5 September – the day we Indians celebrate the people who took the pains to ensure we learnt our tables, figured out our parts of speech, grasped long division, and held our hand through the rest of our academic basics. The pillars of our formal education – our teachers – are truly worth a celebration, given the fact that so many of them work with groups of students that number between 50-70 in schools, and over 100 in colleges. In a time when we’re realising more than ever before the importance of an education, this Teachers’ Day, it is only fitting that we give back to our precious teachers. Just like there are a multitude of student apps out there, there is a world of apps for our teachers too. So, here’s a look at 5 of the handiest app-tools, that are sure to make our teachers’ lives a tad better.
ClassDojo: We all know that parent-teacher meetings are a must in schools. But, an app called ‘ClassDojo’ is turning every school day into a parent-teacher-student meeting. This app ensures there is easy communication between the three, creating a beautiful classroom community. ClassDojo lets teachers share photos, videos and announcements with parents, while letting children add their classwork to their own digital portfolios, for parents to see. Boasting private messaging and translation of messages into other languages, the app also helps teachers encourage students with points and words like ‘Working Hard.’ Working on tablets, phones, computers, and smartboards, the free app has already seen 180 countries join it. With parents always updated on class activities, this app saves teachers the trouble of having to wait for the open house to give parents feedback on their children’s behaviour.
iRegister: We’ve all – at some point of our education or another – played hookey and bunked classes. It is a real task for teachers to ensure, especially with little ones, that the day’s attendance is marked without error. However, 19-year-old computer science engineering student, Manav Akela has developed an app that will help teachers record attendance without mistakes. Manav’s app, ‘iRegister’ allows teachers to assign classes like CSE for computer science engineering, or ME for mechanical engineering, and track the attendance record of students across various classes. Saving the teacher’s time and saving paper, iRegister also comes with an SMS feature which enables teachers to message parents of students who miss class for three consecutive days. Manav’s app can even be used by homemakers to track the milkman and newspaper vendor’s details, and by jails, to track inmates’ attendance.
TeacherKit: When you’re a teacher, you have countless things to keep track of – attendance, class plans, notes, reports and so much more. But what if there were an app that puts all of this in one place? Meet ‘TeacherKit’ – the app that lets you mark attendance, record students’ grades, save behaviour notes on students, and the like – all on a single platform. Backing up all your data onto Dropbox, TeacherKit ensures everything you’ve recorded stays safe. The app lets you add students in the most interesting ways, even letting you do so from a photo. It lets you create four types of reports – Class Summary, Student Summary, Seating Chart, Gradebook – and even lets you send these via email. Giving you the opportunity to contact parents as well, this app even has Arabic language support!
Google Classroom: Google has an app for everyone out there. Considering the importance of education, the company recently introduced ‘Google Classroom,’ an app that brings teachers and students closer. The beauty of Classroom is that it was designed “hand-in-hand with teachers to help them save time, keep classes organised, and improve communication with students.” What this app does is it ties Google’s many products together to help educational institutions enjoy a paperless system. So, with Google Classroom, teachers can create, review, and grade assignments quickly, all in one place. The free app allows teachers to send announcements and start class discussions instantly, while also letting students share resources with each other or provide answers to questions on the stream. If all of this isn’t enough, Classroom even ensures students and teachers enjoy an ad-free experience.
Socrative Teacher: Being a teacher means working with a number of students, all of whom have a different attention span, IQ, level of understanding and talents. It’s up to the teacher to gauge all of this and still put the subject matter across to every student. Sounds tough? It is and an app called ‘Socrative Teacher’ wants to help make it easier. According to The Guardian, the app lets teachers use real-time questioning, result aggregation and visualisation to gauge the level of understanding in their class. The app boasts everything from a mastery tracker to monitor student performance and report student mastery, to grading tools and reporting facilities. Teachers can create their own quizzes, share them, view their students’ results in real time, and so much more – all from their smartphone screen.