APPS 4 SCHOOLS

Although it’s important we up-skill the teachers (Teacher Apps also listed below), it’s what the students are doing that’s important.

Keeping it simple and general is still the key.
Don’t get dependent on subject specific apps. Don’t just make notes….CREATE!

Students should be asking why they need to know something instead of being issued the subject-specific content app to “absorb” knowledge.

  1. CAMERA (FREE): Let’s start with what I think will have the biggest impact when using iPads. You only have to ask any politician and they will tell you that proving you understand something on camera is a lot more challenging and definite than anything you might write down. 21st Century generations watch and work in video as a natural part of life and it really is a fantastic documenting tool.
    Using the camera the students have the opportunity to:
    a) Film their process;
    b) Interview each other as documenting process;
    c) Skype to other students while working;
    d) Photograph evidence;
    e) Produce and edit documentaries;
    f) Prepare film intros for iBooks Author;
    g) Produce movie trailers for a topic
    It’s simply more engaging and challenging to organise decent film material and edit it accordingly.
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  2. ANIMATION CREATOR HD ($4) : This app offers a great new way for students to prove understanding in an entertaining way that other students will in-turn learn from. Easy frame by frame animation that some student really like to beaver away at at the back of a classroom. I’ve see some stunning examples!
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  3.  DROPBOX (FREE) : This is as important for students as it is for staff. No lost work excuses! No forgot iPad excuses! Also useful for submitting all work as a free web link can be sent to the teacher for any of their files. The teacher clicks on the link and gets the file (of any size – so it avoids around email restrictions)
    On their COMPUTER: They visit Dropbox.com and setup an account:
    a) It adds and app to their computer (of any kind) and makes a 2GB folder the app will backup online.
    b) They then move your files & folders into this new Dropbox folder, knowing they’re backed up.
    c) On the iPad they can get the free Dropbox app and login with their new account.
    d) Their files inside the Dropbox Folder on their computer are now downloadable on their iPad whenever they need them.
    e) Files on their iPad (like email attachments) can now be sent to the Dropbox app and then uploaded to the folder
    f) They can now operate their whole IT world from one place with just one copy of each file.
    g) Need more then 2GB? They can invite friends to use Dropbox and receive 1GB free for each friend.
    h) Need 100GB? That’s $100 a year.
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  4. PDF EXPERT : Annotate PDFs
    a) Add Drawing, Text & signatures to PDFs
    b) Sync with your Dropbox folders to automatically update and add files directly to and from your iPad.
    c) Previews and stores any type of file and unzips zip files.
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  5. GRAFIO : Hand drawn diagrams and flowcharts & graphs that perfect themselves!
    Maths, Economics, Science, Tech, Design & virtually all subjects, teachers and students will like this app. This is a beautiful app but it’s ‘pricey’ at NZ$12. Hand draw shapes and graphs and the app re-draws them neatly. draw a line between shapes and it will joint the line to the shapes as an arrow. Draw a curved line and it makes it a ‘nice’ curve. The tools to colour and design are well designed and easy to use. It then exports your work to email / Dropbox / iTunes in a number of formats.
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  6. SKITCH Doodle on Pics, webpages, maps and share through Evernote (or not)
    This is a well designed app for doing your simple Doodle or instructional diagram over a Map (it has it’s own mapping) or Picture. The tools are simple and that’s all you need to put together a helpful diagram for Keynote or to send to students.
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  7. COMICBOOK! Make great comics easily and share them quickly.
    It does exactly what it says ‘on the tin’. It has nice templates/layouts and loads of Speech and Sticker options. It’s tempting to see this as childish but Storyboarding is a very important skill in writing, film-making and of course in Comics and Graphic Novels (A fast growing market)
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  8. iThoughtsHD Complete Mind-mapping with all the options
