PicCollage is one of my favorite apps for creating multimedia collages on my iPad. Creating those collages is a great way to visually summarize a trip, to tell a story, or showcase the highlights of research. I’ve shown PicCollage to hundreds of teachers over the last couple of years. The only complaint I’ve heard about it is that there is a public gallery of collages. I just discovered this morning that PicCollage for Kids removes that gallery. PicCollage for Kids also removes all social media connections to the app. Students do not need to create accounts in order to use PicCollage for Kids.
As the end of the school year nears you may find yourself asking students to create collections of examples of their best work of the year. There are a lot of ways that your students could go about accomplishing that task. Here are five free apps that can be used for the purpose of creating a digital portfolio.
Seesaw is a free iPad app through which students can create a portfolio to document the things they have learned. Students can add artifacts to their portfolios by taking pictures of their work (in the case of a worksheet or other physical item), by writing about what they’ve learned, or by shooting a short video to record something they have learned. Students can add voice comments to their pictures to clarify what their pictures document. To get started with Seesaw create a free classroom account. Students join the classroom by scanning a QR code (you will have to print it or project it) that grants them access to your Seesaw classroom. As the teacher you can see and sort all of your students’ Seesaw submissions. Seesaw allows parents to create accounts through which they can see the work of their children. As a teacher you can send notifications to parents when their children make a new Seesaw submission.
WeLearnedIt is an offering from Adam Bellow and eduClipper. WeLearnedIt offers many of the great features of eduClipper that you currently enjoy along with additional digital portfolio elements. Through the WeLearnedIt iPad app you and your students can create digital portfolios that contain files from Google Drive, Dropbox, links from the web, images and videos captured with your iPad, and whiteboard videos created within the WeLearnedIt app.
Pearltrees allows you to organize collections of links, videos, images, and files. All of your collections appear in your Pearltrees homescreen and from there you can access and add to any of your collections. The new format makes it easy to drag-and-drop files from your desktop to a collection in your Pearltrees account. The Pearltrees browser extension enables you to quickly add content from a webpage to your collections. Pearltrees works the same way on an iPad as it does in a web browser or on Android tablet.
Tackk is a free service available to use as an iPad app, Android app, or web app. By using Tackk you can create a page to announce an important event, to advertise an event, or to show off your best digital works. To create a Tackk page you do not need to register for an account, but unregistered Tackk pages expire after seven days. If you register for the service your Tackk pages stay up indefinitely. I registered for the service before creating my first Tackk page. Creating my Tackk was a simple matter of uploading an image then adding text in the customizable fields above and below my image. Tackk pages can accommodate videos, audio files, and maps.
Featured on this blog yesterday, PopBoardz is a free iPad app for organizing collections of images, videos, links, and notes. If you went by just that description you would think that PopBoardz is another Pinterest clone, but it’s not. Unlike Pinterest, PopBoardz is designed for organizing resources for yourself rather than publishing collections to the web. When you do want to share a board you’ve created, you can do so by exporting your board as a document that can be shared via email, Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud. PopBoardz could be a good tool for students to use to create and present digital portfolios. They can create boards by importing content from the camera rolls on their iPads and or import content from Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. Students an also add simple text notes to their boards. Students who want to include work they’ve published online can add links to their PopBoardz.
Bonus Item – Teacher Only App
Three Ring is a fantastic, free service for digitizing and organizing your students’ physical work. With the free app installed on your iPad or iPhone you can take a picture of a student’s assignment and upload it to your Three Ring account. In your Three Ring account you can add note about the assignment for yourself, the student, and the student’s parents to see. You can create folders for each student in each of your classes. Three Ring provides a great way for teachers whose students produce a lot of handwritten, drawn, and hand-built work. Three Ring could be used by art teachers to create a digital record of each student’s work. Three Ring is also useful for mathematics teachers whose students do a lot of work on paper rather than typing as they solve problems.
Disclosures: I have a small equity stake in WeLearnedIt. SeeSaw’s parent company advertises on one of my other blogs.
As the end of the school year approaches I find myself receiving more requests for review and skill practice apps. Yesterday’s post was all about fractions review. Today, I have a couple of apps dealing with factoring, multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition.
Math Slicer is an iPad app that presents a fun alternative to using flashcards to practice basic mathematics skills. In Math Slicer students are shown addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems that they have to answer by “slicing” the correct answer in half. The answer choices jump up on the screen and students have to slice them before they disappear. Math Slicer is available in a free version and a paid version ($0.99). The paid version offers more levels of play.
Factor Samurai is a nice little app that students can use to practice identifying prime numbers. The app is a game in which students use a Samurai sword to chop numbers that can be factored into smaller values. As numbers appear on the screen players have to choose is they should chop them or let them pass. Factor Samurai is currently priced at $2.99
I generally don’t get too excited about skill drill apps, but some of the cute and fun ones pull me in anyway. If you’re looking for some apps for your students to use to learn and practice their fractions skills, take a look at the following three options.
Chicken Coop Fractions is a fun game in which students have to select the decimal equivalents of the fractions shown on their screens. If they choose the correct decimal equivalent, the chicken egg will safely land in the nest. If students choose the incorrect decimal equivalent, the chicken egg splats outside of the nest. The game contains seven progressively more difficult levels for students to work through. Chicken Coop Fractions is free to install but to get much use out of it you will need purchase the game pack within the app.
Pizza Fractions 1 is a simple iPad game in which students are shown a pizza with slices missing. Students have to select the fraction that represents the number of slices left on the pizza plate. Students shake their iPads to generate new problems. Pizza Fractions 1 is the first of three apps in the Pizza Fractions series.
Zap Zap Fractions is a fun and free iPad app designed to help elementary school students learn about fractions. The app contains clear narrated visual lessons about the basics of fractions. After completing the lessons students can test their skills in recognizing fractions by playing the Zap Zap games. The games present students with a series of visuals that represent a fraction. Students have to select the correct fraction to “zap” the oncoming obstacles in the game.
Of all the apps that students have shared with me over the years, Foldify is probably my favorite. A few years ago one of my my students used it to design a bunch of characters and buildings that he then printed, colored, and folded according to the Foldify print-out. He then used those characters in a video that he made. In his video he and other students provided the voices for each character.