The internet has opened an avenue for unlimited resources and information sharing in the past few years. Today, we enjoy the digital age of instant information and instant connection through social media apps. Both old and young can tap into the convenience of apps through mobile devices. It’s no surprise that teenagers too are constantly plugged into their devices. Teachers should take advantage of the plethora of mobile and web apps that redefine teaching and communicating methods. Here are 4 apps every digitally-savvy teacher must-have.
When we think of a video conferencing app, Skype will be the first thing to pop up. But the COVID19 pandemic brought on a new teleconferencing app that took over the world. Zoom emerged as the number one app used in online teaching around the world during this period. The pandemic forced us to get out of our comfort zones and adapt to online learning. Zoom answered our need for user-friendly video calling.
Screenshot: Steve Blank
One of the biggest plus points is its ability to accommodate up to 100 participants and screen sharing too – the best way to put up PowerPoint slides and visuals.
Zoom is also inexpensive with a low monthly payment of RM20 that is perfect for us thrifty Malaysians. But it isn’t just students who benefit but teachers too. Teachers can easily grasp the features of Zoom: file-sharing, lesson recording, etc. as the layout is clear and the step-by-step tutorial for first-timers is simple to follow. The app creates a fun and accessible environment for both students and teachers that takes classroom management to the next level. By far, the biggest plus point is the ability to conduct a lesson from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you find is best for a lesson).
Thinking of managing tasks online? Say ‘hello’ to Trello! Trello is one of the favorite task-management tools used by many organizations. From startups to SMEs and large companies, Trello has a strong following. Teachers can access Trello as a tool to keep track of students’ assignments, exams, project work as it offers a dashboard for tasks to be listed.
Each user (in this case student) can be assigned to a series of tasks. Tasks can then be categorized in “To-Do”, “In-Progress/Doing”, and “Done” to make it simple. Feel free to customize your headings to better understand each category. Encourage each student to have his/her own dashboard to better keep track of their assignments and to-do lists. Add reminders, colorful backgrounds, and even links to cloud storage to enhance the experience. Best of all, Trello is free – all you need is an email address.
WhatsApp is the go-to instant messaging app in the social world, but Slack is the go-to instant messaging app in the corporate world. Much like the working world, schools can implement Slack to get messages across to students more efficiently.
Slack allows a teacher to communicate with groups of students at any one time, or personally delivered to individual students.
Much like other instant messaging apps, file sharing is easy, and Slack can access Google Search, GIFs, YouTube videos and much more for quick sharing. Teachers can keep track of students in real-time and get instant replies – perfect for taking daily attendance. As a user, a student can customize his or her Slack app interface both on the web app and mobile device. Get creative to change the color, fonts, sounds, and status of your app to your liking.
For a more fun experience in teaching, teachers can make use of Kahoot. Kahoot features templates for real-time quizzes and trivia games that are perfect for a light-hearted classroom environment.
Screenshot: Panagiotis Fotaris
The organizer (teacher) creates the Kahoot quizzes. You can further add images, GIFs, and videos to better customize each quiz and trivia game. Kahoot works well for impromptu quizzes, quick recaps of daily lessons, and even birthday celebration games. Even students themselves can take ownership and create Kahoot trivia games for the entire class. The app is designed colorful with large fonts and clear instructions on usage. Users log on to each game via a code given and can instantly participate. Get your students to join in the fun and you’ll be their favorite teacher in no time!
There’s no limit to how creative one can get in teaching high school students. These 4 apps encourage teachers to create a robust classroom environment. Try them today to enhance communication, keep track of participation, organize tasks, and have a little fun at the same time.