OneDrive – Another tool that the HWDSB has picked up for teachers is OneDrive. OneDrive is attached to your e-mail account in O365/OWA. We all have 30G+ of storage and have access to a variety of features that are great when on the go. The board has purchased us a licence that gains us access to Office Web apps which means that we can view and edit Microsoft Office Documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) directly from our mobile devices or computers and everything is synced in the cloud.  With OneDrive you’ll never be without the files that matter to you most.

Google Drive & Docs

Google Drive – HWDSB has created Google accounts for our all of our staff and students which makes having this app on school/student/teacher iPads a pretty handy tool. Students and staff can now create documents from wherever they are on either a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer. Easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders.

With Google Drive you can:

• View documents, PDFs, photos, videos, and more
• Search for files by name and content
• Easily share files and folders with others
• Set sharing permissions to view, comment, or edit
• Quickly access recent files
• See file details and activity
• Enable viewing of files offline

Google Docs – Docs is the actual word processing software that you will need to edit the documents housed in your Google Drive. With Docs you can create, edit, and collaborate with others on documents from your iPod, iPhone, or iPad with the free Google Docs app.

With Google Docs you can:

* Create new documents or edit any that were created on the web or on another device
* Share documents and work together with others in the same document at the same time
* Open, edit, and save Microsoft Word documents
* Get stuff done anytime — even without an internet connection
* Add and respond to comments
* Never worry about losing your work — everything is automatically saved as you type
* Protect your documents with a 4-digit passcode

2 Hidden iPad Gems – Guided Access & Speak Selection

The iPad has a ton of great features accessible to anyone who owns one that are not highlighted in most tutorials. My buddy Enzo Ciardelli showed me the guided access feature and I found out about the speak selection feature at an Apple inservice I attended recently. These are two great features that we teachers will be happy to know about. Spread the word! Continue reading

DisplayNote – Mirror your computer screen to devices

DisplayNote – DisplayNote is now hands down my favorite app to use in my classroom. This is one of those apps that I think every B.Y.O.D. will love. I use this app constantly in my classroom and can see it gaining even more momentum as funds become available for it. Basically it is a desktop app that mirrors your computer screen to devices set up with the mobile version of the DisplayNote app which is free at the App Store. This gives students access to view and interact with any presentation/lesson you launch from your computer. Continue reading

DropVox – Audio Recorder to Dropbox

DropVox – As their website says “Dropbox + Voice Recorder = DropVox.” A friend was recently asking me if I knew of any voice recorders that her students could do “newscasts” on quickly.  Her main concern was getting them transferred over to her computer so she could grade them when time permitted. I found this nifty little gem that not only records audio but then instantly syncs the recording as an MP4 file to your dropbox account making the recording accessible at your convenience.  I love the fact that you don’t have to do anything (airdrop, e-mail, sync iPad) and the memo is instantly in your dropbox, at your disposal. A very simple but effective tool. or

Some Great Music Apps

So, I’m also a music teacher and wanted to share some of the amazing apps that I’ve come across to save other music teachers who are interested in the iPads some time and money. 

1). Garageband: Garageband is an app that can be used to play, record, produce, mix, edit and share musical creations. It was recently made available for free on the app store.  Definitely worth playing around with if you are a music teacher or enjoy playing music. Single handedly the best app of it’s kind that I’ve found on the app store. Continue reading

Pearson eText – Textbooks and Teacher Manuals

Pearson eText – Tired of lugging around multiple heavy textbooks and teacher resources? Or scanning in pages from your textbooks in order to make your SMARTNotebook lessons look great? Well…  The fine folks at Pearson have made a number of their resources available for digital use via computer web-browser and iPad. They have made it super easy to get and use on both platforms. For iPad: 1) Download the App from the App Store and 2) Contact Pearson in order to purchase whatever licence it is that you would like Once you have your licence, you’re ready for business. Wifi/internet is a must for using the eText initially. However, once you have wifi access you can download specific units for offline use on the iPad! I’m super excited about this one!

Socrative – Clicker response system

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 or download an excel spreadsheet or pdf with the information collected for quick and easy reference. One of my most used apps in the classroom to date.


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 to see even more of what garageband has to offer.

Notability – Take Notes & Annotate PDFs with Dropbox & Google Drive Sync

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. Continue reading