Best Apps for the Classroom

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Mobile applications can be great teaching aids, but navigating the ever-increasing number of apps available is a daunting task for busy educators. Here, we take a look at the most useful and effective types of classroom apps.

Best Types of Classroom Apps

Apps can make teaching in the classroom more effective and efficient in various ways, ranging from simplifying organization techniques to allowing students unprecedented access to experts in their fields of study. Many of the useful classroom apps fall into two categories:

  • Communication and collaboration tools
  • Learning and instructional aids

Apps for Communication and Collaboration

Many apps facilitate communication and collaboration among teachers, students and parents. They include those that help students work together on projects, those that allow teachers to organize assignments or calendars to keep parents and students in the loop, and those that make it easier for educators to provide feedback on students' work. Among the most popular are:

Google Apps for Education

This suite of apps is popular both for its usefulness and for the familiarity most teachers, parents and students have with Google products and their interface. Google Apps for Education include Google Hangouts, Calendar, Docs and Drive; along with Google Classroom, which serves as a centralized portal for assignments, lessons and collaboration among students and teachers.


A top-rated app among teachers, Edmodo provides educators a secure online environment for sharing homework assignments, class schedules and progress reports with students and parents. It also allows teachers to connect with one another to exchange ideas.


The Seesaw app is to today's students what the Trapper Keeper was to those in the 1980s: a place to compile everything they are learning and a way to develop organization skills. This app allows students to create digital portfolios of photos, videos and notes that may be shared with teachers and parents so they may track progress and provide feedback.

Apps as Learning Tools

Apps may also serve as learning tools to help students master concepts and subject matter. They include subject-specific apps that teach math, English, social studies or science topics in fun ways, and those that allow teachers to make their lessons more entertaining for students. A few favorites include:


Kahoot! gives educators the ability to turn lessons into fun and interactive experiences. The app allows teachers to create quizzes that mimic game show experiences, and encourages students to create their own learning-focused games for their peers.


The Kindle app helps students develop vocabulary and reading comprehension skills by making it simple for them to look up unfamiliar words or concepts they encounter in a text.


Skype is actually a multi-tasking app for the classroom. While its video calling feature may be used by teachers to communicate with students and parents, it also brings lessons to life by providing access to experts in a particular field of study. Professionals who would not be available to physically visit a classroom to speak with students can instead connect with them via video calls to offer insight or answer questions regarding specific subject matter.

Learn More About Teaching With Technology

Apps are just one in an arsenal of technological teaching tools. To help teachers harness the full power of technology in the classroom, offers courses that explore and explain instructional strategies for taking advantage of technology to achieve learning goals. In these courses you'll find engaging video lessons, quizzes and exams. These include: