By J. Birch
Technology has become an increasingly essential part of modern education. With the Covid-19 pandemic that has prompted widespread remote learning, it seems more likely than ever that the digital age will bring in a new era of education, one that maximizes technology and connections. According to EdTech, school districts have been interested in developing their capabilities for e-learning— also known as distance learning or remote learning— in order to meet the needs of K–12 students.
With the Covid-19 pandemic that has prompted widespread remote learning, it seems more likely than ever that the digital age will bring in a new era of education, one that maximizes technology and connections.
Using modern tools and technology can certainly help bridge the gaps for students who may feel alienated from traditional learning. This isn’t to say that differences in learning ability are a weakness— in fact Landmark School’s Student Advocates say their learning differences have actually empowered them and boosted their creativity. However, it’s the duty of educators and institutions to maximize available tools and resources in order to reach more students, and one of these tools is technology.
Steps to expand the horizon of education through the use of technology are already underway. For example, journalist Daniel Ling describes how augmented reality can be a useful mobile tool in education by adding an interactive component to learning. For students who have trouble paying attention in class, it can help certain aspects of history and science come to life.
Similarly, when it comes to the writing process, there are several apps that students with access to tablets or smartphones can use to help them organize and practice effective writing. As students learn to maximize their independent study, these apps become important parts of the learning process. Here’s a list of a few of these useful apps.
Organization and Storage Apps
Evernote. Evernote is one of the most popular notes and organization apps around, and with good reason. It allows students to take notes and keep them organized in their preferred system, alongside checklists, links, attachments, audio recordings, images, PDFs, and more. Evernote also allows syncing across devices, making data transfer much easier. Evernote is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Planner Pro. Planner Pro helps students organize their school lives, including homework and project submission schedules and grades. It comes with a grade tracker, GPA calculator, and is able to sync into your Google Calendar. Students can set daily, weekly, or monthly goals, as well as coordinate with different people for group projects. Planner Pro is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Snap&Read. Snap&Read is a next-generation learning and reading tool that both teachers and students can use. It reads text aloud from PDFs, websites, and Google Drive, and is also able to adjust the readability of text without altering the meaning. Students can use it to organize and add notes for easier study. It also has the ability to remove distracting content and adjust fonts on browsers, as well as reading line guides. Teachers can also use it to assess individual students’ reading needs. Snap&Read is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Skitch. Skitch helps students organize their thoughts and communicate them visually with friends and classmates. It can be used to annotate, share diagrams, capture and mark-up maps, highlight PDFs, and share files. Skitch is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Ginger. Ginger is a proofreading app specially designed for students with dyslexia or other learning disabilities that make reading and writing challenging. It has a grammar checker that focuses on analyzing context and differentiating between tricky words like there/they’re/their, as well as text-to-speech functionality so students can hear their writing read aloud. It also offers practice sessions that help students correct past mistakes. Ginger is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Ghotit. Ghotit is another app that was designed with students with learning disabilities in mind. It was developed to help users who struggle with writing accuracy, especially in terms of spelling and grammar. Ghotit has text-to-speech capabilities and is able to recognize split and merged words. It also comes with an integrated dictionary that allows students to quickly look up words they may not know. Ghotit is available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
J. Birch is a freelance writer who specializes in edtech.