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Apps for the Classroom

You know teacher evaluation is becoming a big deal when there's an app for it. And guess what, there is: The online PD service Teachscape this week announced the release of a new iPad app designed to make it easier for school leaders to collect and upload classroom-observation data. ...

Meanwhile, Ariel Sacks tells of her disappointment on finding that a planned new app for English teachers is oriented around pre-created lesson materials. ("Am I off-base? Is that appealing to anyone?") She goes on to ponder the kinds of apps teachers really need:

... anything that can help us organize ourselves and our students' learning better. When it comes to curriculum, we want access to good resources that respond to our students' needs and fit into our overall curriculum focus, but we need flexibility.

User-friendly ways of tracking and sharing information, materials, lessons taught, observations and assessment data could be very helpful and desirable for teachers. The best apps generally increase the user's autonomy and efficiency--like the App that tells you when the next train is coming, allowing you to make a more informed decision about where to be, possibly freeing you up for 20 minutes while you would otherwise have been waiting for a train. Online gradebooks can act like this too.
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