1) TeacherKit: I really like this app because it allowed me to keep my own notes about students. I wish I would have specified attendance (i.e., excused vs. unexcused absences) since Edline won't show us that, but what I used it for most was student notes. I know exactly how many tardies each student has and I kept important notes about behavior (as in, if someone was using their cell phone or other device inappropriately) and attitude. I feel like it really helped me keep track of the important stuff and notice student issues before they became problems. These notes also came in handy during parent meetings, so if you haven't tried TeacherKit, this should be the year to do so.
2) Evernote: I'm sure many of you already use this, but I love Evernote! I kept all of my notes from department meetings, staff meetings, and any kind of professional development we had along with other personal notes. I love the fact that you can have different notebooks, you can add tags, and it's very easy to use. Plus it can be used on a computer, too, so your notes are accessible whenever you need them. If you're not already using Evernote, this is the year to do it and encourage your students to as well.
3) Swipespeare: Now this is perhaps more English specific, but I have to share it. Swipespeare is great because if you're studying Shakespeare, students can get overwhelmed. Enter Swipespeare, the app that lets you move from Shakespeare's original words to modern language with the swipe of a finger. Not all plays are available for free, but it would be worth the investment. Many students thought Swipespeare was a lifesaver as they adjusted to Shakespeare's Early Modern English.
4) Literably: This is the website I mentioned before, but I am happy to report that their app is in beta testing! Once it's available for the iPad, I will be sure to ask Technology to download the app on the school's iPads. Meanwhile, you can still use the website to help you see how your students read orally. It will automatically grade them and it will be a file you can use to share with students and parents alike. It's meant for younger students, but I think it's still an acceptable exercise for middle schoolers, especially since our students are ELL. If you'd like to read more about Literably or see a tutorial, visit my previous blog about it: http://ipads4cat.weebly.com/lesleys-blog/literably
Well, that's all I have to share for now. What worked for you last year? What apps or websites should all teachers be trying out this year? Leave a comment and let us know.