July 11, 2014 | Tim Nethers |
Ok, I know in this digital age, everybody has a top five educational app list. So, I am finally biting the bullet and creating my own top five app list that I use in the classroom. Just a little background about my experiences with the iPad, I taught 6th grade here at TFA for two years and was immensely blessed with a complete set of iPads. I have always loved to use technology and have not been afraid to use it in the classroom. So with my bravery and the iPads at my disposal, I set off to “flip” my classroom.
Ok, so the top five educational apps that I am going to list will start with the preface that these were geared towards using them for History, and some are not free, so without further delay:
#5 Aurasma – Aurasma’s image recognition technology uses a smartphone’s or tablet’s camera to recognize real world images and then overlay rich media on top of them in the form of animations, videos, 3D models and web pages. In the classroom, we used it to play what countries did to celebrate Christmas. Oh, and it is free.
Here is a demo on what the app does.
#4 Notability – ($4.99) A note-taker on iPad and iPhone: sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, record a lecture, jot travel notes, or teach a class. I used it to give students a paperless homework assignment, and I use it at home to sign documents and instantly email it back to the sender.
#3 Google Drive – (Free) Get started with Google Drive for free and have all your files within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. All your files in Drive – like your videos, photos, and documents – are backed up safely so you can’t lose them. Easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders. I used this in the classroom to share files, photos, and documents.
#2 iMovie – ($4.99) iMovie makes it easy to browse and share the HD video you
shoot on your iOS device. Turn your favorite clips into blockbuster movies or Hollywood‑style trailers. And watch your mini‑masterpieces anywhere with iMovie Theater. A few taps, a few swipes, and you’re ready for your big premiere. This app for my class was outstanding. It gave my students a wide variety of options in presenting their ideas and projects.
And here it is…my #1 app to use in the classroom…Toontastic. Toontastic is an app that is educationally based and reviewed and tested by learning psychologists. Launchpadtoys.com developed this app originally for just your every day use for children at home, but was widely picked up by innovative teachers. One of the cool features that I used in the classroom was the Toontube, which is Toontastics version of Youtube. Students can proudly show off their videos in a viewing party.
Now there is a limited free version that will allow to experience what storytelling is all about, but the full version is $9.99 but speaking from experience, it is worth more than that. Students love using this app because of the limitless possibilities it offers for students to be creative. Here is a sample from their webpage to see how it is structured and how easy it is to use. So as you can see from the video, kids enjoy this app, and all they need is an imagination.
So here are my top 5 apps. Now I know there are many great apps that are out there and you may be saying, I have a great app that you should add to your list. If that is the case, drop me an email with the name of the app and I would be very happy to take a look and see how we can use it in the classroom.
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