6 VR Apps That Transform Education

To be transported half-way across the globe in seconds, travel back in time to visit ancient civilizations, or shrunk down to microscopic size and placed within the nucleus of a human cell all sound like things out of a science fiction movie. With Virtual Reality (VR), you can do all this (and more) out of the comfort of your desk chair. VR, one of the top EdTech trends of 2018, breathes new life into the sometimes monotonous classroom experience by revolutionizing the way we learn.

 

So sit down, goggle up, and get ready to take learning to a whole new level with these 6 VR apps:

 

1. Unimersiv

Unimersiv’s VR app is the largest platform for VR educational content. Explore the interior and exterior of the International Space Station, take a tour of the Titanic, or transverse the Acropolis of Athens as it was thousands of years ago. Go beyond the confines of a classroom and expand your horizons. With new material published every month, this VR app will surely create an engaging learning experience.

2. VirtualSpeech

Have a fear of public speaking, or just want to hone your speech deliverance skills? VirtualSpeech is a speech learning app that offers many courses and public speaking training simulations including speeches, boardroom presentations, job interviews, press conferences, and more. VirtualSpeech also offers feedback by evaluating and reporting your speech scenarios. The app can track the number of filler/hesitation words, the volume and pace of the user’s voice, and eye contact performance. You can also record your training sessions for future review and analysis.

3. Eon Creator AVR

EON Creator AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) is an app that allows users to create, collaborate and share VR content. The app helps users design incredible learning content without the need for advanced programming skills. Browse the EON experience VR library containing 3D objects and 3D scenes. You can scale the size of the objects, build, configure, combine, lay them out, and add information to them (like names, descriptions, videos, slideshows, and more). Users can take apart aerospace machinery, build an engine, practice a delicate medical procedure, and more with this hands on app.

4. ImmerseMe

One of the best ways to learn and become fluent in a new language is to immerse yourself in that culture, practice conversation and surround yourself with the local sights and people. ImmerseMe is about virtually stepping into a beautiful and authentic location to learn a language, so that when you travel to these wonderful places in real-life, you’ll be prepared! Choose from over 500 scenarios across 9 languages. Order coffee in a cafe in Germany, buy a loaf of bread in Paris, or ask for tapas at a Spanish restaurant with this innovative language learning app.

5. TheBodyVR

TheBodyVR creates an immersive teaching environment allowing students and healthcare professionals to interact with the human anatomy and physiology in a whole new way. The app simulates real-world healthcare scenarios to teach and train more effectively and efficiently. It provides real-time, anatomically accurate, patient specific, VR simulations to visualize medical diagnoses, illustrate the impact of procedures and treatments, and create more educated decision-making. You can also travel through the bloodstream and discover how blood cells work to spread oxygen throughout the body, or enter one of the billions of living human cells and learn how the organelles work together to fight deadly viruses.

6. Anatomyou

Anatomyou VR presents human anatomy to the user from a different perspective. Become a part of the anatomy in an immersive way. You can navigate along anatomical structures and travel through the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and female reproductive systems. This app is great for biology students or anyone with interest in the inner workings of the body. Topics that were once limited to the pages of a text book are now captivating experiences.

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

7 Best Apps for Budgeting in College

The following is a guest post written by Brooke Niemeyer, Deputy Managing Editor-Syndication for Credit.com. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

When you’re in school, you have a lot on your plate – from making time for classes and homework to figuring out how you’ll pay for everything until you graduate. But, thanks to technology, it is possible to manage a budget, develop a debt-payment strategy, and get a better understanding of your finances.

In honor of Money Smart Week, taking place April 22 to April 29 2017, we bring you seven smartphone apps to help you get your budget on track and keep it there.

1- Mint

Price: Free on App Store and Google Play

Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way — Mint. This app hooks up your bank accounts and any credit cards you may have and updates balances based on your spending so you don’t have to.

“As a college student, it’s essential to have something automatic that provides reminders, so you don’t have to remember to update it yourself,” Hailey Vasquez, a project manager at Odd Dog Media, said. “It takes all the organization out of bill paying and makes budgeting super straightforward.”

