. It's up to you!