Technology has taken leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, improving the way students learn and the way teachers perform their lessons. Computer software make it not only easier for students and faculty but more efficient as well, enhancing the learning experience while offering more resources than ever imaginable.
With these latest advancements, many education administrators are looking for ways to implement useful technology into their everyday lessons.
We’ve come up with six educational software categories you probably didn’t think about to boost your classroom engagement and get students to perform better at school.
1. Note-Taking Software
Paper documents are messy and create clutter. Paper documents can also be damaged and leave any information on the page ruined. Ever get the excuse, “my dog ate my homework,” from one of your students? That’ll never a problem when moving all your course material onto a cloud.
Transitioning your classroom to operate paperless can be a wise decision for the planet and your workflow.
When searching for a note-taking software that’s both robust and easily accessible, you have options like Evernote, OneNote, Simplenote and Google Keep to choose from. Many of these programs offer the ability to take notes, share files, and store files like photos and web clips. Easy sharing can be an especially effective tool for educators since it helps to distribute course work to students without needing to print physical documents.
Further, if you or your students operate on a tablet or a 2-in-1 laptop, you can easily store hand-written notes on any of these options and organize them accordingly.
The best thing about adopting a note-taking software is the ability to take your notes anywhere you go –just access your notes on your computer, phone or web browser.
2. Video Conferencing
One item of software many educators often neglect is video conferencing. Video conferencing can help students avoid missing classes and have access to working with peers whenever.
A video conferencing platform extends your classroom’s reach by allowing students from anywhere in the world to join your lecture with a simple click of a button. When students are required to stay home, online access gives them the opportunity to log in to your lecture’s stream and stay up to date with class material.
Another use of video conferencing is group projects. Students can schedule meetings with their peers without the inconvenience of needing to coordinate a time and space that works for everyone. Conferencing platforms like StartMeeting let students video chat and share content easily using built-in features like screen sharing.
What’s more, StartMeeting also allows faculty to record their lectures and save them for later – now, content like orientations or lessons that have gone exceptionally well can be shared with even more students and staff.
3. Word Processing and Editing Software
Word processors help students write essays and keep their grammar in check.
Many are familiar with the most famous word processor, Microsoft Word. However, there are many other options for word processing software that will greatly boost your students’ awareness in their writing.
Hemmingway was famous for his use of simple sentence structure, making his stories easy to read and easily digestible. The Hemmingway App reviews a student’s essay for overly complicated sentence structures and encourages students to simplify their language.
Grammarly is another popular word processing software that focuses on commonly made mistakes and how to correct them. The program offers similar suggestions as other word processors like Microsoft Word, while also offering grammatical improvements to enhance a student’s composition.
If used in the right context, software like Grammarly and The Hemmingway App can greatly improve a student’s ability to compose well-written articles.
4. Language Learning Apps
Every student in the United States requires at least two semesters of a foreign language to graduate from a four-year college. To make a student’s life easier and to assist in their learning, many program developers have created language-learning apps.
These apps take language learning and turn them into either a fun game or an easy, flash-card style system that helps students learn a language at their own pace.
5. Calculators and Math Assistants
Some high-end calculators required for math courses above calculus can cost a pretty penny. Students also run the risk of leaving their calculators at home on any given day of the week. If you leave your calculator at home when it’s time to take a test, you’re out of luck.
Downloading a calculator on a smart device or computer can help students save money and frustration.
Since almost everyone carries a smart device, students will generally always have their calculators accessible during homework or classes. Apps like Graphic Calculator, Photomath and Khan Academy can offer the same functionality as many robust graphing calculators.
You’ll find many calculator apps that act just like a common graphing calculator, offering students all the functionality they need to complete their coursework.
Additionally, there are several math apps that offer problem-solving assistance, helping students work through tougher equations step by step.
6. Library Apps and Resources
Did you know that many local libraries offer a host of resources at absolutely no cost? That’s what libraries do!
Many libraries, like the Los Angeles Public Library, have partnered with online databases, like RBdigital and Hoopla, to offer members everything from free audiobooks to magazines. If you’re registered with your local library, you more than likely have a ton of resources at your fingertips that you can take with you wherever you go.
Get students and faculty to sign up with the local library. They’ll get access to the latest newspaper clips, research journals and reference materials all for free.