20 Time-Saving Mac Apps for Teachers

Today we’ll be looking at twenty applications that will enhance your classroom experience. The apps range in focus from elementary up through higher education and span multiple disciplines.

Each app has been separated into one of six categories: Lesson Planning, Grading, Testing Tools, Teachers as Students, Teaching Tools, and For the Classroom. Let’s get started!

You should also take a look at our roundup of 6 Back To College Apps for Mac.

Lesson Planning

Lesson planning can be among the largest tasks a teacher must undertake from year to year. These applications can help make this daunting endeavor a bit easier.

Teacher Studio

Using Teacher Studio, you can easily keep track of your student grades, open and due items, attendance, lessons, documents and more. The app itself was designed by a teacher, and with ease in mind, and the interface can be navigated with only a few clicks.

Price: $79.95

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Teacher Studio

Lesson Planner

Designed and developed by experienced teachers working in real schools with real pupils, Lesson Planner will reduce your planning time. The great interface and low learning curve, without compromising on quality or features, helps teachers deliver great lessons with digital resources only a mouse click away.

You can save time by duplicating and modifying existing plans, stay organised with all your lessons in one place, share ideas over your school network with colleagues. Show OFSTED and school inspectors how lesson planning should be done!

Price: £29.99

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Lesson Planner

Notebook

“A powerful and easy-to-use application, SMART Notebook software enables you to easily deliver interactive lessons that create more extraordinary learning moments for your students. See how SMART Notebook software brings simplicity to the SMART Board interactive whiteboard in a real-life classroom environment. SMART Ease of Use video.”

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Notebook

Planbook

“Planbook is a lesson planning application developed by Jeff Hellman, a high school science teacher. Planbook is designed to completely replace your paper plan book with an intuitive application that lets you harness the power of the computer to make your lesson planning time more productive.

You can enter the schedule that you teach (rotating and A/B schedule are easily handled), quickly enter lesson information, attach files to lessons, track standards, print hard copies of your plans and publish your plans to the web for students, parents and other education professionals and more.”

Price: $30

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Planbook

Grading

We’ve come a long way since jotting down grades on graph paper. It’s time to embrace the world of high-tech grade tracking and analysis, and all the benefits that this can bring.

EasyGradePro

“Available for both Windows and Mac, Easy Grade Pro provides an abundance of tools to save you time entering your student data, provides you with a wealth of information about your students, and allows you to generate professional internet and paper reports to communicate your student data with others.”

Price: $48

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EasyGradePro

Gradekeeper

“Gradekeeper is as easy to use as your paper gradebook. Take attendance, make seating charts, enter assignments and scores, and let Gradekeeper do the rest. Your grades are updated instantly. And you can easily keep students and parents informed using Gradekeeper’s printed and online reports.”

Price: Free

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Gradekeeper

TA’s Friend

“TA’s Friend is a simple application for keeping track of student test grades and homework that takes the place of a typical grades spreadsheet. We designed TA’s Friend specifically to make the job of being TA easier, TA’s Friend replaces the typical teacher assistant’s Gradebook.”

Price: $7.99

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TA's Friend

Testing Tools

Here you’ll find a number of various tools to create and/or administer tests and quizzes to your class.

Quiz Press

“With an easy-to-use interface, make your own quizzes that you can put on the web or print out for classroom use. Now featuring integration with Apple’s iPod, import/export, answer explanations, essay questions, randomized multiple choice, teacher-graded questions and much more.”

Price: $49.95

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Quiz Press

QuizMaker Pro 2010

“QuizMaker Pro 2010 is a full-featured application which generates, administers, scores, and archives tests or quizzes with up to 10 different types of questions within a single test. The program can be used to print multiple versions of a single test with answer keys for each version. QMPro will administer your tests and provide detailed score analysis by individual, class, or test.”

Price: $24.95

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QuizMaker Pro 2010

Instant Interactive Drills

“A learning environment where students gain the aid of number lines, wooden blocks, and other assistants to understand solutions to problems.”

Price: $19.95

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Instant Interactive Drills

FRS Division Drills

“FRS Division Drills provides practice with simple division, long division, and long division with remainders (sounds fun!). Simple practice allows students to develop their skills in solving division problems in their head, and helps illustrate that division is the opposite of multiplication.

The two long division practice modes aid students in learning the steps involved in completing more complex problems.”

Price: $12.95

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FRS Division Drills

Teachers As Students

Still working on that Masters or Doctoral degree while teaching? Check out these great apps to help make it to graduation.

Schoolhouse

Schoolhouse is designed for students who need an easy, quick and powerful way to manage what they need to work on. Great features like automatic grade calculation, smart criteria and file attachments make organizing your tasks simple.

Price: $14

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Schoolhouse

Study Mac

“Study brings flashcard learning to your Mac. Be it vocabulary, historical dates, capitals or any other topic, you’ll memorize them with ease.”

Price: $29.95

Cram

Cram’s multiple-choice testing mode resembles the type of tests you’re used to from images, to multiple answers, to timed tests. When your test is over, Cram grades and records your test performance so you can track your progress.

We’ve actually reviewed Cram in the past, and this might make a good starting point to learn more.

Price: $29.99

Cram

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”Study

Teaching Tools

This section is a small collection of miscellaneous tools that teachers might find helpful when covering vocabulary, and mind mapping exercises.

Keep Your Word

“Keep Your Word lets you build your own dictionary, classifying and grouping the terms exactly how you want to, while helping you to learn a large vocabulary thanks to its different exercise modes.”

Price: $34.95.

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Keep Your Word

Que

Improve your vocabulary with Que, a tool which helps you learn words from foreign languages. It focuses on a friendly and lightweight user interface.

Price: Free

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Que

MindNode

MindNode Pro and MindNode are elegant and simple-to-use mindmapping applications for the Macintosh that help to visually: collect, classify and structure ideas, organize, and study and solve problems.

Mind maps can be used for many different tasks – including to-do lists, brainstorming, holiday planning, research, writing, project management – and in many different environments – school, meetings, workspace.

Price: Free

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MindNode

For the Classroom

Though the apps below have a number of possible applications for non-teachers, they can also be great assets to a classroom environment.

Librarian Pro 2

Not specifically designed for teachers, but perfect for keeping track of your classroom’s book and physical media collection!

Price: Free

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Librarian Pro 2

Bookpedia

Another great option for cataloguing your classroom’s book inventory. Bookpedia has a ton of features including an iSight UPC scanner, Bluetooth compatibility, and a borrowing tracking system.

Price: $18

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Bookpedia

PerfectTablePlan

Originally designed for weddings and other events, teachers can use this app to design seating arrangements in all types of classrooms.

Price: $30

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PerfectTablePlan

Closing Thoughts

Overall, I have to say that I was quite disappointed in the quality and range of Mac applications available for teachers. Many of those that I came across seemed like they were developed several operating systems ago and are therefore a bit outdated.

Furthermore, there just didn’t seem to be too many applications for teachers that really provide that famous Mac experience that you get from great apps in other categories like Transmit, Things or LittleSnapper. For whatever reason, the student-focused apps like Schoolhouse and Cram seemed far better developed than the teacher-focused apps.

If you’re a Mac developer looking for a niche, I highly suggest that you consider looking into the teaching industry to see what kind of software this group of users requires and what you can do to better meet their needs.

Let us know in the comments below if you know of any great teacher apps. Leave us a link along with what you liked best about the app!