Like all things contemporary, education has gotten a whole makeover of late. From smartboards to 3D projectors, the technological revolution has had a marked impact on education delivery. So to keep up with the ever-changing education atmosphere, it’s imperative to incorporate innovations beyond the classroom to ensure a wholesome experience for their students.
As education is a team activity that requires the combined efforts of students, educators, and parents. Any technology adopted should be compatible with these three groups and mindful of their needs. But due to the rise in popularity of edutech, numerous companies have released their apps to enhance the learning process, and hence there must be a confusion about how to choose the best app for schools. So here we explore how these apps revitalize the classroom experience, and then discuss the important things to consider while choosing an app for teachers and educators.
How do apps help teachers and educators create a better classroom?
The traditional classroom has its fair share of drawbacks. The primary purpose of school apps is to circumvent these redundancies and pave the way for disruption-free learning. School apps achieve this objective in a variety of ways. The advantages of using online teaching apps include:
The defining factor that determines the success of education delivery is communication. The whole exercise loses its edge without proper channels of communication. Teaching applications can facilitate intuitive and robust communication channels that ensure the quality of education is maintained consistently throughout. For example, many educational apps have one-on-one chat functions that both parents and students can utilize.
Teachers have multiple students under their wing at one time. Naturally, it is difficult for them to focus their energies on an individual pupil. Teaching applications enable teachers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a particular student. Furthermore, educators can tailor resources accordingly to help their wards progress. This streamlines the whole process paving the way for productive engagement with coursework.
The pandemic has forced students to continue their education remotely. The specialized app for teachers has features that ensure remote learning can be conducted without a hitch. In addition, online classes apps are simple to use, and some are even more effective than traditional classroom education.
Instant connectivity with parents
Schools work on a fixed schedule, and most parents find it hard to manage time to connect with teachers during their work hours. But apps for teachers, on the other hand, can function instantly and ensure every parent reaches any teacher via chat. This ensures that parents get to know the academics and well-being of their children immediately and share meaningful conversations with teachers anytime they want and create a better learning atmosphere for students inside and outside the classroom.
Why are dedicated apps for teachers better than traditional channels?
Traditional channels of education delivery are often plagued by an absence of meaningful updates. The mode of education does not tally with modern standards making it difficult for students to comprehend the subject matter. Dedicated apps for teachers are able to overcome these problems owing to its innovative design. The reason why educational apps for teachers are better than the traditional ones are as follows.
There are a plethora of communication channels available in the market. Each comes with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For instance, email is perfect for updates and sharing resources. It is also secure and fast. But adopting email as the only form of communication is highly disadvantageous. There is the possibility that emails will be lost in the spam folder. Also, emails contain very limited visual cues which can lead to misunderstandings. Other cons of email include threat of viruses, attachment limitations and inability to recall a mail once it’s once it’s shared.
Another commonly adopted method is SMS. Despite being quick and simple, SMS also has its fair share of drawbacks. SMS is comparatively expensive and the character limit is a major hindrance to communication. To add to that, it is difficult to determine whether the message has been read or received by the recipient. Moreover, SMS can appear to be spam and might prompt the recipient to block unknown numbers. Thus, SMS too is not appropriate for school communications.
Similar phenomena can be viewed for other forms of communication like social media and message boards. Usually, educational institutions follow a merged approach where a particular communication channel is employed as per the situation. This leads to disjointed communication and can even result in management issues in the future. The app for teachers solves the problem by providing educators with a unified communication platform to conduct all interactions. The platform itself has options for one-to-one and mass messaging along with options like instant calling or video chat. Moreover, teaching applications possess a host of features that facilitate cohesive communication along with higher rates of engagement.
Other advantages of dedicated apps for teachers include:
- Faster communication and response times compared to traditional modes like SMS and email
- All communications are secure as it is confined to the educational institution and parents
- The technology is easily scalable in the event the student strength of the university rises
- Online teaching apps are relatively inexpensive and add-ons can be included to the base version as and when it is required.
Important things to consider while choosing apps for teachers & educators
There are a plethora of school apps that educational institutions can choose from. Each one has their own areas of specialization and are particularly effective for specific situations. However, this deluge of choice can be overwhelming and zoning in on the perfect one can be quite the challenge. Here are the most important factors that need to be taken into account.
