This blog post is based on the research conducted by our teaching teams during the Action Learning set of Spring 2019.
At NIKOLOPOULEIO, we are constantly researching and using new ideas and trends in education, aimed at helping our students become creative, confident Global Citizens. Here are our favourite top education apps.
KAHOOT! (Quiz creator)
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology. Its learning games, “Kahoots”, are multiple-choice quizzes, discussions or surveys that allow user generation, available on tablets, smartphones, and computers.
The games can be created in seconds, to immediately get students learning through doing. Quizzes can be done in class, or taken to do at home, and they allow students to track their scores.
Memrise (Language learning)
Memrise is a language learning app that uses memes and videos, with real conversational language from native speakers. We really like the way it focuses on pronunciation, and has a great variety of vocabulary and grammar games that are always in context. (Memrise is for individual not class use, but it doesn’t yet support Greek.)
Duolingo (Language learning)
Duolingo is the other top language learning app we recommend for English, with gamification poured into every lesson. Using a range of activities such as translation, comparison, visuals, and audio, it adapts to the student’s level and learning style, on-the-go. Students love the immediate grading and rewards, with virtual coins unlocking new levels. It also has a very cool Duolingo English Proficiency Test, so they can track how they are doing. (Currently, the Greek version only supports English.)
Evernote (Note taking)
Evernote is an app designed for note taking, organizing, task management, and archiving, incorporating text, audio, and visuals. It’s useful for keeping all of your projects in one place, allows sharing, plus enables categorization using tags. We think it’s a great tool for making sure nothing falls through the cracks, plus it’s fun to use, capturing ideas and inspiration in notes, voice, and pictures. The more an app uses tech that we use in everyday life, the more we like it!
Edmodo (virtual classroom)
Edmodo is an edtech Social Networking app, connected to Google Drive. It enables teachers to share engaging lessons, keep parents updated, and build a vibrant virtual classroom community. It means educators can share content, distribute quizzes, assignments, and manage communication.
Additio App (virtual classroom)
Additio App is another classroom management app, with the ability to share content, and manage assignments as well as student/ parent communication.
It also has some other cool features which are useful for optimising teacher time; a standards-based digital gradebook (tracking grades and calculating averages), attendance tracker, built in lesson planner, and timetable and calendar feature.
ClassDojo (virtual classroom)
ClassDojo is the third classroom management app we recommend, and a great one for younger students. It’s a beautiful, safe, and simple communication app for teachers, parents, and young students. Some of the features we like for this age group are the fun way to provide feedback using award badges, the feed for photos and videos from the school day, and the private messaging system for parents. It also has some great teacher tools, with the ability to create groups of students, display activity directions, and even turn on background music. With its commitment to always be free for teachers, this gets a big hands-up from us!
Cloud Storage and File Sharing
Google Drive, Dropbox and WE Transfer are great for file sharing. We have grouped them together because they all have free options to be able to upload and share from a synchronised folder, with an expiry date for access. They have very similar functionality, and the biggest advantage is that you can share those bigger files that you can’t send by email.
Google Drive has the added benefit that you can keep the files shared with no time limit, tracking date and user for changes, avoiding multiple versions of the same document causing confusion!
So here are the 8 top solutions we have our eye on at the moment. It’s all about finding tools we love to use to add to face-to-face teaching, that are also safe and responsible.