Socrative - Socrative is a student clicker response system that can be used for quizzes. There is a teacher app and a student app for most iPad and android devices. Not enough devices to go around? Well the quizzes can also be accessed via any web enabled computer. With the teacher app, you have the ability to create and edit a variety of different kinds of quizzes. I use this app a lot for exit cards, review and other quick formative assessments in math. My favorite feature is that once all of the kids have finished the quiz, socrative gives you the choice to e-mail yourself an excel spreadsheet with the information collected for quick and easy reference. One of my most used apps in the classroom to date. http://www.socrative.com/
CloudOn – Until Microsoft comes out with a fully functioning version of Office for the iPad, CloudOn will rein supreme. Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents can all be easily created and edited on the go with this amazing cloud storage friendly app. The interface looks a lot like the 2007 version of Office. CloudOn uses Box, Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive to access and edit your documents from the cloud. Personally, I use this one to make changes or tweaks to my digital day plans as needed on the fly. The only real snag is that the app doesn’t store the files locally. This means you must have a solid wifi connection to access, create or edit your documents and that occasionally there is a little bit of a lag when typing. http://site.cloudon.com/
Documents to Go (Docs to Go) - Docs to Go uses a very simple interface for working on the basics in terms of creating and editing MS office documents. This app doesn’t have all the bells and whistles in terms of customizing your document but what it does do is give you the option to save a document locally. This means that you can work on the document at anytime with or without a wifi internet connection. So until Microsoft comes out with their office suite that let’s you do all of the above, I will be using both of these apps for different purposes and based on wifi accessibility. In my opinion, you can’t have one without the other. I would ideally like CloudOn’s interface with Docs to Go’s ability to save documents right to the iPad. http://www.dataviz.com/dtg_home.html
Garageband – Garageband is one of the most exciting music apps available for the iPad and a must have for any iPad friendly music teacher! With this app you can play, create, record, and edit music.There are virtual instrument sets (Smart Keyboard, Smart Guitar, Smart Strings, Smart Bass and Smart Drums) that can be accessed as well as some real instrument options. Guitar Amps, drums, the sampler and keyboards can be used with real instruments with the help of adapters like Jam, iRig or even the iPad Photo card adapter that enables you to plug midi keyboards directly into the iPad. If this isn’t already enough, there is also an audio recorder that can be used to record simple vocals or other live sounds and instruments. The app enables you to play, record and edit up to 8 tracks as well as change tones, sounds and effects within each instrument set. My words can not do this app justice. This app has become a student favorite, allowing new musicians to sound like seasoned veterans in no time. Check out the following video to see a few of the features that garageband has to offer.
Or head on over to http://www.apple.com/ca/apps/garageband/ to see even more of what garageband has to offer.
Notability – I’ve wasted a lot of money purchasing and trying out various note taking apps. So let me save you some time and a little bit of money. Notability is by far the best and most reliable note-taking app that I’ve found to date. Notability powerfully integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, picture importing, typing, and recording. It has the best writing interface I have found in an app. My issue with other note-taking apps has been that the writing is too crude and bulky… only letting you fit a few words per line and not much on a full page. Notability uses a special enlarged “zoom window” so that you can write easily. Everything from this window then shrinks down so that you can fit a large amount of text on a each line and page. I have seen a couple of other apps with a similar feature but at this point, notability does it the best in my opinion.
Check out Notability here.
Here is some more info about Notability’s features straight from the iTunes App Store page.
** Full-featured Handwriting **
Stunning retina ink makes capturing ideas easy and awesome. Notability’s zoom window helps you quickly and clearly draw every detail, while the palm rest protects your notes from unwanted marks. Your notes should be as unique as you are, so choose your favorite style pen and paper to create beautiful notes.
** PDF Annotation **
The same tools that help you take beautiful notes in Notability equip you to annotate PDFs: handwrite, type, and record. Then share these annotations through email or a cloud service. Bookmark important pages and easily find annotations.
** Advanced Word-Processing **
Features like styling, outlining, text boxes, and spell check are the perfect tools to get the job done quickly and accurately. Other tools like bullets, bold, italic, underline, font presets, cursor controls, and more, seamlessly integrate to help you create rich notes.
** Linked Audio Recording **
Audio recordings automatically link to your notes, so go ahead and take notes with confidence. While reviewing your notes, just tap a word to hear what was said at that moment. Use the recording feature to capture your own voice for memos, presentations, or speech practice.
** Auto-sync **
Work with confidence: with Notability’s auto-sync, your notes are always backed up in the cloud. Choose your favorite cloud service: Dropbox, Google Drive, Box or WebDAV.
** Media Insertion **
Enhance your notes by adding pictures from your photo library or from the iPad camera. Insert web clips, figures, and drawings to compliment your notes. Crop, resize, and draw on images to make them perfect.
