Spacecraft 3D is a free iPad app produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spacecraft 3D uses augmented reality technology to bring NASA spacecraft to life on your iPad. To get started using the app you first need to print out the spacecraft target codes. Then your students can scan those target codes with their iPads. The spacecraft then becomes a 3D model that your students can explore.
iBrainstorm is a free brainstorming application for the iPad and the iPhone. The app allows you to record brainstorming sessions using a combination of free hand drawings and sticky notes. You can share and collaborate with other users of iBrainstorm. Sharing notes and drawings between users in a local setting is a simple matter of “flicking” an item to another user.
Watch the video below to see iBrainstorm in action.
Subtext is a great free iPad app that provides a place for teachers and students to have digital book discussions.
These are some of the many things that you can do with Subtext: using Subtext you can read ebooks, annotate ebooks, create quizzes about ebooks, and write blog posts about the ebooks you read. You can create private and public book discussion groups and build bookshelves for your groups.
To add books to your Subtext bookshelves you can pull from Google Books (many free ebooks are available that way), buy ebooks from Subtext (volume pricing is available), or upload your own titles (Greg Kulowiec has posted directions here). To annotate a section of a book just highlight it then choose what you want to do with it. The text that you highlight can be annotated with your messages, you can assign a quiz question to that text, or label that section as a literary element like “personification” or “foreshadowing.”
Most of us are familiar with the story of the Three Little Pigs. Three Little Piggies is an interactive iPad version of the famous fairy tale. Three Little Piggies offers three ways to enjoy the story. You can have it read to you in auto-play mode, you can read it at your own pace, or you can read along with the narrator (your choice of male or female voice). In the read along mode each word is highlighted as it is read by the narrator.
The best part of Three Little Piggies is the interactive elements built into the story. Shake your iPad and the piggies move. You can also touch the piggies to make them move. But the most fun element is the option to blow into the microphone to play the role of the wolf blowing down a house.
Three Little Piggies is currently a free app, but it’s labeled as “free for a limited time” so grab it while it’s still free.
TinyTap is a free iPad app that allows you to create simple games based on pictures that you take. The purpose of the games you build is to help young students (pre-K through grade 4) practice identifying objects and patterns.
To create a game on TinyTap you upload pictures or take new pictures and arrange them into a set. Then select each image to create questions about it. To create your question press the record button and start talking. When you have finished talking select a portion of your picture to serve as the answer. I created a small game about objects in my house. I took four pictures of things in my house. Each question asked players to identify the objects in my house. For example, when a player sees a picture of my kitchen he or she has to identify the tea pot by touching it.
If you don’t have time to create your own games or you just want to see what others have done, you can browse the TinyTap Market. In the Market you can find a mix of free and paid games. A few of the free games that your students can play include “Dress for Winter,” “Match It,” and “Who Is Bigger?”