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RoundUp May 2015 – Cool Instructional Tools!

This month we are examining a teacher’s best friend, instructional tool apps! The apps outlined below will help you with instruction while contributing to your productivity, pacing, and more. These instructional tools are just a few or our favorite teacher resource apps, be sure to check our website for even more!

And remember, each and every app reviewed by App Ed Review is analyzed against a comprehensive rubric in a consistent, informative manner by a panel of state-certified teachers. In addition, each review includes 3-5 instructional ideas for how to integrate the app into your teaching!

  1. Teacher Timer is an easy-to-use app that we highly recommend for teachers who are concerned about pacing their lesson. Although we plan our lessons and estimate how long each part of the lesson is going to take, our pacing sometimes gets off kilter. A student may ask a question, further explanations may be required, or something else may go a dither. With the Teacher Timer app, teachers will be able to set specific amount of time for each component of their lesson, which will allow them to budget how long they spend on the lesson’s different activities. Because teachers will be able to use this app multiple times during a lesson, this app earned high scores on the Productivity and Frequency dimensions of our rubric. Plus, with its screen design and media integration, teachers will have no problem using Teacher Timer in their classroom!
  2. Remember that student who claims that he or she is called on too often? Well, if that is happening in your classroom, try the Random Name Selector Lite With it, teachers create groups of students and then use the app to call on students randomly, which will take the “muss-and-fuss” out of students who claim to be called on too frequently. Whether it is part of a class discussion, debate, review, or some other activity, this app will prove useful once it is incorporated into the classroom routine. With high scores for its aesthetics and ease of use, teachers will have no problem using it. For our full review, click here.
  3. Do you ever wish students wouldn’t skip ahead? Have you ever wished students had the presentation right in front of them? Nearpod is a synchronous screen-sharing presentation app offering all types of teacher-friendly abilities. To begin, a teacher makes a Nearpod presentation using Nearpod’s tools or simply uploads a PowerPoint and Nearpod will convert the file into a Nearpod presentation. Interactive question and answer slides, web pages, videos, and more can be added to the Nearpod presentation. Once the presentation is saved to the teacher’s Nearpod library, the teacher can open the presentation file on his tablet and share the short presentation code with the class. Students then enter the presentation code to join viewing the presentation regardless of tablet manufacturer either in their web browser at Nearpod.com or in the Nearpod app. The teacher advances the slide on his tablet and the presentation on all the student tablets advances synchronously. At the end of the presentation, the teacher can analyze student data by utilizing the Nearpod reporting tool. Nearpod scored a 7.6 on our comprehensive rubric, check out the possibilities here.
  4. Splashtop Extended Wireless Display 2 Free helps teachers overcome the physical limitations of space and computer screens by wirelessly extending the desktop or laptop display onto a tablet. Teachers can control a document or presentation based on their computer while circulating the room, control a computer hooked up to a projector and multitask on another screen, or extend their desktop to avoid having to switch windows back and forth while entering grades and scoring assignments with Splashtop Extended Display. Scoring a stout 7.9, Splashtop will help you with classroom instruction and productivity.


That’s all for this month’s Roundup.  If you would like more information about any of the apps mentioned in this Roundup or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at info@appedreview.org.  And remember, the value of instructional tool apps resides in their strategic use, and not in how they “could” be used strategically.