** Library Organization **
Your ideas and notes are incredibly important to you, so Notability makes it simple to organize, protect and share this information. Import notes, PDFs, and RTFs from the cloud or web. Also, import .doc, .ppt, and .xls files as PDFs using Google Drive.
Printer Pro - I have spent more time and money than I’d like to admit testing out various iDevice printing apps. In my opinion Printer Pro is by far the best one I’ve found thus far. To my understanding there are three ways to print using Printer Pro:
- Straight to a wifi enabled printer.
- Remotely through a computer to it’s attached printer as the document appears on the iPad or
- Remotely through a computer to it’s attached printer but also using the documents default software (eg. it will actually open microsoft word on your computer and print the document as it would appear there).
Option 3 seems to work the best from what I’ve seen. If you are planning to use option 2 or 3 you will need to download Printer Pro Desktop for your computer. They also have a Lite Version of the app so you can test it out and make sure it works with your printers and computers appropriately before purchasing the pro version.
Reflector - Reflector is an app that has been around for a while but with the latest updates I wanted to give it the spotlight once again. The latest updates have added substantial stability in terms of wirelessly mirroring your iDevice’s screen, movements and audio to a laptop or desktop computer. This is not an app that you will find in Apple’s App Store since it is actually a desktop app (for your computer) but you can find it directly at www.reflectorapp.com. Why is this something you would want to use in your classroom? Here’s a couple reasons…
- This makes your iDevice a mobile document camera so you can capture work samples for peer assessment, discussion and instant feedback.
- You can display photos, websites, music, documents, videos, apps, games, presentations, screencasts and any other teacher or student generated product made on the iDevice. This involves having a projector hooked up to your computer (which a lot of teachers already have with their SMARTboard set ups).
- You are not confined to the length of cables… you can walk around the room freely or you can pass the iDevice around the room for student interaction and engagement.
Since the update I will go as far as to say that the app works flawlessly! Make sure that you have a strong wireless signal, download the app, and you should be good to go! They also offer a free limited time trial of the app if you aren’t sold and wan to test it out first. Well worth the $15.00 that it costs!
Last Updated Feb 6, 2013
- Nearpod - This free app allows teachers to take new or pre-existing powerpoint or keynote presentations and create interactive iPad lessons from them. There are two apps, a teacher version and a student version. You can broadcast presentations, poll the class, ask open ended questions, give quizzes, show videos, and implement interactive slides, broadcasting directly to the student’s individual device.http://www.nearpod.com/
- CloudOn - A great app that lets you edit and create MSOffice documents as well as Google Docs through Dropbox and Google Drive. I use this for my day plans and make changes on the fly. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/cloudon/id474025452?mt=8
- Dropbox – USB sticks look like dinosaurs. Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. https://www.dropbox.com/
- Reflector - A third party app not sold through the app store that lets you display your iPad’s desktop on your laptop or desktop computer using wifi. This is great since you can use it for instructional purposes but also because it turns your iPad into a mobile and wireless document camera (iPad 3 recommended since the camera is better and images are clearer). http://www.reflectorapp.com/
- Knowmia Teach – Whiteboard/Presentation software that you or your students can use for screencasts etc. The best one I have found to date. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/teach/id527216211?mt=8
- Socrative - Get the teacher version. With this app you can create little quizzes perfect for use as exit cards for a quick formative assessment piece that can be completed using any mobile device or computer that has access to a web-browser. Not only does it help you create the quizzes but once all of your students have completed it… you can e-mail yourself an excel document with all of the data nicely laid out for you. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teacher-clicker-socrative/id477620120?mt=8
- Splashtop Remote Desktop - This is one of my personal favorite apps. Take over your computer, have access to everything on your computer, watch videos, edit documents, and move things on your Smartboard from your iPad from anywhere in the world as long as you have a wifi connection. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/splashtop-remote-desktop-for/id382509315?mt=8
- Notability - An organized notebook app with word processing, PDF annotating, picture inserting, audio recording capabilities, email features, and dropbox/google drive integration. I can’t do it justice talking about it. I use this one for daily life as well as at school. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/notability-take-notes-annotate/id360593530?mt=8
- MyScript Calculator - A written calculator. You write the equation down and the app solves the equation for you. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/myscript-calculator/id578979413?mt=8
- Google Chrome - Personally my favorite web-browser for the iPad. Syncs all bookmarks from your chrome desktop browser. URL heading doubles as a search bar. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chrome/id535886823?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2
- Printer Pro - Wireless and remote printing from your iPad. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/printer-pro/id393313223?mt=8
- Readability - This app takes advertisement bombarded websites and strips them down into a nice simple customized reading experience. The great thing about this app is that you can sync reading material across all of your devices and computers. http://www.readability.com/apps
- First Class - Our trusty old e-mail host for the board has a slick app for access on the go. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/firstclass-mobile/id310607705?mt=8
- Garageband - great for easily creating and recording music as well as playing and programming instruments. http://www.apple.com/ca/ipad/from-the-app-store/apps-by-apple/garageband.html