Centralized Control by Schools
Data is one of the most vital entities of the 21st century. Thus, protecting an individual’s personal information is vital for all organisations. Same applies for teaching apps. Sensitive information such as the child’s age, home address, medical history and academic information are usually accessible via these school apps. Moreover, the history of communication between parents, educators and pupils are also stored in these apps. Therefore, privacy and security should be primary parameters when finalizing a school app.
The best course of action to avoid any unfortunate events is to select a teaching application that allows the school management to oversee all activities taking place within the app. This enables the school administrators to have greater control over the process.
Parent Engagement Reports & Analytics
The whole purpose of school apps is to ensure that communication occurs seamlessly. Since communication is a two way street, that can only be achieved if the parents engage with the information or updates shared. In order to do so, teachers need to tailor their messages or the format itself. Parent engagement reports can be used to identify the level of engagement while analytics are more suited to identify what works and what doesn’t. Thus, always choose the app for teachers that have these functions built into them.
School apps are needed primarily to ensure smooth communication. However, teaching applications come with a host of other features as well. This includes the ability to conduct online lessons, quizzes or exams. Additionally, features like language translations are also a big plus when it comes to improving the quality of education. Therefore, it is advantageous to choose the app for teachers that have multiple features that promote learning.
It is quite the hassle to jump tabs or search in multiple areas to find the information you’re looking for. With respect to education, communicating school events, announcements or even the pupil’s academic progress across multiple channels can result in a logistical nightmare. Thus, an app for teachers that consolidates all communication channels under one roof is vital to ensure uninterrupted operations.
Each person has a different perception of privacy. The chosen app for teachers must be able to accommodate this privacy requirement at all times. A flexible privacy feature that allows users to set their own definition of privacy. School management should pick applications that support privacy-oriented features.
Each student has their own personality, ability and academic pace. Thus, the problems they face during the course of their education are equally unique. A one-on-one chat function is absolutely essential for parents in order to ensure that teachers are made aware of the situation in order to begin corrective measures and vice versa.
Emergency Messaging Features
Children are energetic and enjoy running around and exerting themselves. Their bodies, however, are feeble and prone to injury. They also tend to get sick quite easily as well since they have not been exposed to as many pathogens as adults. Naturally, in a school environment, it is highly likely that pupils will get sick during school hours at some point. Thus, having an emergency messaging option will ensure that school personnel can get in touch with the child’s guardians promptly and alert them of their status in real time.
Top 5 apps for teachers and educators
Teaching applications can influence the quality of education delivery to a great extent. Here are the top 5 apps that are perfect for teachers.
With a focus on making communication smooth and straightforward, Schoolvoice is a feature-packed school parent communication app that educational institutions favor due to its effectiveness and reliability. Schoolvoice has an intuitive user interface design making it easy to use by everyone. The defining factor with Schoolvoice is the actionable message feature, which is a collection of messages with built-in predefined responses that enable parents to respond immediately, thereby boosting engagement. Other noteworthy features include:
- A teacher’s drive to store study resources in the cloud
- Ability to share photos and videos of school activities with parents
- Live broadcast options to conduct classes remotely
- Comprehensive reports and analytics of communication
- Can import/export from or to Microsoft Excel
- Comes with an emergency alert feature
- Possess in-app translation potential
- The app supports English and Arabic
ParentSquare is a unique platform that enables parents and teachers to interact smoothly outside school hours. Key features of ParentSquare are as follows:
- Forms and templates can be tailored as per the user needs
- It comes with collaboration tools to streamline the learning process
- Can easily integrate with third-party apps
D6 Communicator is a unique app for facilitating school-related communication between parents and teachers. The feature of this teaching application includes:
- A news section to display the latest school events, updates, and announcements
- Homework assignment option to organize activities for students
- Option to share documents, photos, videos, and other multi-media resources
Seesaw is a school app that is particularly beneficial for students to share their academic work with teachers. The essential features of Seesaw are as follows:
- Capable of handling multi-page activities and posts
- Compatible with both tablets and mobiles
- It comes with regional data storage options
Classdojo is a teaching app used by educational institutions to share informative portfolios about a student’s performance with teachers. The highlights of the app’s features are as follows:
- Can create and distribute interactive quizzes
- Supports mass-messaging for faster information distribution
- Provides heightened organization for educational sessions
Choosing the right app for teachers and educators is quite the task as it has a direct bearing on the quality of education delivery. With proper research and by adopting a proactive stance, the perfect school app for your institution can be found. Furthermore, the ideal app will ensure that teachers, students, and parents are actively involved in the academic journey.