George Lucas Educational Foundation
Technology Integration

5-Minute Film Festival: Getting Started With Classroom Apps

Need a bit of help bringing apps into your classroom? This video playlist and resource collection will certainly help you get started using apps with your students.

March 25, 2016
Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In a sea of ever-updating technology, it can be difficult to make sense of classroom tools. There are so many great apps out there, but how can you know which ones will work best for you and your students? We’ve gathered videos to explore 10 amazing apps that educators are already using for classroom management, collaboration, and assigning student work. Whether you have one tech device, or your school is one to one, if you’ve been thinking about introducing apps to your classroom, perhaps one of these will help you get started!

Video Playlist: Apps for Teaching and Learning

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Remind App Classroom Ideas (8:22)

    Fourth-grade Spanish immersion teacher Tabitha Carro, in Lexington, S.C., shares how she uses Remind, a free messaging app that allows educators to communicate safely with students and parents via text. It's available in both iOS and Android. Read more about the app on Graphite.

  2. Notability AWESOME! A Review and Tutorial For Getting the Most Out of Notability! (6:24)

    Notability is one of the highest-rated note-taking apps. Although it's only available for iOS on Apple devices and costs $5.99, it's a powerful tool that allows compelling visual notetaking as well as annotation and markup -- shown here by Australian educator Rolfe Kolbe. Here's a five-star review on Graphite.

  3. Socrative Tutorial (4:30)

    Socrative is a powerful (and free!) assessment tool that offers browser-based and mobile apps for both iOS and Android. You can use it as a quick student response system, to create exit tickets, or for developing full quizzes. Read a deeper review on Graphite here.

  4. Show Me App (7:36)

    After all those screencasts, here's a refreshing homegrown video of an elementary student from Taunton School in New Jersey walking us through ShowMe, a free interactive whiteboard app (for iOS only) that allows students and teachers to create and share tutorials with voiceovers. In-depth review on Graphite here.

  5. Using Edmodo with Students: 20 Ideas (16:00)

    Though this video is older and some of the visuals may be out of date, teacher Ana Maria Menenzes has 20 great ideas for using educational collaboration tool Edmodo with students. Edmodo is supported on Android and iOS. Read more about it on Graphite.

  6. Dropbox Setup in 3 Minutes (8:04)

    Dropbox is a great tool that allows you to keep your files organized across several devices, and can be used to manage student homework submissions as well. This video by Educator Technology Training walks you through how to set up an account. Dropbox is available on both Android and iOS and also has a desktop app. In-depth review on Graphite here.

  7. Organizational Tips and Tricks for Using Evernote in Your Classroom (2:41)

    In this video, teacher Kiley Haack explains how she uses Evernote, a cloud-based note-taking tool, to keep track of student portfolios throughout the school year. For a more detailed tutorial on Evernote’s features, check out this video by a different teacher, Laura Pickford. Read the four-star review on Graphite here.

  8. Why Google Apps? (5:21)

    Google Apps for Education is such a large suite of productivity tools that it's hard to describe -- but this enthusiastic educator tries to make a case for its value in five minutes (though you may notice the icons are out of date already in this 2013 video). All Google apps are free, Web-based, and in the cloud, and they also offer mobile versions for both iOS and Android

  9. Class Dojo Tutorial (9:25)

    ClassDojo is a tool that helps you manage your classroom and incentivize good student behavior. The cute animations and simple interface work especially well with elementary classrooms. Download it on Android and iOS, and read the review on Graphite here.

  10. Common Core App (3:57)

    If you teach at one of the many schools which adheres to the Common Core, this app is a good way to quickly review standards by subject and grade level. In this video, Teacher TechMan gives a short overview of the app's features. Read a detailed review on Graphite here.

More Resources on Apps for the Classroom

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the vast array of apps available for teaching and learning, and recommendation lists are almost as plentiful and tough to sift through. One great resource to help you narrow down your options is Graphite, an app review website for educators, produced by Common Sense Media. We've chosen just a few key app roundup lists below to get you started, but personal recommendation is always the best. Ask around to see what your colleagues can't live without, and then let us know about your favorites in the comments below.

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