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AppED Review Roundup: Back to School, Back to Life – EdTech For the New Year!

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A Selection of Fun and Useful Web and Smartphone Apps to Get Your School Year off to a Good Start!

A new school year is right around the corner! Make this the year that you add apps and websites to improve efficiency and engagement to your classroom tool belt! We here at App Ed Review have picked four stellar resources for you to try as you rev up for the upcoming school year!

All the resources that we recommend at App Ed Review include an original description of the resource, 3-5 ideas for using the resource in your classroom, a validated analysis of the resource using a multi-point rubric, and screenshots that show the resource in action. If you have any questions about the resources mentioned in this review or that appear on App Ed Review, we welcome comments via info@appedreview.com.

  1. Be Funky is an awesome website resource for allowing students to edit and create collages and infographics using images they have downloaded from the Internet or digital photographs they’ve taken. When opening the school year, teachers may want students to introduce themselves by discussing their interests, hobbies, families, friends, summer time activities, and more! Be Funky lets students quickly import the images and photographs into a collage or infographic and add text, special effects, and shapes to personalize the products they are creating. That way, when teachers ask students to introduce themselves, they can have students create visuals using Be Funky that can be projected or downloaded from the Be Funky website and then uploaded onto a class website, so other students can view and comment on the visual aid. Based on the App Ed Review rubric, this resource scored a perfect 10 for its potential to engage students, so it is likely to be a hit in the classroom. To learn more about Be Funky, click here.
  2. In an almost unprecedented political climate, teachers may want a fresh resource for teaching about multiculturalism and inclusion. We highly recommend the Facing History and Ourselves website. On it, teachers will find multiple topics about inclusion, love, and history that they can blend into their instruction. Plus, this website offers several dozen instructional strategies that teachers can peruse for free! Each strategy is presented as a lesson plan that teachers can easily modify into their instruction, and examples are often included. Whether they are veteran teachers, new to the classroom, or somewhere in between, this website is bound to have ideas to support the literacy development of their students. With high scores for its productivity and easy-to-use design, teachers would be wise to visit this website when lesson planning. Check out our review to learn more!
  3. Looking for a way to objectively and randomly select students? There are many classroom applications, but we recommend Random Name Selector Lite. Want to indiscriminately select students to answer a question? Do you need to assign classroom responsibilities fairly? Would you like help equitably dividing up research topics among your class? Random Name Selector Lite provides a fair, free, way to select students. Simply enter all the names of your students into a group. Then, tap the “Play” button. Whenever the need for a student name arises, touch the question mark button on screen and voila! A student name is randomly generated. Once all students have been selected, Random Name Selector Lite will update the user. The app can be customized via themes and a paid Pro version is available for purchase with even more themes and functionalities. The lite version scored a 9 in Efficiency on our comprehensive rubric. Check out the full review here.
  4. Few things feel less efficient to teachers than printing out thousands of quizzes and tests each year. Change that outlook this year with Quiz Creator by QuizPedia. This app saves teachers time by allowing teachers to create, save, edit, and then share quizzes to their students’ devices. Teachers first tap the menu button at the top of the screen to create a quiz. From there, users add an icon image referencing the quiz. A title, description, and search tags are added. Then, teachers tap the “Questions” button to begin compiling their quizzes. By tapping the “Plus” icon, teachers can add questions and answers to their quizzes. To finish, teachers tap the “Next” button, from which the quiz can be shared via email, text, link, or social media. Teachers can even publish their quizzes to the QuizPedia cloud, view their library of saved quizzes, and more. Quiz Creator scored a high 8.6 in our review. To see classroom integration strategies, screenshots, and our full review, follow this link.

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That’s all for this month’s Roundup.  If you would like more information about any of the resources mentioned here or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at info@appedreview.com. And remember, a new academic year is full of promise, so explore and experiment to build your classroom teaching repertoire.

 

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Alex Fegely is a Social Studies teacher at The Academy for the Arts, Science, and Technology, a STEM school in Myrtle Beach. In addition, Alex is an adjunct instructor at Portland State University. Previously, he has taught English and Digital Media. Alex believes that technology is an invaluable classroom tool for differentiating instruction and engaging learners.   Todd Cherner is an assistant professor of education at Coastal Carolina University. Previous to becoming a professor, Todd was a high school English and Journalism teacher at Leesburg High School, where he also coached bowling. Professionally, Todd believes technology's presence in education is going to continue to increase, and he wants to support teachers with quality resources for using technology effectively in the classroom.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I personally think that BookWidgets has a great quiz app too! You can do everything with it! You can grade your students and give them feedback afterwards, you can also print out your quizzes if the principal asks you. You can make exams with it and it grades automatically. I have worked with Kahoot, but BookWidgets has more possibilities in different question formats. Take a look at the quiz I made. https://www.bookwidgets.com/play/HBJXXF

  2. Thank you for adding us to your list of back to school apps. We are in impressive company!

    I want to add that another way of using QuizPedia is to let the students make quizzes instead of the teacher. This makes them co-creators of learning and strengthens their 21st century skills.
    To create their own multimodal quizzes the students must research, they must verify information and distil their knowledge down to the most important key questions. In that respect the process of making af good quiz has a lot in common with writing a report – but a quiz has a longer life. Students can share the quizzes with their peers and later on the quizzes can be used to restudy.

    You can read more about this learning approach at our website http://www.quizpedia.com/schools

  3. Experiential education is when learners actively engage in activities or experiences. Students learn better when they are actively engaged in the learning process. Experiential education is a philosophy of education that describes the process that occurs between a teacher and student that infuses direct experience with the learning environment and content. The term is not interchangeable with experiential learning; however experiential learning is a sub-field and operates under the methodologies of experiential education. Experimental career education thus plays crucial role in students life. Mr Chris Salamone formerly served as a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and served as a leadership curriculum adviser at The University of Central Oklahoma. Chris Salamone works to improve the lives of young people around the world through his many philanthropic endeavors. To this end, he functions as chairman of the Lead America Foundation whose Mission is to ‘inspire and empower our young people to achieve their full potential and instill in them a sense of purpose, integrity, self confidence, and personal responsibility.’ This is achieved through engaging students (high school for most programs and middle school for a few) in conferences that combine challenging academics with hands-on experiential learning. He has also extended considerable amount of financial support to fund the education of 300 children in Haiti. https://about.me/chrissalamone

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