Our schools are getting more and more tech based. While there are drawbacks to this change, especially in regards to tactile learning, there are plenty of advantages to having tech in schools. So let’s check out some of the great tech that your child might interface with in school.
Even back in 2019, at least 80% of teachers had computing devices in their classroom. After the COVID-19 pandemic, classrooms and homes became more tech-centered when it came to education. There was an increase of educational apps downloaded in 2020 compared to previous years. Some of these apps are used in schools by teachers for the whole class. Others are used in the home. Edweek found that 93% of teachers used at least some form of online instruction, with 50% teaching online only. In a study about kids learning numbers from apps, Amy Beth Adkins found that tech is used as early as preschool to teach kids.
So what are some good education apps that teachers, students, and parents can use?
When looking for apps to help your kids in their education, make sure to ask their school for a list of apps that are used in the classroom. Download them and familiarize yourself with them. Some apps enable you to chat with teachers. This isn’t a comprehensive list but should give you an idea of what’s out there.
- Remind is an app that lets parents and students communicate with teachers and receive calendar reminders of assignments or exams. They also have online tutors available.
- Classting allows teachers to send videos, messages, and updates about class to their students. Some have described it as virtual classroom space.
- Seesaw is similar to Classting. It allows teachers to share video, links, and files with students and parents, keeping them updated remotely. With Seesaw, student-teacher communication is safe and parents are able to see their kids’ work in class.
- Classdojo allows parents to join in with students’ classes and message with the teacher. They also include language translations. With some features including background music, digital portfolios, and photo sharing, they set themselves apart by trying to create a positive classroom culture.
- Bloomz has marketed themselves as an all-inclusive alternative to apps like Seesaw and Classdojo, with everything a parent, teacher, or student needs in one place. Bloomz has similar features to Seesaw and Classdojo, such as video and communication sharing, but also includes reminder sheets.
- Khan Academy provides free online learning for all ages. This app can supplement areas our kids are struggling with or educate us as parents. A lot of us have rusty skills that make helping our kids with homework difficult. Brush up on math, science, or English skills with their free classes.
Our kids use more tech in classrooms than ever before. While some of it is built into classrooms through computers or tablets, some teachers utilize their students’ smartphones. Troomi phones have some built-in educational apps that are ideal to help kids with school and are constantly adding to the list. Let’s look at what apps help students in the classroom with their studies.
- Kahoot! is one of the biggest names in education apps at my local school. Teachers love it because it quizzes students on what they know and students love it because it feels like a game.
- Google Classroom is an educational platform created by Google. Many students already use Google apps for schoolwork (Google Drive, Slides, Photos, etc.), but Google Classroom offers a platform where students and teachers can conveniently connect. Think of it as a virtual classroom.
- Khan Academy provides free online learning for all ages. This can act as a supplement to students’ classes or teach them new subjects they want to pursue on their own. Khan Academy has a wide variety of courses and life skill classes. They even include test prep for SAT, LSAT, Praxis Core, and MCAT. And the best part? Everything is available for free.
- Canvas enables students to keep track of their classes. They can submit assignments, see their grades, watch videos, and keep track of course work.
- Photomath works with Common Core and helps students with math problems. It’s been compared to a personal math tutor and is free (with a more advanced version available for purchase).
- Quizlet is a study aid that has quizzes, flashcards, and study music. They use AI learning to target areas students struggle with and help them improve.
- Music Tutor helps students with learning music. They can learn scales, become familiar with the clefs, and can even connect to an electric or digital keyboard.
Teachers have their own set of teaching-specific apps that they use to teach their students either remotely or in the classroom. While these might not always have features for parents or students, it’s important to be familiar with what our teachers are using.
- Biblionasium is a child-safe version of Goodreads that lets teachers, or parents, create reading lists for kids. They can create their own reviews or read others’ reviews.
- Forallrubrics lets teachers create rubrics, view class grades, and evaluate performance.
- Random Name/Word Picker can be used when teachers need to randomly select students. These often have multiple customizing features.
- Pear Deck is a lesson platform that lets teachers create lessons, host classes, and integrate with other apps that teachers might already use.
- Animoto allows teachers to create videos for their classes.
- BrainPOP is similar to Khan Academy in its wide range of subjects and lessons available. It enhances classroom learning for grades K-8.
- Quizzizz has similarities to Quizlet and Kahoot! in that it lets teachers create quizzes for students. It lets students join from any device and has additional features such as flashcards and insight reports.
While an important part of keeping our kids safe is being familiar with what apps or tech they are using, another important aspect is safety from unexpected threats. President Joe Biden signed the K-12 Cybersecurity Act in October 2021. This act allows the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to look into schools’ cybersecurity and help them improve their cyber safety. One of these potential security leaks is apps giving their information to third parties and selling that information. Make sure to familiarize yourself with COPPA (Child Online Privacy Protection Act) so you know your child’s rights with their information.And consider getting your child a Troomi phone. Troomi has their own list of safe, educational apps on their phones that teach kids while keeping them safe from online predators or bullies. These phones put our kids’ safety directly in our hands through the Parent Portal. Troomi also has military-grade security that keeps your child’s information safe. So check out Troomi today to see if it’s a fit for your child and their educational journey!