I got an Apple Watch a few Christmases ago…and I will admit (reluctantly)…that I wore it for a couple weeks, and then…it sat uncharged for the better part of a year…
I don’t remember what exactly compelled me to start wearing it regularly. It could be the guilt I felt at not using this expensive present my husband bought me. Or, it may have been the steps and workout stats I wanted to track as I started up (yet another) workout kick.
But, whatever the reason was that got that Watch back on my wrist — I am SO grateful. I am absolutely addicted to my watch now, and I use it daily in my classroom.
My students see my eyes light up when I say, “I’m starting the timer” as I press “start” on my watch, and they see the sadness in my eyes on the rare (VERY RARE) days I forget my watch at home.
Fellow teachers, I wanted to share the love affair I have my watch, and provide you with my favorite Apple Watch features for teachers! These apps are simple, but impactful.
5 Apple Watch apps for teachers
There’s no saving the best for last here — this is by far my FAVORITE Apple Watch benefit for the classroom.
In the past, I would set a Google timer or a random web-based countdown timer. Then, I would proceed to get lost in helping a student, lose track of time, and ultimately get startled (or frazzled) when the timer would go off. I would run to my computer, frantically try to get the mouse hovered over the “stop” button, and put an end to the alarm sound.
With my Apple Watch, the timer is always with me — right on my wrist. I love it. The Apple Watch lets you select a premade time in several increments (1 min., 3 min., 5 min. etc.), or you can create a custom-made time interval. My favorites custom times are 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
With our teacher minds filled to the brim with student needs, administrative requests, PLC meetings, parent emails and the list could go on endlessly, it can be difficult to keep track of time.
An Apple Watch will alert you with the reminders that you store in your phone. This has saved me more than once — if I’m in a conversation with a student or a fellow colleague, my watch will buzz and remind me that I have a meeting I otherwise may have missed.
My principal asks that we check our email regularly throughout the day; however, let me be honest–that rarely happens. I check my email before school starts, but when I’m teaching, I am teaching.
With my Apple Watch, I can now get my email right on my wrist– when the notification comes through, I can quickly glance at my watch and assess whether it’s something I need to respond to right away (usually, it’s not…) or if it’s something that can wait until my planning period.
I love having my to-do list travel with me on my wrist. During my planning periods, I pull up my list and take so much pleasure in ticking the items on my to-do list off one-by-one. I personally love the app Todoist for my to-do lists.
When I first started wearing my Apple Watch, I was shocked at how few steps I was getting per day. I thought, I’m a teacher on my feet all day, I must be getting over 10,000 steps, right? I was actually wrong. What I realized with my step tracker was that while I was on my feet, I was not getting as many steps as I thought I was getting–the real number ranged from 3,500-4,500.
Wearing my Apple Watch motivates me to move each day more than I had been. Instead of taking the elevator to my classroom (my school has a LOT of stairs), I wanted to see my “flights climbed” number go up, which motivated me to take the stairs. I would make a quick, brisk trip to the office at the beginning of my planning periods as well — adding to my step count. I walked around the room more purposefully, rather than standing in a few key spots.
While the activity app might not directly correlate to my teaching job, it does correlate to my teaching health. It’s one of my favorite reasons to wear my Apple Watch to school each day.
Overall, I’m curious about how wearable technology will continue to impact education — both for teachers and students. My smartwatch has definitely helped me in my every day teaching, even though the apps are simple. I love that I have a watch that I can wear both in class and after school.
I would love to hear how you use your smartwatch (Apple Watch, FitBit, etc.) in your classroom — comment below!