Thursday, August 5, 2010

How the iPhone Can Help You Be a Better Teacher

A teacher equipped with an iPhone and the right applications is an educational force to be reckoned with. Not only will your smart phone be a tool for organization and communication, it will also help you expand your knowledge and dive into your imagination. Listed below are ten of the best iPhone applications for teachers out there. Explore and use them in your classroom, and soon enough, you’ll be wondering how you ever managed teaching and living without them.

1. Educate: Plan your class schedules, keep track of student progress, and communicate with all your students at once with this easy-to-use application. Educate looks to help teachers organize their time and efforts by being the ultimate teacher’s tool for success.

2. Teacher’s Aid: If you run out of ideas for what to do in your classroom, Teacher’s Aid has your back. Browse through the variety of creative ideas in this application. From icebreakers to workshops, you will have a phone filled with ways to engage and educate your students.

3. Date Wheel: Be on top of all your personal and professional appointments and assignments. The Date Wheel will tell you how much time - months, days, and even hours - until you or your students need to finish a task. With this application, you can remind students about an upcoming deadline from the moment they ask or it crosses your mind.

4. QuickVoice: Sometimes it only takes a moment for an idea to cross your mind, so why not try capturing these ideas with QuickVoice, a recorder that will allow you to make voice notes. You can also record memos, plans, and even lectures on this application.

5. Mocha VNC Lite: Transferring files between your home and work computer can sometimes leave you without a greatly needed file that you are dying to show to your students or are hoping to elaborate upon in the middle of the night. But installing the Mocha VNC Lite application will get you remote access to both of these computers wherever you go.

6. Teacher’s Pick: Are you tired of calling on the same students? Do you want to give other students a chance to speak up? Well think about investing in Teacher’s Pick, an application that will help you choose students randomly. You even have the option of inactivating students (if they are absent or have been chosen too often) so that you can pick students that have yet to participate.

7. Behavior Journal: Create the best progress reports of your students with the Behavior Journal. You can jot down quick notes on things that happen in the classroom. These little reports will help you remember how well students did each semester. The Behavior Journal will even create an analysis, filled with charts, if it recognizes any patterns of behavior with certain students.

8. Stanza: Read up on all the latest written material out there. Stanza makes it cinch for you to read digital books, journals, newspapers, and magazines on your handy-dandy iPhone. With your busy schedule, Stanza is giving you time to read by being accessible anywhere, anytime.

9. Wikipanion: Ever at a loss of what your students are talking about? Are they dishing about hip things that you would like to be more in tune with? With this application, you have Wikipedia on your side. You are only a few clicks away to being in the know of student conversations.

10. Did You Know?: Start of each school day with an interesting fact from the Did You Know application. Serious and funny facts can greet students as they walk into the doors of your classroom. Having this daily tradition will brighten up the atmosphere and get students to start talking and asking questions.

Estela Go is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on obtaining an online teaching degree for Guide to Online Schools.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'iPhone' by: William Hook


Karen Bosch said...

Excellent post. I use my iPhone all the time in my classroom and it truly has transformed how I teach. (A video about it here: ) Thanks for the app suggestions - several new ones that I will try this year!

Carrie said...

Love this article. I have an Iphone but I do not use it in class, actually I don't usually have it on me during school. I love the info on the Behavioral Journal and it how it can analyze certain repeated behaviors. Definitely looking into some of these apps.