You can even customize different budgets based on purchases like coffee, books, etc. The app will give you ideas about how you can save more.

2- Debt Payoff Planner

Price: Free for basic; $5/month for two months; $3/month for six months; $1/month for 12 months on App Store and Google Play

There’s a lot that can land you in debt, whether it’s a pile of student loans or putting too many charges on a credit card. Whatever gets you there, the first step to digging yourself out of debt is making a plan, and that’s where this app comes in handy. As payment due dates approach, you’ll receive an alert so you remember to pay on time and not rack up late fees. And, to help you see the results of your hard work, you’ll get charts that show your debt balance getting smaller as you stick with your plan.

3- Slice

Price: Free on App Store and Google Play

It’s a lot easier to order books and other things online, especially with such a busy schedule, right? Well, Slice uses e-receipts to help you keep track of your purchases and will make things a bit easier for you every step of the way. From tracking your delivery status to sending you alerts if a price goes down, this app does it all. Plus, it can help you keep track of how much you’re spending so those One-Click options don’t end up breaking your budget. It even lists your spending by vendor and category so you can see if there are any particular budget-draining culprits.

4- GoodBudget

Price: Free or Plus for $5/month ($45/year) on App Store and Google Play

Think of this app as the digital version of the “envelope method” of budgeting. You create a budget for different categories — travel, groceries, entertainment, school labs, etc. — which have designated spending amounts for each month. Best of all, this app can be synced with others you are sharing a budget with, like a roommate or parent, so you stay on the same page.

5- Unsplurge

Price: Free on App Store

Don’t like the idea of giving over your banking information? Consider Unsplurge, a straightforward budgeting and saving app. Choose a goal, like saving for that perfect Spring Break trip or paying off a credit card, and log your saving toward it. This app will help you see your progress and keep you motivated to achieve your financial success. If you get a bit frustrated, there’s a social community to help give you the extra boost of motivation you need.

6- Digit

Price: Free for first 100 days, then $2.99/month on App Store and Google Play

Let’s face it — it’s never easy to put money into savings and see your “fun money” amount decrease. But this app takes away the sting of doing just that. After you link your checking account, Digit analyzes your income and spending habits. After it gets an understanding of your financial situation, it finds extra money to move to a saving account. Once you need the funds you’ve saved, they will be transferred back to your checking account by the next business day.

7- You Need a Budget

Price: Free for first 34 days, then $50/year on App Store and Google Play

This app helps you see how much money you have and where that money can or should be going. After connecting your accounts, you can assign each dollar a role, whether it’s to help you save up for next semester’s textbooks or for your monthly rent check. Go over budget on one item but under on another? No problem! Each month you can reallocate the funds however you feel is necessary.

 

Because you’re already familiar with the benefits of online education and the technology associated with it, taking advantage of smartphone apps should be a sensible step to take control of your budget. To help get you through higher education financially, take into consideration the previous apps and make sure to do your own research to figure out what works best for you.

 

Author’s Bio: Brooke Niemeyer is the Deputy Managing Editor – Syndication for Credit.com. She writes about a variety of personal finance topics, with work featured on CBS, TIME, The Huffington Post, MSN, FOX Business, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance and other publications. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University and was a reporter for NBC before joining the Credit.com team. You can follow her at @RNYBrooke.

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

The Ups and Downs of Using the Smartphone as an Educational Tool

The following is a guest post written by Vigilance Chari, freelance blogger and content writer. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

A while back, having a mobile phone in the classroom meant confiscation or detention; but now, many schools are increasingly accepting them as useful learning tools. While only a handful of kids can get a laptop for daily classwork, the number of smartphones in an average classroom has risen tenfold over the last couple of years.

Given their easy internet access, the many educational apps and the convenience of being used anytime and anywhere, smartphones have all it takes to encourage learning.

