Dec 6, 2011

iPad Apps we Have been Exploring at West High

I recently finished up a professional development project where I spent some time with Business, Family Consumer Science, Math and Science teachers to explore the iPad. We focused on the 2 "How Tos" of this device:
  1. How do you use this in a functionality way...turning it on, sleeping vs shutting down, moving, deleting Apps, adding Apps. etc
  2. How do you use this in a teacher-directed environment and in a student-centered environment. 
We took a good amount of time looking at Apps for teaching and learning so I thought I would share a collection of those with you. I will focus this post on general apps and apps for science. My next post will focus on Business and Family Consumer Science apps.  Check them out, there might be some you haven't used!

Apps for Teacher Productivity
  • Evernote - Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. Your notes can contain text, images, sound recordings, clippings from websites...but unfortunately, not the kitchen sink. I LOVE this app because I have it on every device I own so all of my notes are right at my finger tips.
  • Dropbox - Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again! Dropbox is like Evernote...you can put it on all your devices and have access to your files from anywhere.
  • Notes - Notes is a built-in tool for the iOS devices that lets you take notes...not so cool until you realize that you can sync it with your Gmail account and pull up any note you took on your iPad from any computer that you log into your Gmail account with...you have to turn on this sync option in settings.

Apps for Teacher Directed EnvironmentsHonestly, it is hard to distinguish whether an apps is specifically for teacher-directed or student-centered...it really depends on how the teacher sets up his classroom.
  • Timer+ - Timer+ is a count down timer that lets you set times for different activities. You can have separate activities set up and then just pick the one you want to use. You can also set different sounds for the end indicator.
  • Rowmote - Rowmote is a remote control for your computer. It lets you turn your iPad into a big track pad. It also gives you volume and media controls and a full keyboard with shortcut keys. You don't see your desktop on your ipad, but it is great for when you want to be mobile in your classroom but still be able to control your projected computer screen.
  • Edmodo - Edmodo is FaceBook for education! This free social networking tool lets teachers reach students on their terms and connects your classroom 24/7...the learning doesn't have to stop when the bell rings. This is a secure environment that is definitely worth looking into.

Apps for Teaching & Learning
  • Podcasts and iTunes U - these resources straight from the Apple iTunes store are absolutely amazing, not to mention FREE. You can find sources for every subject...here are some samples:
    • Earth from iTunes U (CA Academy of Sciences)
    • Food Talks from iTunes U (92nd Street Y)
    • Futures of Finance from iTunes U (Duke University)
    • LearningAlgebra from iTunes U (Louisiana Delta Community College)
    • The Video Math Tutor Podcast
    • Dishing up Nutrition Podcast from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, Inc
    • Inside Yellowstone Podcast from Yellowstone National Park
    • Value Stocks & Investing Podcasts by Michael Salvucci
If you go to the iTunes store and do a search for a topic, you are bound to find either a podcast or an iTunes U course available to you!

  • Flipboard - Flipboard is a personalized social magazine that lets you customize the news content you receive. The interface is engaging and fun!
  • Zite - Zite is like Flipboard except it looks slightly different...different personalities will like different apps... 
  • TED - TED is an organization that brings you video talks from the greatest minds around the world...engineers, scientists, sociologists, educators, entertainers...every TEDTalk I have watched has been educational and enlightening. 

Science Apps 
  • Science360 - The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Science360 for iPad provides easy access to engaging science and engineering images and videos.
  • PeriodicTableInteractive version of the periodic table that lets you see at what point each element changes state. Lots of good information in this app.
  • 3D Cellstain - This apps has videos on cells and cell structure... and lets you stain your own cell.
  • PhysicsHD - Pick a topic and learn the concept as well as learn the equations associated with it.
  • Finger Physics - This is a game that makes you apply different physics concepts in order to accomplish a goal.
  • Science@VL - a comprehensive science glossary with cross references.
  • Google Earth - Google Earth has an App! It is great and you can just like the program installed on your computer.
  • iQuakeLite - This provides you an up to the minute report on earth quakes around the world. Details are available for every quake and you can locate them on a map view.
  • 3D Brain - This app is a 3-D model of the brain with the ability to isolate specific regions, and label pertinent parts.
  • Molecule - is for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers.
  • TinkerBoxTinkerBox is a fun, free-to-play physics puzzle game.


 Visit the iTunes App store to research more great educational apps.

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