Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
July 25, 2016

5 Fab Smartphone Accessories for the Classroom and Beyond

By Christy Crawford
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Is the only tech in your classroom your personal smartphone or tablet? Read on for fun and relatively* cheap accessories and apps you can enjoy all summer long and again in your classroom when you go back to school.

    *Some of the items described here are much pricier than the usual dollar store items good for a teacher's budget, but are pretty reasonable in terms of upgrading your technology. (And then there's #4 that might have you polishing up your grant writing skills!)


    1. Get a Personal Reader!

    ($4.99 — iPhone/ iPad)
    Remember those education articles you were dying to read? Check out the Speaky Voice Reader to read professional articles for you. Speaky will enable you to create a reading list of articles from the web and read each one out loud in your language of choice. 

    Summer: use it to catch up on education blog posts while folding laundry, conquering chores at home, or sneaking into school early to decorate your new classroom. 

    Back to school: use it as an online news center for dyslexic children, English Language Learners, or anyone struggling with reading. I would love a news center with hard copies of newspapers from around the world for kids, but that is a difficult center for some readers. With this app, teachers can grab articles online and the app will read it for kids in the accent of their choice.
     

     

    2. Make a Recording Studio in the Middle of Your Room

    ($49.99 — iPhone/iPad)
    In a busy school building, it's almost impossible to find a quiet spot to record student created eBooks or class videos. Use an external condenser microphone to reduce background noise and focus on student content. This is a pricey item, but sharable!

    Summer: test its use with beach karaoke contests.

    Back to school: use it to create videos or eBooks with audio that parents and kids will thank you for!

      

     

    3. Take a Class Selfie or Stabilize Classroom Videos

    (iPhone/iPad/Android)
    No more shaky school videos! Use this all-in-one Bluetooth shutter, selfie-stick, tripod and hand-held stabilizer to take professional-looking videos at school. I received my 4-in-1 video stand ($56.99) from generous donors but these all-in-one super duper tripods are available for as little as $20.

    Is $20 still too pricey? Grab a ring stand online for under $5. Kids will be less likely to drop your phone with this ring and you’ll score a cheap stand for a classroom production center.  

    Summer: take selfies in the sun!

    Back to school: create a PSA to introduce the custodian, nurses, and other members of your school community to new students. 
     


    4. Take a Trip Anywhere in the World for $15 or Less

    Visit ancient Egypt, tour Paris, or swim with Great Barrier Reef sharks with the help of Google Expeditions, a virtual reality app. You’ll need an Android phone (iPhone and iPad capability is coming soon!) and Google Cardboard or a knock-off viewer for less than $10.

    Download the app, slip the your phone into the cardboard viewer, and have a kid look inside, then up, down and all around to be immersed in a virtually new world. Listen for the oohs and ahhs as kids “experience” the place you’ve been studying. Virtual reality apps are also great de-escalation tools for agitated students. Get busy writing a grant to purchase a class Expeditions kit for $9,999 (router, 30 devices, a teacher tablet to guide the tour, and lots of other goodies) or just use the one device as a reward tour for hardworking students. 

    Summer: virtually travel to all the places you couldn’t afford on a teacher’s budget!

    Back to school: celebrate the end of a social studies unit with a virtual tour. 

     

    5. Program a School Drone

    ($69 — iPhone/iPad, Android)
    No prior computer programming experience is necessary! Download the free Tynker.com app to use a colorful, super simple programming language to code a parrot minidrone. Once students spot your drone rolling through hallways, you’ll have a long line of eager, well-behaved coders. If you’re lucky enough to have the funds to purchase the drone ($69), make sure to treat the fragile object with care — the miniscule on/off button is easily breakable.

    Summer: pack a picnic lunch and program in a park with your minidrone.

    Back to School: fly your drone to the nurse's office to retrieve a Band-Aid or impress new coders.

     

    For more ideas check out my post, "10 Terrific Ways to Use One iPad or iPhone In the Classroom."

