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March 7, 2016



I thought I would start out a new feature on the blog that for now I’m calling My Favorite Apps.   These apps are essential not only for teachers but also for students as well.  

Due, which has been around for awhile, is an incredibly powerful app that literally serves as my Prefrontal Cortex.  Here’s how it helps:

  • Alarm settings remind me of upcoming events of tasks I have to do at certain times:
    • Weekly faculty meetings
    • Calling a parent after school
    • Meeting with a fellow teacher to talk shop
    • Weekly Twitter Chats
  • Reusable Timers help keep me on track during class
    • 3 minute – Class Transition TImer
      • A great way to make sure class always starts on time
    • 5 minutes – Class Break
    • 10 minute – Student Presentation
    • 20 minutes – Silent Reading
      • The best part about these timers is that I can display them on my whiteboard using AirPlay so students can see them.
  • Repeating reminders – These help me remember tasks that often slip my mind.  You can set them so they repeat automatically on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
    • Letting a student out early at the end of each class so he can get a head start at his locker
    • End project five minutes early to allow for students to get started on homework
    • Take out the recycling each Friday
    • Pass back the papers during Writer’s Workshop each Monday

Other apps have similar features, but Due makes it incredibly simple to set a reminder.  It has a few other features, which for me set it apart from others.  I can:

  • Set alarms of different lengths, so not only do I not miss the alarm but I can tell different alarms apart without having to take my iPhone out of my pocket.  I can even create my own alarms where I set the beat and the length (I even have one for my wife that’s 30 seconds long so there’s no chance I’ll end up in the dog house.).
  • Hit the snooze button with a persistent reminder.  Let’s say an outstanding Harkness discussion is going on.  I can hit the snooze button for 5 minutes but when the time is up, the reminder will remind me every minute until I turn it off.  It makes it nearly impossible to forget things.  For me, this is a godsend.

This app can be a game changer for students because it can:

  • Be used on different platforms (iPad, iPhone)
  • Help students get to classes on time – students can load their schedules into the app so they are never late again.
  • Remind the student who always forgets his history text to stop at his locker to grab it before going home.
  • Prompt a student to turn in her homework at the start of each class.
  • Serve as a nightly homework planner.
  • Set limits for time spent working on a certain assignment.  I will often tell my students that I want them to work on an assignment for 20 minutes.  Due helps in three ways:
    • For students who often finish early – Due urges them to keep going and can improve the quality of their work.
    • For students who have trouble keeping track of time – Due helps them stay in control.
    • For students with perfectionist tendencies or anxiety issues – Due lets them know when it’s time to put the work away.
  • Urge a student to stop at the nurse for her meds before heading out to recess.
  • Remind students to redo an incomplete assignment.
  • Turn in a field trip form to the office.
  • Help students with executive functioning weaknesses to stay of tasks and keep them in control of time.

Perhaps the only downside to Due is the $4.99 price tag, but I have found it to be a good use of five bucks because, as I said, it’s like having a butler in your pocket.  Give it a try and let me know what your think.

Due – Homepage


From → My Favorite Apps

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