However, it’s not easy to keep the use of phones entirely academic. In fact, when it comes to using these gadgets during lessons, the number one concern among teachers is how to ensure students don’t abuse the privilege. How do you keep students from texting friends and updating their social media pages under their desks?

This, among other questions, raises eyebrows as to the efficiency of using mobile phones for educational purposes. Nevertheless, no teaching practice is perfect. Like other methodologies, the smartphone has its ups and downs.

The benefits of using smartphones for teaching

With smartphone use by young students spreading wider every day, there are several practical reasons why, as a teacher, you should allow the useful little gadgets in your classroom. These include:

Student comfort

Experts unanimously agree that using tools that students are comfortable with is among the most effective teaching methods. In today’s world, the smartphone has become as familiar to kids as basic pen and paper. It’s therefore easier in some cases to make a point clear by telling a student to take a look at their phone, rather than to flip through monotonous pages of a book. By the same token, in many cases learning materials may not be optimized for mobile devices and a lot of work will still be needed before mobile learning aids are taken seriously.

Quick answers

While the use of smartphones as a ready source for answers is debatable, teachers often find it easier to teach when a student can get any questions they may have resolved by a quick glance at their smartphones. Not only does it save time, but it also exposes learners to additional information as they search for the answers they need.

Bringing life to a classroom

Through the audio and video capabilities of a smartphone, education can become more lively among disinterested kids and teenagers. Visual learning through video images, music and voice is an efficient way to get a difficult concept understood by a confused student and, consequently, make the teaching process more engaging.

Educational Apps

Smartphones give students access to a horde of learning applications, which are available in a wide range of subjects. From serious apps to game-like exercises, these packages encourage intuitive thinking and playful competition while enhancing the way learners grasp new ideas.

Organization

Aside from educational applications, the smartphone app store is well populated with scheduling tools. One such app is Remind, where students can sign up to receive text reminders whenever they have an upcoming assignment due, or a test coming.

Not only does it motivate young learners to plan their studying, but it also engages parents, who sign up just to keep track of their children’s homework.

Social learning

Through online groups, virtual chat-rooms and texts, smartphones encourage students to work in groups. They can share information and discoveries on common subjects and projects, and, therefore, move together towards a common goal, in a manner with which they are all comfortable.

In addition, students can connect with other like-minded learners from around the world to broaden their minds and expand their scope of thought.

Fostering an interest in technology

When modern gadgets are incorporated in the learning space, even kids that were oblivious to how they work and what they can do will begin to grasp a little basic knowledge. Moreover, using smartphones on a daily basis gives students constant access to information about the current trends in technology, growing their enthusiasm from a young age.

The downsides to allowing smartphones in the classroom

Undoubtedly, mobile phones have a lot to offer the modern-day classroom. However, some limitations discourage their universal acceptance as an educational tool.

For starters, smartphones are not exactly durable. Sure, when well taken care of, they may last longer than most frequently-used books. But in the classroom, accidental knocks, drops and spills are inevitable. Because it’s quite impractical to buy children high-end devices, we’d recommend more budget smartphones for students to take to school as they will likely need replacing within a couple of months due to general wear and tear.

Additionally, smartphones may look small, but they’re complex devices with quite the learning curve. Before any meaningful learning can take place, a student needs to master the phone’s numerous functions and applications, and this exercise can waste a significant amount of valuable time.

Then, of course, there’s the negative effect that smartphones can have on a student’s attentiveness in class. We’ve touched base on having your students taken away by texts and social media, but what about the random ringtones that may interrupt valuable learning sessions? Allowing phones in the classroom requires a teacher to be constantly roaming around watching students and making sure they’re staying on task.

“How” not “if”

Despite the challenges, many schools have come to terms with the advances in technology, and have accepted the role of smartphones in the classroom.

So, the question is not “if” to use smartphones, it’s “how” to use them. Nearly all students own or have access to a phone and having a “no phones allowed” policy in school would require a lot of monitoring, just to keep learners from sneaking in with the small gadgets.

Therefore, an easier approach is to utilize the smartphones in teaching. Students will be eager follow the conditions given to keep the privileges of using these devices in class.