     

     

    Is the only tech in your classroom your personal smartphone or tablet? Read on for fun and relatively* cheap accessories and apps you can enjoy all summer long and again in your classroom when you go back to school.

    *Some of the items described here are much pricier than the usual dollar store items good for a teacher's budget, but are pretty reasonable in terms of upgrading your technology. (And then there's #4 that might have you polishing up your grant writing skills!)


    1. Get a Personal Reader!

    ($4.99 — iPhone/ iPad)
    Remember those education articles you were dying to read? Check out the Speaky Voice Reader to read professional articles for you. Speaky will enable you to create a reading list of articles from the web and read each one out loud in your language of choice. 

    Summer: use it to catch up on education blog posts while folding laundry, conquering chores at home, or sneaking into school early to decorate your new classroom. 

    Back to school: use it as an online news center for dyslexic children, English Language Learners, or anyone struggling with reading. I would love a news center with hard copies of newspapers from around the world for kids, but that is a difficult center for some readers. With this app, teachers can grab articles online and the app will read it for kids in the accent of their choice.
     

     

    2. Make a Recording Studio in the Middle of Your Room

    ($49.99 — iPhone/iPad)
    In a busy school building, it's almost impossible to find a quiet spot to record student created eBooks or class videos. Use an external condenser microphone to reduce background noise and focus on student content. This is a pricey item, but sharable!

    Summer: test its use with beach karaoke contests.

    Back to school: use it to create videos or eBooks with audio that parents and kids will thank you for!

      

     

    3. Take a Class Selfie or Stabilize Classroom Videos

    (iPhone/iPad/Android)
    No more shaky school videos! Use this all-in-one Bluetooth shutter, selfie-stick, tripod and hand-held stabilizer to take professional-looking videos at school. I received my 4-in-1 video stand ($56.99) from generous donors but these all-in-one super duper tripods are available for as little as $20.

    Is $20 still too pricey? Grab a ring stand online for under $5. Kids will be less likely to drop your phone with this ring and you’ll score a cheap stand for a classroom production center.  

    Summer: take selfies in the sun!

    Back to school: create a PSA to introduce the custodian, nurses, and other members of your school community to new students. 
     


    4. Take a Trip Anywhere in the World for $15 or Less

    Visit ancient Egypt, tour Paris, or swim with Great Barrier Reef sharks with the help of Google Expeditions, a virtual reality app. You’ll need an Android phone (iPhone and iPad capability is coming soon!) and Google Cardboard or a knock-off viewer for less than $10.

    Download the app, slip the your phone into the cardboard viewer, and have a kid look inside, then up, down and all around to be immersed in a virtually new world. Listen for the oohs and ahhs as kids “experience” the place you’ve been studying. Virtual reality apps are also great de-escalation tools for agitated students. Get busy writing a grant to purchase a class Expeditions kit for $9,999 (router, 30 devices, a teacher tablet to guide the tour, and lots of other goodies) or just use the one device as a reward tour for hardworking students. 

    Summer: virtually travel to all the places you couldn’t afford on a teacher’s budget!

    Back to school: celebrate the end of a social studies unit with a virtual tour. 

     

    5. Program a School Drone

    ($69 — iPhone/iPad, Android)
    No prior computer programming experience is necessary! Download the free Tynker.com app to use a colorful, super simple programming language to code a parrot minidrone. Once students spot your drone rolling through hallways, you’ll have a long line of eager, well-behaved coders. If you’re lucky enough to have the funds to purchase the drone ($69), make sure to treat the fragile object with care — the miniscule on/off button is easily breakable.

    Summer: pack a picnic lunch and program in a park with your minidrone.

    Back to School: fly your drone to the nurse's office to retrieve a Band-Aid or impress new coders.

     

    For more ideas check out my post, "10 Terrific Ways to Use One iPad or iPhone In the Classroom."

     

     

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

My Scholastic

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us