It's Thursday, and I am linking up (on time hehe) with Learning to the Core for their Thursday linky party, Tune into Technology. This week it's iPads. When parents ask me iPad or *insert brand here* tablet, I always say iPad. As far as apps are concerned, the Blackberry/Google Play market has more, but when it comes to Educational apps Apple takes the prize. I often times can't find an app that I have for Apple on the other markets and the kids get disappointed. I know they are $$$$ but it's worth it. I bought mine during Tax Free Weekend in TN and it was refurbished so I saved money, and it works just like it was brand new!
I have to rely on my students bringing in devices, check out the iPad cart, or use my personal devices in the classroom. If I give the students warning, I will usually have enough devices for partners and definitely one per group, but they aren't guaranteed to have an Apple product. The iPad cart is great, but you have to reserve it weeks in advanced and request any apps that you want on it as well. It just takes a lot of planning. I would die to have a few that would just stay in my classroom. So since I don't have as many activities, centers, etc. to share I figured I would share my top MUST HAVE apps that I couldn't live without!
1. Dropbox/Google Drive/Sky Drive - cloud and file sharing programs
I use Dropbox for school and Google Drive for blogging. The firewalls at our school allow Dropbox, but none of the Google services (otherwise I would only use Google Drive!) I lose USB drives, I want to work on stuff from home, and I will pull up documents when working with my PLC partner. This makes it so easy to have everything at the tip of your fingers. I don't even save anything to "My Documents" or my hardrive anymore!
I have folders for all of my meeting notes, and for my RTI classes where I have to do jot downs. You can embed pictures in it as well. This also works on a cloud network and you can download to your desktop or online.
These are a remote desktop. I used to use Doceri because it has in a built in whiteboard, but I have found Splashtop easier to use. You do have to be on the same network as your computer. Makes it easy to be away from my computer but pull up something from the Internet or our workbook. It has also come in handy during some boring, three hour long faculty meetings where I can work on documents that are on my computer from my iPad in another part of the buidling or if your gradebook is Java/Flash based.
4. Too Noisy
The kids love this app! I will let them work in partners, but 7th graders tend to get noisy and off topic so this help keeps them in check. If it gets in the yellow three times they have to work independent. I use yellow, because it's really far away from them because I have to use a cable to attach it to my projector. So if it's that loud, it's too loud. I did have to start warning them that if they set it off on purpose that person would be working independent. Some do find it distracting, so I have them sit underneath the projector screen or in the back of the room.
5. Show Me/Educreations
Record your voice and movements on an in-app whiteboard at the same time. See my post HERE for a detailed comparison of the two apps.
1. Cover Up Math
This app is an introduction to Pre-Algebra/Algebra and has the students solve the problems intuitively. The students were doing complex two step equations on the same day I did a pre-test! This led us into some conversations about their mathematical thinking and being able to talk themselves through the problems.
2. Socrative - Student and Teacher Apps
This works in conjunction with socrative.com where you can create EXIT slips and quizzes. The quizzes can be run as a "Space Race", teacher paced, or student paced. I let them work in teams to solve. I have the online version pulled up on the projetor while we are working on the iPads as well. They really like the Space Race, and don't realize it's really a quiz!
Access all the videos from online on the iPad. You can use it as a center! Does require BrainPop membership.
We use this app for our QR activities. More to come with the QR code linky party!
5. MathChamp - Student and Teacher App
Now, I have not used this in the classroom yet. I ONLY ever write about apps that have been classroom tested and I approve of. But I hope to use this next year. It looks very similar to Socrative, but maybe geared more towards the elementary student and they can pick their own monster.
One non-educational app I would suggest to everyone is Apps Gone Free. They offer a list of usually 8-10 apps a day that are free for a limited time. There are usually some pretty good apps in there you might not normally see that are usually 2-5 dollars!
FLASH FREEBIE!! :-)
I have created an Apps to Download poster to use in my classroom. It helps with classroom management and is great for parents to see what you are using in the classroom that they could use at home. I would like to get some reviews and feedback for it, so I am offering it FREE until SATURDAY over at my TPT store. This product is normally $5.00, so it's a great deal! It has a poster and over 50 icons of apps that are common in the classroom. All I ask is that you leave me some feedback! :-)
What are some other ways you use iPads in your classroom? I'm really interested how some upper gradees teachers use them!