11+ Top Smartphone Apps to Improve Teaching, Research, and Your Life

I love finding articles entitled, 6 Top Smartphone Apps to Improve Teaching, Research, and Your Life written in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The article written by Jeffery R. Young discusses the ways smartphones have revolutionized the classroom, particularly in higher education. The article mentions some interesting ways smartphones have begun to change the college environment such as by taking attendance, collecting data, researching, taking notes, using textbook tools, and mind mapping to plan a lecture.

How could this technology be brought into the secondary school environment?

I just discovered Android Academics, which has 4 free apps that will make your life as a teacher easier: Grade-book, Attendance, Grade Rubric, and Grade Ticker.Android Apps for Academics has some pretty nice apps and features. The following information is directly from the Android Academics website. I have personally used the grade ticker and I can’t wait to try the following academic apps.

Grade Book for Professors (with Google Docs Sync)

Edit your grade book directly from your phone!

  • No need to sync two separate grade books! Use one primary grade that is stored in the cloud on Google Spreadsheets.
  • Email a student their grades with the click of a button!
  • Pin-number to protect your grade books in case your phone is lost.
  • NEW: Email ALL students grade report with one click
  • NEW: Grade session feature and Assignment View allows for quick and easy grading of a single assignment.
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone
  • NEW FREE VERSION – does everything paid version does – it’s just ad supported

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Attendance (with Google Docs Sync)

A simple and efficient way to take attendance with your Android device! All attendance results are saved to a Google Spreadsheet.

  • No need to enter student names into phone. Just get the student names into a Google Spreadsheet and the app handles the rest.
  • NEWCheck out our demo video
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone

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Grade Ticker

Simple tool to help professors and teachers make grade tallying more efficient

  • Integrates with Gradebook for Professors for easy grade entry
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone

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Grade Rubric

Simple tool grading tool for professors and teachers who use a grading rubric for assignments. Option to auto-generate an email with detailed grade report for student.

  • Custom rubric labels.
  • Choose letter rubrics and numbers rubrics
  • Integrates with Gradebook for Professors for easy grade entry
  • Direct Market Linknote this link only works when browsing from an Android Phone

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I checked my Android Market for some useful apps mentioned in this article that could be brought into the secondary classroom. I found an app called Teacher Aide Lite. This app allows teachers to use the Android phone to take attendance and send texts to parents to notify about tardy/absent students. I think this will help organize my classroom and bring it into the 21st century.

Current Features
* supports 45 students/class, 8 periods/day
* supports 3 Marking Periods/semester and 2 semesters/year
* default values set to Present for fast attendance taking
* import student names via CSV file
* export data via CSV generated file and send via email
* 1-click text to students/parents for tardy/absent students
* 1-click Random student generator (no more Popsicle sticks)

Upcoming Features

* Simple Grading interface to allow recording of assignments turned in
* Texting and emailing feature to notify students/parents of missing work
*Additional Grading options – using points and categories

Other uses for Cell Phones in the Classroom: Please see a previous post.

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