Top Android Apps for the Productive Teacher 2013

Lloyd the Android

After reading a few end-of-year wrapups, I realized that I’ve never done a roundup of useful Android apps for productivity and education. This is a list of the very best of the best apps I use on Android to stay productive, connected, and collaborative on the go.

Andmade Share Free & Pro

This app supercharges Android’s sharing menu, letting you share links between several apps at a time and make custom groups of sharing apps.

Apex Launcher Free & Pro

Android is great, and it’s even better with a powerful launcher. Apex Pro and Nova Pro are two of the best, and Apex wins out with its great gestures for triggering all kinds of phone actions with just a swipe.

Dolphin Browser Free

If you like extensions on your browser, you should check out Dolphin. Fast, secure, and full of swiping gestures and voice commands, Dolphin is great for those who want lots of custom options in their browsing.

DuckDuckGo Anonymous Search & Browse Free

If you ever worry about how much Google knows about you and your students, just know that DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you. Even if you just want to escape your filter bubble, DDG is a great way to see links that are not customized to your interests. Finally, DDG !Bang commands are an incredible tool for searching the sites you want quickly.

ES File Browser Free

Having a file manager is a great feature of Android that makes it feel more like a real computer, letting you find and manage your files and downloads. There are several great choices in the Play store, and ES File Browser is my favorite.

Evernote Free

I love Evernote. You will too. This is the app.

Everything Home Launcher Free

Unlike Apex and Nova, Everything launcher is based around a search bar, intelligently searching and configuring your phone around whatever you want to find right now. Just type or say the name of the app, contact, site, or file you’re looking for, and Everything launcher serves it up to you. It’s not my main launcher, but it’s one I always keep installed to see how the beta progresses.

Feedly Free

My favorite RSS reader. If you use RSS, Feedly is the best. Just check it out.

Flipboard Free

Flipboard formats your news feeds, Facebook, and Twitter updates into a gorgeous reading experience. It’s also become a great tool for creating curated “magazines” of content you find online. This is a great way for teachers to collect web materials into an attractive, readable interface.

Learnist Free

Learnist is described as “Pinterest for education”. You can collect web materials into a beautiful “pinboard” for students to browse and explore.

Moon+ eBook Reader Free & Pro

Moon+ Reader is an open source eBook reader app that gives you tons of options over your reading experience. I love that it’s not tied to a merchant’s store (ahem, Kindle) and that I can customize it to the way I like to read.

Ovo Timer Free

A simple, attractive timer app with an intuitive interface. Awesome as a “teach timer” since it’s so easy to set the time.

Pocket (Formerly Read it Later) Free

A great way to save articles you want to read until you’re ready to read them. Formats articles beautifully for maximum readability.

Pocketcasts Commercial

The best podcatcher on Android by far. Beautiful, stable, and feature rich, don’t settle for less.

QuickOffice Free

A nice free app for editing Microsoft Office documents and PDFs, then saving them to your Google Drive storage.

Swype and Swiftkey

Another great thing about Android is the fact that you can replace the default keyboard. Swype and Swiftkey are two of the best replacement keyboards you can get, with excellent word prediction bordering on the psychic. The ability to “swype” or “flow” your finger over the keys instead of pecking each one has revolutionized the way I type on a screen and turns my tablet from a toy to a real workhorse.

Trello Free

I’ve gone on about Trello other places here on my blog. Suffice it to say that it’s a great project management/to do manager, and the Android app brings all that goodness to your mobile device.

WordPress Free

Where would I be without WordPress? The world’s largest blogging platform makes up 19% of all of the pages on the internet for good reason– it’s a powerful and flexible tool for publishing any kind of content. The Android app is feature rich and makes posting content a breeze.

Google’s Lesser known tools that are AMAZING for education!

Google Goggles

A “visual search engine”, Goggles lets you search Google with pictures you take. It can identify products, landmarks, and everyday objects to give you more information about them. It also works as a QR code reader for those scannable bar codes you see everywhere.

Google Sky Maps

  1. Open this app.
  2. Point your phone at the sky.
  3. Be filled with childlike wonder as the stars and constellations dance across your screen.

Google Earth

The whole world. On your phone. What’s not to love?

Google Gesture Search

This weird app lets you search your whole phone by drawing letters on the screen with your fingers. It’s surprisingly effective at pulling up contacts, songs, and apps quickly.

Google Keep

By the time this came out, I was already hopelessly devoted to Evernote. It fills the same niche, helping you capture and remember the little bits of information that float around your life. It’s also deeply integrated with Google Now, allowing you to capture voice notes and other thoughts effortlessly through Google tools.

Google Translate

An amazing reference for language learners, with the ability to translate spoken words, street signs, and text of all sizes.

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Ted Curran

Ted Curran is a Learning Content Designer/Developer for Autodesk. He is committed to empowering educators and learners to create transformational change through effective pedagogy and technology integration. You can follow Ted on Twitter, or learn more at my 'About" page. These thoughts are my own.

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