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The Top 7 Apps, Tools and Plug-ins for Canvas LMS

LowellBieber
Community Member
3 0 185

These apps, plug-ins and tools all integrate directly into Canvas LMS and once activated can only enhance your experience as an educator to make you more valuable to your students… while saving you valuable time along the way. 

How much do these apps cost?

Many of these apps are totally free, and all of them offer at least some free plan for teachers and students that might need to be purchased or enabled at the school/institution level. These apps are intended to serve K12 & Higher Ed students. 

Where do I find the apps?

We’ll link to each of the apps below so you can download or integrate them directly from their websites. Additionally, many of these Apps can be added directly from the Canvas platform once you’re in a Course by going to Settings > Apps. 

2021 Best Apps for Teachers and Faculty Using Canvas LMS

Without further ado, let’s take a look at these apps!

  1. Quizlet: App for Flashcards and Study Games

If you somehow haven’t heard of Quizlet before, it’s pretty likely that your students have and that they love it. Quizlet is a mobile app that allows teachers (or students) to create simple and easy flashcards to study for tests, quizzes, assignments and anything else they might need to. 

Why we love it

One of my personal favorite features of Quizlet is that the Flashcard Decks can be saved and made public so that future classes can find them and use them without having to recreate the wheel. Additionally, Quizlet has recently introduced free study sets, study modes and in-class games so you can instantly create a more engaged classroom.

  1. Boost: Assignment Reminders That Work

Boost is a Mobile App that takes existing Canvas data around assignment due dates and sends students intelligent reminders on assignments that haven’t yet been submitted. Students can also add their own reminders and create a planner of tasks to be done. Boost is backed by peer-reviewed and published research that shows that in deploying this simple app, teachers can improve the grades in B-F students by 10%... a full letter grade. 

Why we love it

We love Boost because it’s a no-brainer. It takes a task that teachers were already doing (reminding students to turn in assignments) and automates it for them. The research shows that these reminders are actually even more effective than teacher reminders. Schools that want to implement Boost into their classrooms should reach out here. When I found out that Canvas wasn’t already sending these reminders, it was a no-brainer to get my school to activate Boost.

  1. Trello: Collaboration Tool

Trello is a task and project management system. It’s a collaborative tool that’s made to replace post-it notes or having students keep track of their own to-dos and tasks at hand. One of Trello’s awesome features is that it provides premade templates for all sorts of tasks that teachers and students will do on a regular basis (group projects, weekly planner, personal tasks, etc.) Trello is a tool that you as an instructor might find as equally useful as your students do!

Why we love it

Trello, and other project management software that it is similar to, are commonplace in many work environments in the “real world”. That’s why we love it-- what better way to teach students how to use tools that they’ll be using in the future than to have them use them right now.

  1. Github Classroom: Track, Manage and Grade Coding Assignments for Developers

Github Classroom is designed for those teaching software development or coding classes. Although this is a fairly niche product, it’s invaluable for those who need it. Managing and organizing your class is easy with GitHub Classroom. Track and manage assignments in your dashboard, grade work automatically, and help students when they get stuck— all while using GitHub, the industry-standard tool developers use.

Why we love it

As we look forward to a world increasingly run by software, it’s important to make sure we’re embracing the change that’s upon us. The more of our students who are familiar with the tools of the future, the better we’re preparing them for that world. If you’re teaching a course that’s focused on software engineering, then this tool is a must-have for you to easily grade your student’s work, right from your Canvas instance. 

  1. InScribe: Community-Powered Support

We made it all the way to #5 before we mentioned something about “the new normal” or “a post-COVID world”, aren’t you proud of us? All jokes aside, as institutions shift to a world that has made it clear that it wants to function in a hybrid model, if not an entirely virtual world, we must adapt to the changing environment. InScribe offers one way to help instructors and schools do just that. InScribe's Q&A communities create a space for students, faculty and staff to work together—asking questions, finding answers, and sharing resources. InScribe captures these valuable interactions, and makes them reusable, so each generation benefits from the conversations that came before them.

Why we love it

We love InScribe because not only does it help teachers and schools create a better learning environment in the present moment, but it also saves those insights and arranges them for future years to use and learn from as well. Anytime that we can take work that’s already been done and make it available for future generations, we’ll consider that a win. No need to recreate the wheel!

  1. Nearpod: Real-time insights into interactive lessons

Nearpod has nailed the interactive and real time learning module design. The ability to have students actively participate during lessons while we’re living in this hybrid world is invaluable. There are a whole host of learning module systems out there that try to help teachers better organize their content and lesson plans but very few of them allow students to engage as actively with the content as Nearpod does. 

Why we love it

Learn by doing. Nearpod puts an emphasis on active engagement of students while giving teachers real-time insights into how their students are learning. We love this synchronous approach to learning. There’s no better time to harness and engage with student attention then when you’re actively giving a lesson and Nearpod allows you to do just that. 

  1. Kami: Collaborative Teaching Environment

Kami takes interactivity that we mentioned earlier with Nearpod one step further and enables collaboration amongst students. It’s also an easy platform for the uploading and sharing of files that students can then collaborate on. Collaboration is such an important part of learning and anything that you as an instructor can do to enable this collaboration just makes learning easier for you and your students.

Why we love it

Similar to Nearpod, Kami has a focus on collaborative document sharing. We wanted to include both on this list as one of the most important considerations there is when vetting a new tool to use in your classroom is how well it integrates with your existing setup. Kami integrates with the best and the brightest in the Ed Tech world including Canvas, Google Classroom, Schoology, Blackboard, PowerSchool and many more. When you’re evaluating any of these tools don’t forget to look at how well they integrate with your current setup!

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