Category Archives: Student App Reviews

GOOGLE CLASSROOM

Name of Application: Google Classroom

Cost: Free

Pros:  Helps you organize by class, period/section, and course.  Lets you communicate with an entire class by a “stream” wall that allows you to post updates and notifications for all enrolled.  Tracks assignments.  The platform allows students to review work and get assignments while home/away.   More professional way to speak with an entire class than the “Remind” app.  Integrates with Google drive and allows you to re-use syllabus, required materials, or course material.

Cons: Requires your school/institution to setup a Google Apps for Education account.  Will require constant use and upkeep to maintain good records and class utilization.  Requires students to have access to the internet/computer at home.

I wasn’t able to use this with any of my classes, however I experimented with the app as much as I could without having an account.  Additionally, I reviewed many tutorials to see its functionality.  These tutorials showed the application/website from both teacher and student view.

This is something that I would definitely use with my classes, however I would have to make my class know that this tool is meant to supplement their coursework in school.  I don’t want to take away form their development of time management skills while in school

Number of Stars: 4.5

TPT

Name of Application: TpT

Cost: Free

Pros:  Large amount of content, easy to purchase, quality resources, creates revenue stream.

Cons: Not very user friendly, search function is not accurate, in need of further development, dependent on high user population adding new content.

I tried this app to see what kind of lesson plans or classes were created that I could use for class.  Setting up an account was relatively easy.  I have not yet offered any of my material on the app, however I like that teachers can do so.  The freebie of the day is elementary, but still nice-to-have.  The app’s suggestion function was helpful as well.

Conclusion/Commentary:  This app is useful, especially since it’s free.  While I wouldn’t rely on the app for all the content in my classroom, I do believe it’s useful to help supplement my lesson plans.

Number of Stars: from 3.5

QUIZLET

Name of Application: Quizlet

Cost: Free

Pros:  Easy to use, fun, creative, effective, large amount of existing content.

Cons: Takes time to create cards/quizzes.

I’ve used this app many times before to study things from hobbies to school topics.  I’ve always enjoyed this app, especially the large amount of content that already exists that is free for users to access.

Conclusion/Commentary:  Using technology to create fun games and flash-cards to study and memorize things is a very effective way to teach.  While teachers using this app will need to provide additional instruction on concepts and context that isn’t possible to convey through flash-cards, this is still a very useful tool.

Number of Stars: 5

REMIND

Name of Application: Remind

Cost: Free

Pros:  Easy to setup, convenient, technology driven, applicable to student’s lives, good platform for teachers to communicate with their student’s parents.

Cons: Privacy concerns, could be abused (by teachers, students, or parents), informal, places ownership on teacher to remind students, forces parents to give their children a smart-phone.

I used this app briefly to set up my account, however I spent a good amount of time exploring the functionality and user interface.  The user can be a teacher, parent, student, or administrator. This creates communication channels between these people.  Selecting your school, creating your class, and searching for “recipients” is all very easy.

Conclusion/Commentary:  This app would be best used to communicate between the teachers and parents.  Providing a mechanism for teachers issuing constant reminders could serve to make students dependent on the extra guidance and give them excuses for not properly managing their time.  The app could be abused by any of the potential user groups and become a platform for harassment, bullying, or abuse.

Number of Stars: 3

ZIPGRADE

Name of Application: ZipGrade

Cost: Free

Pros:  Convenient, Inexpensive, User Friendly, Time-Saving, Efficient data analytics.

Cons: Limited functionality, requires printing, possible privacy concerns (uploads identifiable information to online platform).

I used this app simply by testing its functionality.  This app is used to quickly grade exams for which answer keys have been created through the program.  Teachers can create the answer key to multiple choice exams, print out these answer keys for their students, then immediately scan and grade them upon completion of the exam.  The application will organize the results in Microsoft Excel and provide statistical analysis. An added benefit of this app is its application through confidential feedback surveys that can be given to students.

Conclusion/Commentary:  Since this app is free and the monthly membership for increased usage requires only a nominal fee, I recommend downloading the app and using it for multiple-choice tests.

Number of Stars: 4

PAGES

Name of Application: Pages

Cost: Free

Pros:  Easily draft notes, letters, emails, etc. on the go! Many templates provided. Features include sending copy of document via PDF, Word, RTF,  ePub formats, collaborating with others, adding photos, objects, 3D graphs, and tables into the document, track changes, among many other things.

Cons: App runs slow when adding videos into the document.

I used this app frequently to draft personal todo lists, emails, and homework when I am on my way to class or work. It is easy to use because I am able to copy the information and paste it wherever I need to without having funny formatting. I find this app a lot more convenient than the Notes app which I used previously.

Conclusion/Commentary:  Highly recommended!

Number of Stars: 4.5

iMOvie

Name of Application: iMovie

Cost: Free

Pros: An app for making movies. It is a great way to use video of your students dances and create short movies with them. It is simple and almost all the app abilities are part of the regular free version. It gives great tools for editing the images and background visuals for the videos.

Cons: The app does not allow you to use your own music from your iTunes which I find strange and not as effective for dance teachers.

Use: I downloaded this app after needing to cut together long dances for a video portfolio.

Conclusion/Commentary:  The app worked really well and had some great edits for the video. However, after realizing you cannot use your own music I will not be using this app until they can update that feature.

Stars: 3

Popsicle Sticks: Teacher Picks

Name of Application: Popsicle Sticks: teacher picks

Cost: Free

Pros: A great tool to help choose students at random to answer questions, form groups, partners without them feeling like the teacher is being biased.

Cons: The app does not come with many features unless you do the in-app purchases.

Use: I have not used this app passed the first time downloading it because I felt it was not worth $2.99 with how little it came with in the free version.

Conclusion/Commentary: Will wait to see if they update the free version before purchasing.

Stars: 3

Class Dojo

Name of Application: Class Dojo

Cost: Free

Pros: A must for teachers! This app creates an easy way to help give students positive reinforcement with great visuals and sound effects. Great to manage student behavior and even create report cards that parents can also be connected to.

Cons: May seem immature for upper grades.

Use: I use this app to help reinforce student behavior in my special education classes in younger grades. .

Conclusion/Commentary: I plan on continuing to use this app.

Stars: 4

JEFIT

Name of Application: JEFIT

Cost: Free

Pros: If you are looking for a great workout recording app this is the one for you! It is really easy to use and comes with so many pre-made workouts that you can just add to your daily routine. It helps manage your gym day even down to showing you how to use a specific machine.

Cons:

Use: I used this app to record my workouts and help me keep an eye on my goals.

Conclusion/Commentary: I plan on continuing to use this app.

Stars: 5