Friday, August 31, 2012

My Favorite iPad Teaching Apps

I posted a couple days ago about a new app that I want to start using this year and got a couple questions about any other apps that I use.  I am very much still learning how to incorporate iPads into the classroom, but these are a couple apps that I like.

I probably could go into tons of details about each of these apps, but there are people that have already done awesome jobs of writing about them so I'll just give you a link over to read more.  Check out the links, some of them have videos of the app in action to really give you a good idea of how it works.

NEARPOD
If you are lucky enough to have a class set of iPads then I'm terribly jealous of you...but also you must download this app.  Nearpod lets you create an interactive presentation and then send it to you kids' iPads.  You control the pacing and decide when to move to the next page.  The part that's so incredible though is you can add things like multiple choice questions, open-ended questions, videos, and quizzes right into the lesson and receive instant feedback.  The kids will do the activity and then send their answer to you and you can see their results before moving on to the next page.  When I picture a 1:1 classroom, this is exactly what I picture.  Talk about student engagement.

You need to see nearpod in action to really get the full idea.  Go read tons more about Nearpod here.  The only limitations here are that it seems that this is only on iOS devices for free.  There is a web app, but that requires a monthly school suscription.

SOCRATIVE
The next one is another one that has the potential to really engage kids.  A bonus is that Socrative is available on iOS, android, and the web so it's more easily used.  This is student response system that also allows for instant feedback.  Kids can answer different types of questions and you can see who said what.  This would be fantastic to incorporate into lessons to do frequent checks on understanding.  There are also some quiz options in here that are awesome, one option is game that is set up like a race that you can project onto a screen.  Kids move by answering questions correctly and they can see them self and everyone else moving.

Check out more about Socrative here.

INSPIRATION
Mind maps are something that I really want to start doing this year.  I was inspired by this which I found on Pinterest and came from Runde's Room.  At the moment I would really like to try to create a mind map for each unit and this app would be a great way to do that.  This is one that I think I will be able to implement using the one iPad that I have and projecting it.  This app makes really cute (which of course I like) looking graphic organizers and I like that the parts can be moved around as you add more.  The part that really sold me on it though is that when you create a mind map, the app automatically creates an outline with the information and you can switch back and forth.  I think there are a lot of ways this could be used.

More about Inspiration here on their website.  I have the free version which has been great for me so far, but there is a also a paid version for $9.99.  It's a little pricy for me, but could be worth it depending on how you're going to use it.  It looks like the paid version will get you tons of more options. 

STUDYBLUE
This is one that I love and recommend to students all the time.  It's a flashcard app that is available on iOS and android.  The app and accounts are free and there are a few ways to use it.  One way is just on your own.  Kids can download the app and either create or search for flashcards on a topic and then use them to study.  The app tracks your proficiency on each set of flashcards so kids can see how they're doing.  It also gives you the option to study using all cards or just the card that you got wrong last time which is cool.

What is really cool about Study Blue though is the social media aspect of it.  There are SO many sets of flashcards created that you can search and easily find ready made cards on almost anything.  As a teacher though, you can create classes.  You could have your kids all join the same class and then they could share cards and study materials with each other.  Imagine giving each kids a small topic and having them each create like 5 cards and then they can all share their cards and have a complete study guide to use.  Awesome.

Read more about it here.

NOTESHELF
This is just a notebook writing type app that I love.  I have a stylus pen that I use with this app to just write stuff down and take notes.  You can also import pictures into the app so you can import problems or worksheets into here.  I like that you can create custom papers to write on out of a pdf so I have created various graphs, coordinate planes, and number lines that I can pull up quickly.  It's got options to change pen color, size, and use highlighters.

I use it a lot when I'm helping kids one on one.  Instead of just using tons of scrap paper, I'll do examples in here to show them and have them work on problems here.  If you have a class full of kids though and you are lucky enough to have a set of iPads you could create an activity and have them do it in here.  Notebooks can be exported to e-mail, dropbox, evernote, or printed out (if you have a printer hooked up) so you could also have kids submit their work digitally.  

This is one that I paid for and never regretted it.  I use this tons for my own stuff so I also didn't buy it just for school, I really get a lot of use out of it.

TOO NOISY
There are a few apps that do something similar but I like this one.  It measures the noise level of the class to let them know when they're being too loud.  Great to just project up on a screen.  You can set the sensitivity in the app to control how loud/quiet is acceptable.

BEST SAND TIMER
There's a million timers out there, so this is just the one I'm liking at the moment.  It looks like a digital sand timer and you can watch the sand running out.  Beeps when time's up.  You can change the color of the timer too which of course I like.

I also have a bunch of math focused apps that I'll write about in part two of this post tomorrow.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you! I got an iPad this summer and I am always searching for new apps to use. I really appreciate that you shared your favorites!

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  2. Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm definitely going to check some of these out. I'm especially excited to try Noteshelf. I currently use Penultimate (99 cents) to take notes, but it's pretty limited. I think my favorite iPad app is Trainyard, but that's not going to help anyone with their classes, I suspect. In fact, it often leads me to procrastinate doing my schoolwork.

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    1. Haha, I certainly have lists of favorite games too! Penultimate was another one that I also looked into. Someone suggested upad and it looks like a really good one too.

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  3. Thanks for the recommendations. I have an iPad that I bought for myself a few years ago and I know I could use it better in my classroom. I really like the looks of Socrative and Inspiration. I'm goin gto have to check them out.

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    1. Good luck! I feel the same way, I've really been thinking up ways this summer to use it better because I feel like I could be doing a lot more with it. If you come up with anything else, I'd love to hear!

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  4. This is really useful! I don't have an ipad, but i do have my old iphone which i decided not to sell back to Apple and instead keep for my classroom to use as an independent work station for kids, both when they finish work early, and also when a student simply has too much on his/her mind to focus on the lesson and needs 5 min. to do something alone. I'm hoping I can find some of these for the iphone.
    Thanks.

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    1. That's really fantastic that you are putting an old phone to use in your classroom. I especially love what you said about using it as a mini break for kids that can't focus, that's awesome. Many of these are definitely available for iPhone too, good luck!

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  5. Does anyone have tried Astroloquiz? I found it useful especially for little kids. It can help your kids to discover new words for them to use and you will know their personalities by just answering the given question about their zodiac signs.

    Review the app here - http://togetherlearningmedia.com/homepage1/
    or buy Astroloquiz here- https://itunes.apple.com/app/astroloquiz/id577708973?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

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  6. Came across your site today while looking for tech stuff for a grant. This is a great page you have and I have bookmarked you! Do you have my script calculator? easier than kids pressing buttons and something to mix it up. also mathway....

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  7. Thank you! My school is piloting iPads in the classroom for our district and I'm feeling simultaneously blessed and overwhelmed! I have Nearpod pre-installed and I'll use them next week.

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