Summary

Critics will cite cheating in exams and unauthorized socializing as concerns, but the fact is, smartphones are an integral part of a student’s life. Rather than imposing stringent rules, innovative teachers have the opportunity in the modern age to take up the role of helping young learners to use their phones properly in the pursuit of knowledge, although in reality this may be easier said than done.

 

Author’s Bio: Vigilance Chari covers tech news and smartphones at SmartphoneNinja. She is an International presenter and published author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time as an enthusiastic professional party planner and part-time painter.  You can contact Vigilance Chari via email at vigi.chari@gmail.com.

 

Sources:

10 Apps Essential for Students from the Online Education Blog of Touro College

Do Smartphones Have a Place in the Classroom? from Paul Barnwell, the Atlantic

Finding the Best Budget Smartphones Market Research from Vigilance Chari, SmartphoneNinja

How Do Students Use Their Mobile Devices to Support Learning? A Case Study from an Australian Regional University from the Open University Journal of Interactive Media in Education

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

 

Technology in the ESL Classroom

The following is a guest post written by Michael Gorman, highly skilled editor and proofreader. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

What do you think about when you hear the word “technology”? Do you think about enormous databases, drones, or online banking? Or maybe smart TVs? Apps? Tablets? Although seemingly very different, these diverse methods and devices all fall under the category of technology.

Let’s picture a classroom full of students who need to learn English in the fastest and the most effective way. Does technology have a place in this classroom? If so, how can it be utilized to facilitate learning in an ESL classroom, where there might be only one native English speaker, the teacher?

If you have some doubts how technology can be used there you have found the right article, because right now we are going to describe how technology can be a great tool to facilitate English learning and improve student performance.

In the modern educational world, the term “technology integration” is becoming one of the most popular pedagogical phrases, because that’s how educators describe the efforts to implement high-tech devices in the classroom. However, many teachers still have not fully grasped the meaning of the expression because of lack of personal use of these technologies, school funding limits, and even age.

Technology integration explained

This term is defined as the practice of integrating and interweaving technological means into educating and learning, which is supported by the school. There, that was not so difficult, right?

However, while the definition may sound simple, actual implementation is not. In fact, technology experts argue that there is a big difference between implementing the technology in the classroom and actually intertwining it with the education process. Bringing technology into a classroom might be easy for educators, but getting the most out of it isn’t a piece of cake. However, when used correctly, technology can transform the classroom into an advanced workstation that provides a wide range of benefits for both students and educators.

Benefits of using technology in an ESL classroom

1. Improves future opportunities for students

The age of technology is here to stay and it commands everything that employers might need in the workplace. In the future, even the most basic tasks will require some expertise in technology, so preparing students to use it before they graduate can greatly increase their chances for success on the job.

To ensure sufficient technological progress of learners in a classroom, an educator needs to provide materials that will keep students updated on the latest developments in the world of technology. For example, Marta Dowson, a senior educator from Proessaywriting.com, says that lessons could involve the use of the latest software and applications for professional use that might be used in the workplace.

Given that English is a global language which is featured in most, if not all, software products, students may also benefit from being exposed to and using apps and products in English-language to develop sufficient understanding of technical terminology.

2. Stimulates Motivation and Engagement

Many educational studies have shown that technology plays a critically important role in increasing engagement and motivation in the classroom. It provides an experience that is completely different from traditional learning and, in the form of apps and devices, allows learners to use exciting tools to paint, type, observe, and perform many other functions. It can turn a mundane biology lesson into a really fascinating one, with interactive experiences and powerful demonstration of the material.

In an ESL classroom, like any other one, motivation and engagement are really important for achieving the best outcomes. Educators need to understand the importance of incorporating technology in these classrooms because motivation and excitement are the main drivers behind language acquisition.

3. Fosters student independence

This is another great benefit of using technology that can have a powerful implication for those that continue to improve language skills at home or on the go. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices can be used regardless of location to engage in meaningful learning, such as reading, listening, and performing material-relevant activities or exercises.

