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5 FREE Technology in the Classroom Apps You Need to Try

Janelle Cox

If you are looking to up your technology in the classroom game, then today we have a few apps that can help you do just that. Whether you are looking to improve the home-school connection, create digital portfolios, or increase student dialog, these apps have been put to the test. Teachers from across the globe have tried these technology in the classroom apps, and they like them. So here is a breakdown of what they are how these technology in the classroom apps work, and what teachers think of them.

1. Fresh Grade Technology in the Classroom App

Grade: 3-9
Cost: FREE
What it Does: Keeps track of grades and documents daily classroom activities.
How it Works: With this app, students can manage their own digital portfolios. Teachers can keep track of grades and document activities to share with students and parents with just a tap of a button.
What Teachers Think: It’s an easy way to keep track of students’ grades as well as document their daily activities. It’s available on the web, iPhone, Android, and iPad which makes it extremely accessible for everybody. The instant feedback feature as well as the Common Core capabilities are extremely helpful.

2. Bloomz

Grade: Pre K-8
Cost: FREE
What it Does: Makes parent/teacher communication easy.
How it Works: Bloomz is an app that provides parents and teachers an easy way to communicate. Teachers can post class updates, pictures and reminders, and instantly message parents, send alerts, and schedule teacher conferences all within the app.
What Teachers Think: It makes it quite easy to communicate with parents. Instead of spending time writing notes or emails, all you have to do is go on the app to contact parents instantly. It allows teachers to work smarter, not harder.

3. Class Dojo

Grade: K-6
Cost: FREE
What it Does: Tracks class-wide behavioral progress and communicates with parents.
How it Works: This app is an online classroom management tool that tracks students’ behavior in real time, while giving students and parents instant feedback through a visual tracker. It is designed to help students’ behavior keep on track while keeping parents in the loop. 
What Teachers Think: It’s an effective tool for monitoring students’ growth. It also makes it easy to communicate with parents through the stories and messaging section of the app.

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4. Nearpod

Grade: K-12
Cost: FREE
What it Does: Brings presentations to the 21st century.
How it Works: For classrooms with access to iPads, Nearpod provides teachers an easy way to manage what their students see in the screen. Students can follow along on their own screen as well as be engaged in activities and polls and quizzes.
What Teachers Think: A great tech tool to keep all students actively engaged. Whether students are watching a video, participating in a poll or reviewing their notes, they are actively participating in a meaningful way.

5. Backchannel Chat

Grade: 6-12
Cost: FREE
What it Does: Increases student dialog.
How it Works: It is essentially a teacher-monitored version of Facebook or Twitter. Students virtually engage in classroom discussions through the app.  
What Teachers Think: It’s a modern way to keep students talking and engaged in classroom discussions. Teachers are in full control of the discussion, so if any students are inappropriate, then they can be locked out. Another great feature is the ability to private message between teacher and student. This feature allows the teacher to communicate with individual students in a safe and secure manner.

What are your favorite apps to use in the classroom? Please share your top choices in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you find effective in your classroom.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.