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RoundUp August 2016 – Back to Life, Back to School: EdTech For the New Year!

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.

Be Funky

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.

Facing History and Ourselves

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!

Random Name Selector Lite

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.

Quiz Creator by QuizPedia

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.