As the result of having learning materials at hand or available for download, students can become more independent, because by controlling when, where and how they access course information, they can partially assume the role of a teacher. For example, they can find text, read it, highlight the unknown words, locate them in an online dictionary and create their own home tasks. Or, they may use various online tools for language learning, such as Omniglot.com, EnglishGrammar.orgEnglishClub.com, Vocabulary.co and many others.

4. Allows learners to experience different cultures

By having access to the Internet in the classroom, students have the opportunity to tap into the target cultures by visiting sites from different English speaking countries. As a result, they can have a native experience of the language and see things that only English speakers typically access, such as news sites, sport-related sites, etc. They can literally visit all sites in the English language and learn the culture from native English speakers, which is a great advantage that would not be possible without the use of the internet or technology.

Now that we have listed the benefits of using technology in ESL classrooms, let’s review some great tools that can be used in the process.

Tools for the ESL classroom

EverythingESL

This is a remarkable resource for an ESL teacher, basically serving as a storage of learning materials including grammar lessons, exercises, essay topics, tutorials, tools, and other useful things. It also provides key strategies for teachers to generate an effective learning environment, which is great for both experienced and new educators.

UsingEnglish

This site provides a great database of resources for teaching English as a second language online. It includes tools, articles, handouts, lesson plans, worksheets, training, language tests, polls, quizzes, and even glossaries and vocabulary materials. In other words, it is a go-to resource for ESL teachers who need materials for the class.

What Works Clearinghouse

This site provides reviews of current research of different products and practices in education. According to the creators of WWC, their goal was to provide teachers with the information to make evidence-based decisions and improve the quality of learning. The website include sections such as literacy, math, science, behavior, teacher excellence, early children, post-secondary education, and more.

BBC Learning English

BBC Learning English is an English program that is most widely used by students from all over the world. It includes grammar and vocabulary lessons designed by some of the best British teachers, with great references to modern events from around the globe. It provides a unique learning experience that should be tried in all ESL classrooms. It even contains a section dedicated to ESL learning, which is not currently updated but can still serve as a valuable resource.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you are a student or a teacher in an ESL classroom, you can find some interesting insights and tools in this article. Remember, learning English should be fun, and technology is a way to ensure excitement and motivation in the classroom. The era of technology is here to stay, and the same could be said about education because there are more and more benefits discovered by those who learn with the help of advanced technologies.

If used properly, technology can be the best friend of an educator in any classroom. Remember this during your next lesson!

Author’s Bio: Michael Gorman is highly skilled editor and proofreader. He is proficient in blog writing and online freelance networking. Feel free to contact him via Facebook.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

What to Expect in 2017

In October 2016, researchers from JoomlaLMS Learning Management System published a collection of quotes from 14 eLearning and Technology experts. The ultimate question? What trends and eLearning advances do you expect to see in 2017? Each individual was given the opportunity to reflect on the past year and share what they foresee as being the “new big thing” in the coming year. Here’s what they said:

