What are the top education apps in the classroom today?

With all of the applications and websites to supplement the curriculum out there for teachers to choose from, it can make an education marketers head spin.  What platforms rise to the top in terms of use and popularity? Regardless of their specific purpose, content or feature-wise, the top education applications do share some similarities.  The all have a relatively easy-to-use interface, with a smart, specific content base, and solutions that solve real teacher problems. They fill in the gaps in the learning materials, and sometimes provide a bit of enjoyment for the students along the way.

In a survey from November 2017, over 4,000 teachers nationwide indicated their use of many education apps, and these were the top five:

The education apps most often cited for being used included:

Google Classroom (44%)

Its Drive features, including Google Documents provide opportunities for shared collaboration, among other capabilities. Google Classroom is a free web service for schools, non-profits, and anyone with a personal Google account. Teachers can create and manage classes, and students can keep track of classwork and materials, as well as collaborate with their peers, among other features.

Teacher Tenure and Google Classroom Use

Google Classroom has a variety of features for course management, as well as for content creation in a blended classroom environment which puts it into the “Educational Applications” category as well. Google Classroom use is high at 44% overall, and it also has an interesting skew among teachers based on their teaching tenure. The more experience a teacher has, the more likely s/he was to use Google Classroom for a variety of needs, learning management and otherwise. Forty-seven percent of those with 20 or more years of experience reported using Google Classroom, compared with 45% of teachers with 11-20 years of experience, and 37% of teachers with under 11 years of experience.

Kahoot! (41%)

Kahoot! is a free, game-based learning platform, where teachers and students can create games using various modules, play them, and learn through interactive engagement. They have products for both Edu and for the business world, as their interface is useful for training and motivating staff as well.

Some new features of note include the new “Challenge” mode, where teachers can assign quizzes made in Kahoot! for homework, by sharing a link or game PIN, or by integration with Google Classroom.  Challenge mode only works if the app is installed on a mobile device, or Windows 10. Kahoot! also offers professional development opportunities, with the “Team” mode, which allows them to post pedagogical questions to encourage discussion and community with other teacher users.

Remind (30%)

Remind is a communication tool that connects teachers with students and parents through messaging. Teachers create a “Classroom” and then invite parents to opt in. The app then sends messages directly to users’ phones, and indicates if a user has not seen an announcement or update. It provides one way communication, directly from their student’s teacher, also including sending photos and other media from school events.

Quizlet (27%)

Quizlet is a free platform that makes simple learning tools, that let students study anything, with flashcards, games, and other interactives in various study modes. This app is great for subjects with a lot of visual or auditory content. There are also features for science or art teachers, that allows them to create diagrams with the details they want students to see. Quizlet has a collection of licensed Flickr photographs that can be utilized as well.

Khan Academy (25%)

Khan Academy is a free platform that offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard for self-paced learning for both in the classroom and at home. Covering subjects including math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, SAT prep, and more.  It is considered a fairly solid resource for Common Core math, as well as foundational knowledge in a many other subjects.

This list of top apps used in the classroom, as indicated by the teachers surveyed, all share qualities of a unique premise, a rich content base, (or robust user created content base), and fills a gap in the curriculum. When conducting a competitive analysis of the top education apps, these should no doubt be on your list.

Want more data on teachers technology choices in the classroom? Get your copy of our research report, Teachers Talk Technology, published in the summer of 2018. Have questions? Reach out to us at mdrinfo@dnb.com or leave a comment below!

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