The ritual of shutting down background apps (double tap the home button, select the app until it ‘jiggles’ and press the red x to shut it down, allowing your iPad to run faster as there is less going on in the background) has brought to my attention my most used and presumably most useful apps of 2012.
My top 10 apps of 2012 are:
Show Me (Click the picture to take you to Show Me in the app store)
This app has a range of uses. You can use it connected to the whiteboard and record the tuning in session, to upload later for the students to revise. You can email these directly to students who are on holiday or absent. It records audio and everything you write as you go, allowing the students to hear the questions of their classmates and view the resulting explanations.
I use this for running records, taking photos of the pages of books and uploading them to ‘show me’, which I then use when recording the students as they reading and use later when looking at their strengths, areas for improvement and reading strategies with parents.
I have have also applied it in numeracy by taking photos of MAB, icy pole sticks, clock faces (etc), and imbedding them to record and show understandings. Sometimes I simply give the blank iPad to the children and ask them to show me everything they know about a concept.
This App also helps when reporting, as it is a valuable source of evidence.
Draw back – it really needs a text box function.
WordPress (Click the picture to take you to WordPress in the app store.)
Wordpress allows you to use your iPad more effectively when blogging.
It allows you to upload images, video, audio files and documents that you otherwise would not be able to do using safari.
Draw back – the interface can be confusing sometimes.
Book Creator (Click the picture to take you to Book Creator in the app store.)
This is an easy to use app and the children adore making their own books.
The books can be uploaded onto iBooks and can appear on iPads across the school.
You can email the children’s books to their parents and other family members.
Draw back – the books cannot be printed from the iPad but can be emailed to a computer and opened, then printed.
iBooks (Click the picture to take you to iBooks in the app store.)
I use these books for reading as groups, individuals and reading together.
You can download hundreds of free books and delete them when you’re done.
There are books for every age range and by using book creator the students can upload their own books to the program also.
Draw back – some of these books have not been proof read and can be inappropriate.
Advertising can be linked on to the pages of books.
Key Note (Click the picture to take you to Keynote in the app store.)
It is the iPad’s version of sideshow, offering all the functions and is easy to use.
We like that there are “guide lines” that show you if your photos and text are aligned.
All the files are stored in the cloud and you can open them on any iPad if you sign in with your account.
Draw back – it’s a bit tricky to use because it can be hard to make sideshows without the use of a mouse.
Pages (Click the picture to take you to Pages in the app store.)
I use pages for all the documents that I would usually open in word.
You can export the documents as a pages, word or PDF files.
All the files are stored in the cloud and you can open them on any iPad or device if you sign in with your account.
Draw back – the keyboard crowds the screen.
The Age (Click the picture to take you to The Age in the app store.)
Keeping the students informed about what’s going on in the world generates interesting discussions, and they love the insights to other cultures when looking at the editors choice photos.
Draw back – I would not have this on student iPads as it can have graphic and inappropriate material. Make sure you check the photos before you show them.
Fragile Earth (Click the picture to take you to Fragile Earth in the app store.)
I stumbled on this app when looking for something for the RE unit about at being caretakers of the earth.
This is a beautiful app that shows the effects of human actions over time.
You know an app is good when you are fascinated by it yourself!
Draw back – for full effect a projector/apple TV/screen is needed.
Solar Walk (Click the picture to take you to Solar Walk in the app store.)
This year, the children were very interested in the solar system.
It’s a beautiful, smooth app that shows everything you want to know about the universe, including the interior structure of planets.
Draw back – for full effect when working with a large group, a projector/apple TV/screen is needed.
Adobe Reader (Click the picture to take you to Adobe Reader in the app store.)
This is a must-have and should be included in an iPad “starter pack” if one ever existed.
This app allows you to download and open PDF documents easily.