    Many of the mind-mapping software in the app store wont export as multiple file types but iThoughtsHD exports as anything to anything. It’s easy to use and you have compete control over colour, images, links to sites and other mind-maps etc. It’s not free but it’s worth the money if mind-mapping is your thing.
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  9. iMotionHD Stop-Frame animation Filming with “Auto-gap” shoot setting.
    This is the most instant fun I’ve had with my iPad in 2 years! It’s a free app and really simple to  use. You set the number of seconds gap between photos and then make slight movements of the objects in front of the iPad’s camera to create instant animations. It also has a manual mode for taking the frame shots one-at-a-time. It is simply brilliant! It could be used to comically or otherwise cover any topic and show you understand the process or story so you should be able to use this in any subject!
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  10. DRAW FREE All you need from an Art / Photo edit App. (More arty tools than Skitch)
    An app that’s easy to use, well designed and has what you need. Draw and Paint from scratch or over photos or styled backgrounds, like old paper etc. It also has a small gallery of icons / cartoons. It’s simply a must have for general image manipulations beyond the cropping and enhancements that the built-in Photos app will do.
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  11. GRAPHING CALCULATOR (US$1.99) A must for every high school student.
    Graphing calculators are expensive, but it’s almost impossible to get your calculus homework done without one. Consider investing in this app instead. It quickly plots and traces multiple equations on the same graph, using a custom keyboard to speed up entry. It even supports graphing polar and parametric equations and much, much more. Plus, you can take screenshots of your calculator to email graphs to yourself. I’m in NZ where it costs NZ$2.59, a bargain compared to a real calculator.
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  12. WOLFRAM ALPHA (US$3.99) All maths and world statistics in one place.
    Like every website, this app is just easier to use on the iPad. It presents reports on Maths formulae or  comparisons between countries or companies stock market data. It turns much of the world’s known data into computable, comparable data. It’s a great general system that delivers data where Google delivers just website addresses.
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  13. BBC NEWS (Free) Try to make all learning relevant.
    Connecting as much of learning to real-world events is just about the most important thing teachers can do. Students should be asked to check the news every day and connect topics to the events. Questions / Tasks should be: Why an event or story needed ‘this’ maths. Create a painting that portrays this event’s characters. Write fiction from the point of view of this news story’s villain. How might you help these people?
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  14. POPPLET (US$4.99)  The best kid-friendly Mind-Mapping & Flowchart app
    This produces well organized mind-maps and flowcharts with built in camera options for quick building. You can also build a map as a team – perfect for group planning and idea sharing. It’s really easy to use and gaining a strong following.
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  15. hopscotchHOPSCOTCH HD (Free)
    This app will become a great intro into programming for young kids where they can design games from scratch and code characters to move on tap or tilt of the iPad. I’ve been waiting for a while for one of these and the full release of this app will solve many problems for me, I’m sure.
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  16. Aurasma IconAURASMA (Free – needs free account)
    Aurasma is augmented reality made easy. See here for an intro. Students can point their cameras at things in the classroom or school and they come to life. The possibilities include: walking around objects with labels appearing on the screen – good for science, posters with photos become video posters that talk – like Harry Potter – I use this to give lessons to kids on demand, such as intros to tech equipment in my room. Here’s there demo video. You’ll get the idea.
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  17. Aurasma Icon THINGLINK (Free)
    Thinklink is a great starter for #AppSmashing material from other apps together. You can take a photo or diagram and add ‘hotspots’ all over it that link to relevant websites or videos online. It’s a simple way to create an interactive presentation of a topic and all it’s related info.

