Christine Eason's picture

I have always tried to become more efficient.  Whether it’s cleaning the house in record time or explaining a music lesson. When I received my iPad2 I instantly knew it was going to be a game changer in education. Student engagement was automatic, and their excitement for this device would last longer than the silly band fad.  It only took a few days to realize that this device was not only an amazing tool for teaching students, it could make my job easier and keep my life organized.

So here’s my top 5 list of must have teacher productivity apps that got your life covered.

1.  Google Drive (free)

Last year I told everyone that numbers, and pages were a must have.  Not anymore. With Google Drive you can create documents, spreadsheets, forms, slide decks, and more.  It’s a web-based software and until google allows us to edit offline that remains the only drawback. All data is synced to your google account so it can be accessed from any internet device.  Drive also allows you to share documents with multiple users that can access and edit the same document at the same time from different devices.  This has allowed me and my team of specialists to share one document that we can update simultaneously. 

2. Evernote (free)

I have only recently discovered evernote and still have a lot to learn.  Evernote has a host of apps (skitch, penultimate, food, etc...) that all talk to each other and compile everything into one spot where you can then sort into notebooks.  On your home computer downloading evernote web clipper is a must.  With web clipper an interesting article online can be saved to evernote with just a few clips.  No more saving web links, cutting and pasting info into a word document, or bookmarking pages for 1 article.

3. Pandora (free)

With Pandora you can create stations based on artists, songs, or genres you like. Our PE teacher uses the “Kidz Bop Kidz” station and since discovering Pandora he hasn't purcahed 1 song.  Once you have created a station you can fine tune your channel by touching the thumbs up/thumbs down icon while that song is playing.  If a song comes on that you would prefer not to be played, just click the thumbs down button and the song will not play through that station again.  Look into instrumental stations as well.  Pandora customer service is also top notch.  I emailed them twice about making a kid friendly station and high BPM dance instrumental stations and they were quick to reply and gave great advice.

4.  Your personal banking app (free)

As teachers it’s VERY important to keep an eye on your finances.  If most of you are like me, we walk a tight financial rope.  I log into this app everyday.  Just last week I found a fraudulent charge and was able to catch it while it was still pending.  

5. Dropbox (free)

Dropbox is a free cloud storage program.  It's perfect for holding large files like video and pictures.  With drop box you can also share files and folders with others. Using dropbox and google drive give you 10GB of free storage, but remember - only drive allows you to create and edit documents.  If you invite others to download dropbox and create an account they give you bonus storage space!

Open up the app store and start downloading!  We plan to examine education apps in following blogs.