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
    • According to John Leo, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC, students should expect to see renewed interest in augmented and virtual reality. This technology can help educators to deliver materials and information in creative and innovative ways, drawing students into the learning and not simply dictating it to them.
  • Personalization of E-Learning
    • Indiana University Professor Curt Bonk explains that because of the widespread use of technology and the ease with which Learning Management Systems can be personalized, instructors are no longer relying on technology and computer science experts to set up their courses and learning materials. Instead, professors and administrators are predicted to take technology into their own hands and personalize their courses using the tools made available to them, without having to rely on a middle-man.
  • Decrease in formal eLearning and an increase in self-directed learning
    • Steven W. Anderson, educator, speaker, and former Director of Instructional Technology, explains that over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of students turning to self-directed learning in place of a traditional or structured learning environment. Over the next year, educators should expect to see a growth in student enrollment in MOOCs, free online courses, and other self-paced and directed learning environments. He even suggests that the definition of eLearning be altered to include the various environments in which self-directed learning takes place, such as blogs and social media platforms.
  • Increase in seamless integration of and reliance upon apps and learning platforms
    • The past few years have shown an increase in reliance on educational apps and other edtech resources. However, despite this upward trend, many classrooms and educational centers are lacking the seamless integration necessary to make these tools a crucial part of classroom (and online) learning. This is what Mike Karlin, former K-12 teacher and technology leader and founder and editor of the EdTech Roundup, expects to see in the coming year. Educators have begun to appreciate the advantages and benefits to using these forms of technology as part of the educational experience, and Karlin believes that those who maintain and support these learning platforms will work to guarantee that the lack of integration that many see now will be an exception to the rule by the end of 2017.
  • AI, the Chatbot, and “A Good Instructor”
    • Online learning program developer and blogger Kevin Corbett raises an interesting point in regard to the technology he plans to see in 2017. Unlike many other technologists who are focused solely on the integration of LMSs and other apps into the classroom, Corbett also expects to see educators turn their attention to making sure that all instructors, both new and existing, receive evaluations and training to make sure that 2017 produces better teachers. How exactly does he see this working in tandem with other eLearning trends? As an example, Corbett discusses how classrooms are being introduced to AI such as chatbots, computer programs that “mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence” (TheGuardian). Companies and schools are slowly implementing these ‘chat robots’ into their everyday work or classroom environments as a means of retrieving or accessing information in an instant.  However, they do not take the place of the instructor in a classroom. Rather, they free up teachers to allow them additional time to plan and prepare for their lessons, and to work with the students in a more innovative and creative manner.

Check out the complete article at JoomlaLMS.com for more information or predictions for EdTech in the year 2017.

 

Sources:

Top Experts Predict What Will Transform ELearning in 2017 by Ilona Hetsevich.

What Is a Chat Bot, and Should I Be Using One? by Julia Carrie Wong.

10 Apps Essential for Students

The following is a guest post written by Kevin McNamara, private tutor and blogger. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

We all love it when we can find ways to make studying easier, don’t we? It’s a good thing that students now have access to technological tools that are designed to make school life simpler and less stressful. The number of apps available nowadays is truly overwhelming. Below you’ll find 10 must-have apps aimed to help students conveniently store study materials, manage time, and control their finances.

 

1) Scribd

Students often have to self-teach outside of the classroom. Scribd, one of the largest online libraries in the world, makes this much easier to do. With millions of scientific books and articles shared by users from all over the world, students can conveniently search for necessary materials using keywords, author names, and titles. Users can create their own library of books for later access, and even share them with others. Furthermore, Scribd will use your previous searches and reads to suggest additional reading titles.

2) DropBox

Hundreds of course papers and lecture notes are forfeited on a daily basis because of lost flash drives or damaged PCs. Fortunately, DropBox can help with that. Why clog devices with homework when all that and more can be saved easily and conveniently on the cloud? Users can use DropBox to upload documents, presentations, photos, and other files that can then be easily accessed from any computer or device. DropBox also allows users to share files with other students or professors for easy collaboration. Overall, students using DropBox can be confident that all of their data is safe.

3) Dictionary.com

Whether you are studying foreign languages or just need to understand the meaning of certain words better, this resource will help you find the definition for any word in the English, or other, language. Instead of carrying enormous paperback dictionaries in your bag, you will find it extremely useful to have your dictionary.com app always on hand. In addition to word definitions, the app also offers a list of synonyms for each word, a helpful tool when writing long papers or assignments.

4) Evernote

With so many things to do and remember throughout the day, many students’ organizational skills leave much to be desired.  Evernote is one of the most widely-used note-taking apps. With its help, it is possible to take notes, set reminders, create to-do lists, add files, and enable notifications – everything that students need to keep up with school. Its minimalistic interface makes it perfect for use on your smartphone. It even has a camera feature that enables users to capture documents and schedules that can be attached to notes.