TEACHER APPS

GENERAL PRODUCTIVITY OVER INFO AND SUBJECT APPS.

  1. DROPBOX : BRING YOUR COMPUTER’S FILES TO YOUR IPAD (FREE)
    On your COMPUTER: Visit Dropbox.com and setup an account:
    a) It adds and app to your computer (of any kind) and makes a 2GB folder the app will backup online.
    b) You then move your files & folders into this new Dropbox folder, knowing they’re backed up.
    c) On the iPad you can get the free Dropbox app and login with your new account.
    d) Your files inside the Dropbox Folder on your computer are now downloadable on your iPad whenever you need them.
    e) Files on your iPad (like email attachments) can now be sent to the Dropbox app and then uploaded to the folder
    f) You can now operate you whole IT world from one place with just one copy of each file.
    g) Need more then 2GB? You can invite friends to use Dropbox and receive 1GB free for each friend.
    h) Need 100GB? That’s $100 a year.
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  2. PDF EXPERT : Annotate PDFs
    a) Add Drawing, Text & signatures to PDFs
    b) Sync with your Dropbox folders to automatically update and add files directly to and from your iPad.
    c) Previews and stores any type of file and unzips zip files.
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  3. EXPLAIN EVERYTHING : Lesson recording / iPad Whiteboard
    a) A whiteboard on your iPad screen that allows you to build a lesson video over several sessions.
    b) You can pause the recording while you add images, websites, drawing, text, shapes or until tomorrow!
    c) It records each slide separately only adding the recordings together in the final video. This allows you to go back and edit one slide should you need.
    d) It exports to MP4 or Youtube or Dropbox giving you complete control over how you publish. Many of the app’s competitors run their own website and control/own the videos you make.
    e) This is a great first step in removing one-size-fits-all education from your classroom. Students watch your teaching in their own time at their own pace. Allowing you to work with individuals or smaller groups in the classroom.
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  4. TWEETBOT (TWITTER) : The best professional Development for free!
    Twitter allows you to connect with hundreds of fellow teachers who do the same job as you. Once you get used to how it works, you will have great conversations and grab and share the best resources for your particular area. TWEETBOT is the most popular app for Twitter as it has every available feature including easily organising the teachers you follow into lists. I have lists for ICT teachers but separately check-up on 21st Century leaning Tweeters in another list.
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  5. DISPLAY RECORDER (RECORD YOUR IPAD) : Make a video while you use one of your iPad apps.
    This is really good if you have official or unofficial responsibility for helping staff and student use their iPads. You open the app hit record and then go wherever else on you iPad you like and it will record you movements while recording your voice.
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  6. GOOGLE MAPS AND YOUTUBE (iOS 6 issue) Retrieving 2 great services!
    Apple made a brave decision to create their own maps system for iOS and released it with the latest iPhone/iPad operating system upgrade. Their maps app and system has at least 2 years of work before it will compete with Google’s. They also removed Youtube as a default app and this might have now disappeared from your iPad’s home screen. This was a good decision by Apple as it had been rated as a very poor app since it was introduced.
    To retrieve these 2 apps in working condition:
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    a. Go to Safari on your iPad and visit m.youtube.com (The m replaces the www on mobile devices)
    b. Click the ‘Send’ (arrow) button on Safari’s toolbar and click ‘Add to Home Screen’ (It might be on the second page of send options so swipe right – see pic)
    c. This will add the web app to your iPAd as if it were an iPAd app and it works really well.
    d. repeate for Google maps using the address maps.google.com
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  7. GRAFIO : Hand drawn diagrams and flowcharts & graphs that perfect themselves!
    Maths, Economics, Science, Tech, Design & virtually all subjects, teachers and students will like this app. This is a beautiful app but it’s ‘pricey’ at NZ$12. Hand draw shapes and graphs and the app re-draws them neatly. draw a line between shapes and it will joint the line to the shapes as an arrow. Draw a curved line and it makes it a ‘nice’ curve. The tools to colour and design are well designed and easy to use. It then exports your work to email / Dropbox / iTunes in a number of formats.
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  8. COACH’S EYE: All Educators could call this a dream video app
    As the name suggests, this is aimed at sports coaches but what this app does with video could be used by most subjects.
    a) Video activity
    b) Draw on video as it plays back
    c) Slow down footage (even manual Frame-by-Frame control)
    d) Compare video clips
    e) Instantly shareSeems obvious for sports but what about:
    i) a Science Experiment’s reaction in Super-slow-motion;
    ii) directing a play via instructions on the video;
    iii) Instructions and measurements added to Technology build;
    iv) A video tour of the school with info
    v) Language discussions with vocabulary added
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  9. SKITCH: Doodle on Pics, webpages, maps and share through Evernote (or not)
    This is a well designed app for doing your simple Doodle or instructional diagram over a Map (it has it’s own mapping) or Picture. The tools are simple and that’s all you need to put together a helpful diagram for Keynote or to send to students.
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  10. QWIKI: Instant Presentation made and voiced over on any (well nearly any) subject by the app
    You search for a topic, you click the topic, it puts together images, video and text to create an instant presentation. You might not want to show them to a class but they make a great additional resource for both you and your students. It’s also a website : http://www.qwiki.com
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  11. KINDLE Save the planet and don’t by a paper book again.
    iBooks is a lovely looking app, but when it comes to reading books, it still has to be Kindle. Download the app and immediately sign-in to the app with your Amazon account. Then on the Amazon website you can choose the eBook format when buying a book and select your iPad for it to be delivered to. The book then will appear on any Kindle app you have elsewhere. For example you can get Kindle for Mac computers (although reading at a laptop is weird!)
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  12. GOOGLE DRIVE (The new name for Google Docs)
    If you do use Google Drive then this app is the best way to view but not edit your Google Docs. It will allow you to view and then save offline versions to your iPad but only allows very basic editing of Word Docs only (not Spreadsheets). If you want to edit the docs then the Google App itself might be better. This alternative is based but presents Google as if it were an app on your iPad.

9 comments on “APPS 4 SCHOOLS

  1. Pingback: APPS 4 STUDENTS | accionangel

  2. Thanks for the list.
    May I suggest Easy Annotate as an alternative to PDF Expert.
    It has all the needed annotation options, but has some unique features as well. Viewing two pdfs side-by-side is especially practical.

    [Note: I'm the developer of Easy Annotate]

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