Are you looking for the next big thing you can use to revamp your teaching style?
What if I told you that it’s right inside your pocket?
And no, I’m not talking about your USB drive filled with PowerPoint presentations—that’s so 2010!
I’m talking about your smartphone. More specifically, your Android device.
Sorry iPhone loyalists, there’s not much you’ll get out of this post. But if you’re a language teacher, you can check out this post to see some cool iOS teaching apps.
Otherwise, stay tuned to see our list of top Android apps for first language teachers, foreign language teachers and teachers in general—if you’re an educator and you’re using an Android, this post is for you!
Why You Should Be Teaching with Your Android Device
As you already know, your smartphone or tablet holds much more power within it than you ever could have imagined possible. If you’re like most people, you already use it to watch your favorite TV shows, read the latest news and update your status on social media.
But if you haven’t fully embraced Android use to enhance teaching and learning, you’re really missing out.
The good news is that we can guide you to all the incredible possibilities that your Android device holds. Whether it’s lesson planning, organization or communicating with students and their parents, just read on to find out how you can use your Android device to transform your teaching.
Truth be told, using smart technology in the classroom is a huge advantage whether you’re using iOS, Android or a mixture of both. But sometimes, schools lean towards a specific platform for a number of different reasons. And even if you’ve historically been a fan of Apple and are currently in an Android-only classroom, here are a few reasons why you should embrace it.
- Ease of use: Androids are the preferred device for many because they’re easy to learn and give users the opportunity to choose from a larger variety of phones. Plus, Android has a much larger market share, so it makes sense to build Android-friendly classrooms.
- New techniques for teaching and learning: Not necessarily Android specific, but a few good apps can completely transform your teaching style, make it easier to coordinate with students and even open you up to a whole new world of ideas. More on that later.
- Improved communication: It used to be difficult, almost impossible, to reach out to a parent or even a colleague. We had to take time out of our busy schedules to make phone calls which sometimes weren’t returned. But now you can notify parents and students about homework assignments, upcoming events and concerns with just a few clicks.
- Increased student engagement: Students today participate in a ceaseless stream of easy entertainment, thanks to their convenient 24/7 access to technology. So it can sometimes be a challenge to keep them engaged in the teaching and learning process.
Thankfully, the same technology that keeps your students entertained in their free time can also be used to make the learning process itself more enjoyable and entertaining.
Of course, your classroom use of Android technology is only as good as the apps you choose.
Here are some of our picks for the best Android apps for your lessons.
8 Teacher Apps for Android Guaranteed to Upgrade Your Classroom
These apps are perfect when you’re looking for lesson plans and activities.
FluentU is an innovative teaching and learning platform for foreign languages that’s available on desktop computers and portable devices. It supports most major languages, and enables foreign language teachers to engage students using real-world material that’s been transformed into interactive curriculum.
With FluentU, language teachers can choose from a growing library of video clips from popular movies and TV shows, songs, newspaper articles, commercials, documentaries and more. The videos come with annotated captions, vocabulary lists, audio clips and lessons that help students gain a deeper understanding of the language, while also getting to experience the target language’s culture firsthand. The resources are realistic enough that your students won’t feel like it’s just another language lesson, but rather a unique opportunity to become immersed in another culture without having to travel abroad.
That’s not all, though. In addition to videos, games and other activities, the FluentU app for Android offers several other cool features including audio, word lookup and fully designed language courses. And don’t worry iPhone users, FluentU is available for all iOS devices as well!
Don’t take our word on FluentU’s performance. Visit the website and sign up for a free trial today.
Here you can live stream popular shows like “Dinosaur Train,” “Odd Squad” and “Super Why.” Videos come with worksheets that allow students to practice their problem-solving skills. Moreover, this app is way more versatile than you may think. All teachers that work with young learners can integrate the PBS KIDS Video app into their lesson as a way to engage children and enhance the learning experience.
And best of all, you can even modify the content to teach language learners of all ages—even adults. While most shows are in English, you can show video clips and hold discussions in any target language.
The Best Apps for Classroom Management
The busy work associated with managing assignments and behavior can eat a huge chunk out of your day. These apps relieve you of some management-related housekeeping tasks.
ClassDojo is an innovated app that allows you to set goals for your students and monitor their progress in real time, as well as reward them for any achievements they’ve made. Great for all types of teachers, ClassDojo also provides a sharing platform similar to popular social media apps, where students can display their work and help each other solve problems. And best of all, parents can easily check in to view their children’s work.
If you’re looking for an app that helps you stay organized and in touch with your students, regardless of what kind of teacher you are, Edmodo is perfect for you.
Edmodo provides teachers and students with a space for conveniently posting and turning in assignments, helping you cut down on paper and clutter as a result. It’s also an easy way to make announcements to the class.
Moreover, Edmodo makes it possible for even the shyest students to engage in class discussions. They can communicate with each other and with you without attracting too much unwanted attention, giving them a fully-inclusive learning experience that they might not have received in the traditional classroom setting.
The Google Classroom app is a collaborative app which integrates seamlessly with other apps that are part of the G Suite for collaboration, such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Slides. That makes it easy for teachers and students using Google apps to give and collect assignments and share materials.
For example, whenever you give an assignment in Google Class, you can set it to show up on a shared Google Calendar. And you can attach directions and worksheets to the assignment easily using Google Drive. By doing this, students and teachers can share a wealth of information. Everything from supplemental material and explanations, to assignments and deadlines can be uploaded to Google Classroom and distributed to everyone in your group.
The Best Apps for Communication
One of the biggest hassles for any educator is finding adequate time in the day to communicate with students or their parents. Here are some apps that work well for communication.
This app allows for quick and easy individual messages or class announcements. The ability to schedule reminders ahead of time is a huge help to busy teachers. Messages and reminders go straight to recipients’ cell phones and can be translated into 70 different languages.
You and your students will never have to miss a deadline or show up to class unprepared again—preventing unnecessary delays as a result.
Ever wanted to do all of your admin work from one easy-to-use app?
Teacher’s Gradebook lets you:
- Take attendance
- Record grades and generate detailed academic reports
- Create and manage seating arrangements
- Generate grading rubrics and more
The app can be used on your phone, tablet or laptop, with or without an Internet connection. And best of all, it integrates with Google Classroom, making it easier to bring technology into all aspects of your class.
Ringya is a communication app that’s different from most other messengers in that it’s designed specifically for teachers and students. Ideal for all types of teachers and learners, Ringya makes it easy for classmates to collaborate and stay connected during group projects, team assignments and after-school events. Its chats can easily be created, even with people who don’t have a smartphone, and all students are assigned a handy caller ID when they register. As a teacher, this is great, as it allows you to immediately see the name of the student or parent calling you!
There’s an Android App for Every Teacher
Technology has come a long way. And thanks to it, you can access everything you need for teaching and learning right in the palm of your hand. No matter what your subject area or teaching style, these Android apps can make teaching and learning easier than it’s ever been before.
Not to mention, a lot more fun too. Download one or more of them today and see firsthand how it transforms your classroom.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to teach languages with real-world videos.