5) EasyBib

For a majority of students, the most difficult part of research paper writing is not finding information and putting pen to paper, but preparing the list of citations in the appropriate format and style. EasyBib makes things easier, allowing users to simply input the source title and then providing citation options to choose from. There are over 7,000 citation styles available, including MLA and APA, which are considered to be the most popular. The app also enables users to scan a book’s barcode and get a citation for it. With its help, one of the most annoying parts of writing is done easily.

6) SelfControl

It is not uncommon for students to get easily distracted while studying. They constantly want to share, tweet, post something on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or simply see what is going on via social media. To reduce distractions, the SelfControl app allows users to choose to block certain websites for a determined period of time, until an exam period is over or until finished with homework assignments. This app is a great help to those who are always online.

7) Chegg

With Chegg app, students no longer need to spend a fortune on books for each new semester. The app allows users to search for textbooks, and then rent or buy them at a reduced price. When the semester or year ends, students can simply return the books or resell them via Chegg. This eliminates the need to unnecessarily store piles of books at home, and simultaneously helps other students find the books they need.

8) Mint.com

Saving money is something all students struggle with. There are so many things to take care of now that they are away from home. Mint.com’s money-managing app can help students manage their budgets more effectively and show where their money has gone. Better control over finances tends to make students more responsible when it comes to money spending. Hopefully, reasonable budgeting will work for you, too.

9) Indeed Job Search

There always comes a time when students and graduates are willing to make some extra money by working a few hours a day throughout the semester, or full time after college. The Indeed Job Search app enables users to create resumes, look for, and apply for suitable jobs directly from a mobile device. Users can also save job posts and vacancies and subscribe to job updates that will be delivered directly to their email inboxes. The app has a variety of options for students and graduates.

 10) myHomework

I don’t know about you, but I used to have a hard time keeping track of my schedule and when my papers were due. myHomework allows users to keep track of all homework assignments, prioritize tasks, create labels and get notifications for deadlines and due dates. The app also enables users to add the names of professors to each class on their schedules, which gives students a leg up over others who don’t bother remembering teachers’ names.

 

kevin-mcnamara-headshotAuthor’s Bio:  Kevin McNamara is a private tutor, content writer, and blogger. He likes sharing his thoughts and experiences with people through words. Check out Kevin on Facebook and Twitter.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Snapchatting in the Classroom

snapchat in the classroom
https://www.snapchat.com/
https://www.snapchat.com/

You’ve heard of Snapchat as a social-media app for personal use, but what about using Snapchat for education?

Snapchat, the free mobile messaging app that emerged in September of 2011, is one of the foremost social media apps used, not only by millennials but also those born before the digital age, to share pictures, videos, texts, and more.  However, to date Snapchat has been used primarily for social media and friendly interaction. So, how exactly could teachers and students make use of Snapchat in their daily lessons or homework assignments?

 

Snapchat can be used for:

  1. COMMUNICATING– Dr. Jon Ernstberger of LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA, explains how most, if not all, students are already carrying smartphones, and as of April 2016, more than 77% of college students were using Snapchat on a daily basis. Using Snapchat, teachers can reach and communicate with their students using the technology and tools that are already a daily part of their lives.
  2. DISTANCE TEACHING– Teachers can use Snapchat as a means of coaching students through an assignment or task, sharing pictures or videos of each step in a process instead of having to write or verbalize what may be more complicated instructions.
  3. STORYTELLING– As part of the age of technology, educators are trying to encourage their students to get physically involved in their education. Using Snapchat, students can create and share videos that depict the stages of an assignment, such as a science experiment or the acting out of a book or play being read in class.
  4. LANGUAGE LEARNING– Snapchat can be used like a set of flashcards, with a teacher sending a word to his students and requesting a response in the form of a video or picture that best defines that word (or vice versa). This can be used for advanced vocabulary or foreign language lessons.
  5. COUNTING DOWN THE MINUTES– Another use for Snapchat in the classroom can be for teachers to publicize the amount of time until an exam or due date, visually depicting to students how much time they have to prepare for the upcoming event.

For more information on Snapchatting in the Classroom, see Can Snapchat Bridge the Communication Chasm in Online Courses?, by Jon Ernstberger & Melissa A. Venable. 

