Useful Apps for Teachers

Here are sites I use. Most of them also come as iPhone and iPad apps, if you use those devices. I just got an iPad for my birthday, and it has already helped me in various ways.

The first three are for teachers who use computers at home and class. The first two also have iPhone and iPad apps.

1. Evernote
There are uses for this I have not tried yet, so I’m not even putting it to its full uses. But what I use it for right now is saving sites, PDFs and other documents I find useful for teaching and don’t want to worry about which computer I downloaded it to or bookmarked. You can save everything with this app, hence the name, including photos and noted you jot.

2. dropbox
This I use to upload documents I create as well as everything I get from school that I need easy access to, like curriculum maps. It’s like a hard drive in the sky.

3. Planbookedu.com
This is a useful planning sitefor teachers who don’t want to carry around a plan book anymore. I like that you can create as many periods a day as you want, can format your writing, attach Common Core standards to each lesson, as well as any other document you want to link. I found it somewhat limited, though, because my schedule is different every day, and I wanted a digital planner where I could have a box per day for the lessons I teach, without having to rewrite my schedule each day, and still be able to write a different lesson for each period. So, in a sense, this is a lot like a paperless paper planner, with the ability to link useful items.

iPad apps:
1. Planbook Touch
This is very much the app I was looking for. With this app, can create multiple planbooks, like one for my regular schedule, and one for small group guided reading. It repeats my schedule and I can write in my lessons each day. There are some glitches and details the creator says will be fixed in future updates, such as being able to color code each subject (right now it’s color coded but the colors are automatic. At my school, we color code subjects; I’m not naturally that picky). It allows you to create a format for the lesson, giving you space to include homework, the essential question, etc., or if you like to write out the teaching point, active engagement, independent work, etc within your lesson.

Go to the developer’s websitefor a more comprehensive description of what it does, and screenshots.

I do wish I could name the different plan book files I create, though, so I can clearly see which is for my small groups and which is whole class lessons.

The next update I’d like is the ability to print the plans out as PDFs so I could email lessons to an administrator (you can do this already with Planbookedu). Right now, you basically need an iPad or maybe a Mac, because it seems there is a companion program for the Mac you can save and transfer your plans to, but I don’t use that since I don’t have a Mac at home.

Update: The App or I somehow just lost ALL of my guided reading group plans for the entire month of October :(. Note to self: email your plans as soon as you write them!

2. Confer
A wonderful app for creating conference notes for any subject where you meet with students, or do small group work. You can group student by strength, teaching point, reading level, next steps, and flag them for things like running records. What’s great is that the students you need to meet with are listed at the top of the list, and the ones you have already met with are automatically at the bottom. You can group students by name or date you last took notes on them and, if you work with a small group, you can select all the students and write one note and it is saved for each of them!

Again, one great addition would be the ability to save the notes to dropbox or be able to email them as PDFs.

iPhone apps:
1. Notesy: basically, this is a note-taking app that lets you save your notes two Dropbox, making them available to print or save on any iPad or computer. Since I don’t want to use my iPad on the subway, this is a great way for me to write on my phone and send it to myself for later incorporation here, in Planbook, or Confer.

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4 thoughts on “Useful Apps for Teachers

    • Yes, on twitter in fact, and via email! The developer is a former teacher himself, so I imagine he is quite responsive, since he understands the need for such an app! 🙂

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