Saturday, June 29, 2013

Who needs 100 apps?

I went to many great sessions at ISTE 2013, and over the next few days will be sharing some of what I learned through posting on this blog.  Today I want to share a great session I attended by Melissa Herring where she explained that there were basically 10 types of apps students need on their iPads - if they have one from each of these genres it will enable them to investigate, take notes, communicate and create.  These can be shared with the rest of the class using Airplay and an Apple TV.

1.  A Word processor
  • Pages allows written expression, journaling etc.  Many templates are already built in e.g. posters, letters, newsletters.  The templates mean you/the students don't have to do a lot of work on layout - you work smarter as you focus on content not the design.
  • Melissa discussed keyboarding on iPad.  She said her KG and G1 students are using iPad minis and they are able to type fast using their thumbs.  Keyboarding has limited uses these days - students need different skills.
2.  A Presentation tool
  • Keynote - can also be used to create info graphics
3.  A Drawing Space
  • Draw Free - this is free but has ads at the top.  It's a virtual whiteboard and good for diagrams.  Melissa's students use this app daily. They can bring in pictures from the web and label them and they can import PDFs.
4.  A QR Scanner - Melissa's teachers print out a QR code and stick it to board/wall and students come in and scan.  They also use it as a reward system/classroom incentives.  Students can create QR codes to make museum walks etc.  Some teachers use it with word jumbles or to display student work.
  • QR Stuff
5.  An Annotator 
  • Explain Everything - you can make movies, you can mark up PDF images, you can bring up websites and mark up.  It's like a whiteboard.  You record what you are doing slide by slide. The plus button brings in media and you can visit websites live in the app.
6. A Mapping or Planning tool
  • Popplet - used as timelines.  Students can add images, text, storyboarding, sequence, summarize, lab report.  They can color code the links/groups
7.  Reference tools
  • Wolfram Alpha - math formula, music.  Not useful for 2nd grade and below.
  • Facts4Me - for younger students  
8.  A Book Maker 
  • Scribble Press - now a paid for app.  Students need to have an account.  Melissa's students have made All about Me books from sentence starters.  There are also blank book templates. Students can add stickers, you can draw, add captions.
9.  A Poster Maker
  • Pic Collage - students can search on the web for pictures (watch out - it's not safe search all the time).  They can tap and use the camera to take photos, add text, add stickers, font choices and so on.
10.  File Management 
  • Melissa's students use Google Drive and Dropbox  Other apps to consider:
Other apps she mentioned that are worth considering:
  • iMovie
  • MyStory - book creation for young students
  • Videolicious - talk over a series of pictures - record self, add music
  • Trading Cards - make on a person, place, vocabulary words and so on.  It gives a prompt and character limit - you can make the front and back of cards and can print out
  • Genius Scan - Take a photo of something annotate it
  • Haiku Deck - a presentation tool that gives suggestion for adding image
  • Screen Chomp - an annotation tool/whiteboard space where students can record themselves and send link via email to share
  • KWHL Chart - created by a student - create charts and send to teachers
While I've used some of these with students, many of these recommendations are completely new to me.  I'm glad I have several weeks left of summer to play with them so that I can share them with our teachers at ASB next school year.

Photo Credit: Daniel Y. Go via Compfight cc

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