 

Sources:

80 Amazing Snapchat Statistics, by Craig Smith

Can Snapchat Bridge the Communication Chasm in Online Courses?, by Jon Ernstberger & Melissa A. Venable.

Why Millennials Use Snapchat, by Maya Kosoff

 

Using the Explain Everything iPad App to Give Feedback on Student Work

Explain Everything app logo

Explain Everything is a powerful iPad app that provides an interactive whiteboard for creating screencast presentations.

With the Explain Everything app, you can import documents, pictures, videos, sound files, or browser windows to your project, and then add drawings annotations, animations, or voiceover narrations. The final project can then be recorded and shared with other people.

Here are 4 examples of how instructors can use the Explain Everything App to provide feedback on student work:

  1. In this video, Mark Anderson goes through many of the tools included in the Explain Everything app. At 4:00 in the video, Mark starts to explains how you can use ExplainEverything for feedback, and the sample feedback itself begins at 6:20.

  2. Jon Tait demonstrates how he provides feedback on a student’s work using Explain Everything.

  3. T. Wood gives descriptive feedback on how a student attempted to solve a math problem. At 2:54, he gives handwritten feedback, and at 3:51 he gives the feedback in the form of an audio narration, together with Explain Everything’s laser pointer tool.

  4. Janet Neyer gives audiovisual feedback on her student’s paper.

Learn more about the Explain Everything app by watching these video tutorials.

* The Explain Everything logo is the sole and exclusive property of MorrisCooke.

MobLab App: Learn the Social Sciences through Interactive Experiments

moblab

What’s the best way to teach students concepts in the social sciences, like backwards induction and strategic compromising?

As any instructor of psychology or economics will tell you, the best way for students to learn principles and strategies is by experiencing them firsthand, or watching them played out in real scenarios.

MobLab is a web-based app that allows instructors to run virtual experiments with their students, such as English Auctions, Sealed Bid auctions, or Bargaining games.

With MobLab, instructors can set up experiments and configure a playlist of games. Students can participate in games using any Android or iOS mobile device (smartphone and tablet) or a laptop. Any number of students can play, so both small classes and large classes can make use of the app.

MobLab was tested in an Economics Class earlier this year, as Walter Yuan reports:

The twenty-plus students of the AP Economics class first participated in a 1st price English Auction, followed by a 2nd price Sealed Bid auction. A number of students bid up the price slowly in the English Auction and some had the intuition to wait until the last minute to come in and ‘steal’ the auction. This gave the instructor the perfect opportunity to discuss and dissect the ‘sniping’ phenomenon on e-Bay. Next up, the winner of 2nd price auction mentioned she bid her whole $200 cash endowment because she knew she only had to pay the 2nd price and was hoping that 2nd price would be low. When she realized that she had to pay $199 (she wasn’t the only one with that strategy!), she and other students suddenly had no trouble understanding the Winner’s Curse or why it is optimal to bid their values in a 2nd price auction. As one student noted, “[MobLab] was fun and engaging, but at the same time we got to learn. It is rare to find fun games that can teach you something as well.”

What are the benefits of running interactive experiments in the social sciences?

Dr. Thomas Palfrey, Flintridge Professor of Economics and Political Science and Senior Scientific Advisor of MobLab explains the benefits of interactive experiments:

First, it gets students engaged. They are busy trying to figure out how to buy and sell. “The Market” is not an imaginary thing in a dry textbook. They are the market.

Second, it’s not boring. It’s exciting. The students are teaching themselves rather than passively listening to a monotone voice in front of the room trying to explain imaginary supply and demand curves that intersect to somehow determine a price and a quantity.

Third, the student sees that the theory is actually something to take seriously, that it has an empirical basis. It isn’t based on just pie in the sky theorizing.

Fourth, the student gets a sense of how an equilibrium price can emerge from the dynamics of a trading process as a result of competitive forces.

Fifth, and most important, it piques their interest in economics as a scientific discipline. The dismal science comes to life!