- iMovie - video recording and simple editing. http://www.apple.com/ca/ipad/from-the-app-store/apps-by-apple/imovie.html
- Evernote - Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders and many other things. There is a webclipper that can be integrated with your web-browser and that lets you catalog anything you may come across on the web. Evernote instantly syncs to all devices, computer, ipad, iphone, etc. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8
- Overdrive/eMax/Kindle/iBooks - ebooks http://www.overdrive.com/software/omc/ http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/llrc/?page_id=3143 http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/kindle-read-books-magazines/id302584613?mt=8
- Dictionary - both Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com – D.com is great since it has a thesaurus built in as well. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id364740856?mt=8
- Dragon - Voice to text software. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/dragon-dictation/id341446764?mt=8
- Speak it! - will read text from online, pdf, and other formats when copied into it. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/speak-it!-text-to-speech/id308629295?mt=8
- Brain Pop - Great educational videos broken up by subject. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/brainpop-featured-movie/id364894352?mt=8
- Musicnotes - This app syncs with the desktop version. If you have sheet music purchased from their online store you can have it synced to all of your devices. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/musicnotes-sheet-music-viewer/id369741034?mt=8
- My First Classical Music App - A great resource for kids learning about composers, instrument families, and various walks of life that require music. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-first-classical-music-app/id470865535?mt=8
- Twitter/Tweetbot/Quip - Great for keeping up to date on what your PLN are up to as well as sharing ideas and resources with other like minded educators. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweetbot-twitter-client-personality/id498801050?mt=8
Knowmia Teach - I know what you’re thinking… “Another whiteboard app… really!?” Well I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this one combines all of the best features from apps like Explain Everything, Smart Notebook, EduCreations, and Board Cam into one easy to use app. If you are not completely happy with any one of the apps listed previously… I would recommend trying this one out. It’s laid out a lot like notebook/powerpoint/keynote but has the ability to record annotations along with your presentations. It also has the ability to insert a personal video recording of yourself into the presentation as well which is pretty cool. Create an account at Knowmia.com and convert your presentations to videos that can be viewed later and embeded. The only downfall I’ve noticed is that it can be a little glitchy from time to time. I’ve already deleted all of the other whiteboard apps that I own and replaced them with Teach. Watch the video and read what Knowmia has to say about their app below.
TAKEN FROM KNOWMIA’s WEBSITE:
Knowmia Teach is a new free lesson planning and recording tool for teachers. It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on Knowmia.com so your students and the public can find them. Knowmia Teach makes it easy to bring in visual aids from multiple sources, organize them in steps (like slides in a presentation) and use your own voice and fingers to bring your lesson to life. You can design each step in the lesson, record illustrations as you draw them, and create sophisticated animation sequences with a simple stroke of a finger. We also give you the ability to describe your lesson in a way that makes it simple for any student who is interested in the subject to find your video.
Main features include:
★ Build your lesson out of smaller steps (like slides) so it’s easy to manage and organize your lesson
★ Create each step of your lesson on a separate whiteboard so you can seamlessly introduce new concepts
★ Record everything that you do on the whiteboard as well as your voice and video to create the lesson step-by-step
★ Use the shape tool to quickly draw common shapes
★ Type text with any font/size directly on the whiteboard
★ Import images, graphics or video clips from the iPad’s media library and built-in camera – or paste in any image of your own
★ Draw freely with multiple pen widths and a highlighter mode
★ Use the pointer tool to attract attention to anything on the whiteboard while recording it
★ Publish the complete lesson to Knowmia.com with a touch of a button
Check out the app on iTunes here.
Dropbox - I recently decided to start using dropbox with my grade 7/8 students so that they can submit assignments via the web instead of having to lug around usb sticks and hard copies. I created two dropbox accounts 1) for me, my personal account and 2). a generic account for the kids. A really cool feature about dropbox that you can access from the website is that you can “share folders” with other users. So I created a class folder “Mr. Kelly’s Class” and shared it with the student dropbox account. Students can now submit assignments directly to me from the comfort of their own homes or even mobile devices. One better… I can type my descriptive feedback and suggestions for improvement directly on their assignment… which then they can access from any computer with internet access at anytime. Ideally giving them additional opportunity to use the feedback given to further improve their work without the mass murder of trees. This idea and concept is old news for those using Google Docs but I found that it was a lot easier to set up. 2 accounts does the trick as long as the students using it are trust worthy and responsible. All in all I’m pretty excited to see how this goes.
Areas of concern: Students have the ability to access and delete other student’s work (This can potentially be done both by accident and on purpose).
Since the school year started up I haven’t had much time to add posts here. I came across this list today and found a couple new gems that I didn’t know about before. Check it out if you’re looking for some good app ideas. Most of the the suggestions have been around for a while but they seem to be ones that have stood up over time. http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow_viewer/0,3253,l=250054&a=250058&po=1,00.asp