Last week I spent a day working with teachers at Bridgton Academy in Bridgton, Maine. Bridgton Academy is a private boarding school serving male students who have completed high school, but are spending a year gaining more skills and knowledge before going to college. I was invited to spend the day consulting with teachers to develop ideas and strategies for using iPads with their students. There was a healthy mix teachers’ needs and desires for the day. In no particular order, the list below contains the apps that we ended up spending the most time exploring.
Easy Portfolio is a nice iPad app for creating portfolios of your work and or your students’ work. In Easy Portfolio you can create multiple portfolios containing pictures, videos, links, notes, documents, and audio recordings. You can import files from your iPad to any of your portfolios. You can also create new media from scratch within each of your portfolios. You can share individual portfolio elements or entire portfolios via email or Dropbox.
GoClass is a free iPad application for creating short lessons and delivering them to your students. The lessons can include annotated images, free hand sketches, text, and video. GoClass gives teachers tools for creating class rosters that they can use to keep track of which students are using the lessons when. Teachers also have the option to ask questions and poll their students. After the students’ response have been gathered teachers can project those responses without showing individual student’s names.
Coach My Video is an iPad app that allows coaches to video their players in action to provide feedback on their movements and techniques. With Coach My Video installed you can record a video of your player(s) in action then as you play the video back you can pause it to annotate the the video frame-by-frame. You can draw on the video to illustrate a movement or to point out something that needs correction. In other words, you’re kind of like John Madden with his telestrator. When you have finished marking up your video you can email to your players for them to view on their iPads or laptops.
Ask3 is a free iPad app from TechSmith. TechSmith is probably best known as being the company that produces Jing and Camtasia screen capture software. Ask3 is a tool that teachers can use to create short instructional videos that are shared directly to their students’ iPads. Students can use Ask3 to ask questions about the video, mark the video with drawing tools, and create their own audio comments about the video.
inClass is a fantastic free iPad app that students can use to take and keep track of the notes they record in all of their courses. inClass allows students to organize notebooks for each of their courses. Within each notebook students can include typed notes, audio notes, video notes, and pictures. The ability to store those four types of notes makes inClass a great app for students to use in a science lab where they might want to have a little video clip of an experiment along with their own typed notes about the lab experiment.
Penultimate provides a place for you to hand-write notes on your iPad. The app allows you to create multiple notebooks with multiple pages in each. You can change the color and size of the pen strokes that are created when you write in your notebooks. Each page in your notebook can include pictures that you have stored on your iPad or pictures that you take through the Penultimate app. The app provides the option to change the look of the virtual paper on which you write. You can copy and paste content from one page to another and from one notebook to another.
Gooru Collections is designed for students in grades five through twelve. Through the app students can find collections of resources for studying and learning about mathematics and science. To find some resources select science or math then choose a subject within either of those categories. Before you open a collection of resources you can preview the material to see if it contains videos, text, or links to websites.
Animation Desk is an iPad app (free and premium versions available) for creating short, animated videos. The app allows you to create drawings using just your finger on your iPad’s screen. In the free version of the app you can create up to 50 scenes in each of your projects. In each scene you can include as little or as much as you want to draw on the canvas. There are a few different brush and pencil effects that you can use in your drawings. The opacity of the colors you choose can be altered too. When you have completed drawing all of your scenes hit the play button to watch your animation unfold. If you’re happy with your animation you can export it to YouTube.
Haiku Deck is an iPad app that all students and teachers should have installed on their iPads. Haiku Deck enables anyone to create beautiful slide presentations. There are two features of Haiku Deck that stand out. First, Haiku Deck intentionally limits how much text that you can put on each of your slides. Second, Haiku Deck helps you find Creative Commons licensed images for your presentations. When you type a word or words on your slides you can have Haiku Deck search for images for you. The images that Haiku Deck serves up are large enough to completely fill your slide. You can also upload your own images from your iPad or import images from Instagram and Facebook.
123D Catch is a free iPad app from Autodesk. The app makes it possible to turn your pictures into a 3D model that you can manipulate on your iPad. To create a model with the app select a physical object that you can photograph with your iPad. Then take a series of pictures of that object as you either walk around it or rotate it slowly as you take pictures of it. Then select the best images from those that you took (20+ images works best) to let Autodesk process and turn into a 3D model for you. Completed 3D models can be shared to the Autodesk community where others can view and use them.
Book Creator allows anyone to create their own books using images, text, videos, and audio recordings. You can arrange your book in three different formats; portrait, square, or landscape. Each page in your book can include pictures and videos from your iPad’s camera roll and or from your iTunes library. In addition to the pictures and videos you can include as much as text as you can fit on each page. In fact, if you just want to have text on a page you can do that. If you would like to narrate your book you can tap the record button to add your voice to each page of your book. Every page in your book can have a custom color scheme.
OSnap is an iPad app (available in a free version and in a paid version) that you can use to create stop motion and time lapse videos. The app is quite easy to use. To create a video with the OSnap app you simply need to start a project and take a series of still pictures using your iPad’s camera. Then adjust the number of frame per second to edit your video. If you want to, you can add a sound track to your video by selecting audio files that are stored on your iPad. You can go back and edit your videos by removing images and from the project at any time. Completed projects can be stored on your iPad, uploaded to YouTube, or shared via email.
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.
Blogger for iPad and iPhone makes it easy to post to a Blogger blog. Through the app you can post to any Blogger blog that you are a member of. The app allows you to quickly take a picture and add it to a post. At Bridgton Academy we talked about using the Blogger app to have students contribute to a blog on which they post reflections on learning.
Wolfram Alpha’s iPad app puts Wolfram’s computational search engine on your iPad. It’s an indispensable app that offers more than just help with mathematics. The app is excellent for finding and comparing data and information about a diverse array of topics.
Aurasma is a free app for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. Using Aurasma you can create augmented reality layers, Aurasma calls them “auras,” that pop-up when you scan objects with your phone or tablet.
Apps Gone Free is a great app on which you can find apps that would normally require a purchase. The Apps Gone Free app lists new apps every day. Some of the apps are only free to download that day while others may remain free for a week or longer. I check it every morning.