Educators from around the country share their favorite educational apps.
Simon Billington's insight:
With the thousands of educational apps vying for the attention of busy teachers, it can be hard to sift for the gold. Michelle Luhtala, a savvy librarian from New Canaan High School in Connecticut has crowd-sourced the best, most extensive list of apps voted on by educators around the country.
"Each of the tasks featured here are structured in such a way that cover different stages of Bloom's thinking taxonomy.They also include a brief write-up about the objective of the task, how it can be achieved and the apps that can be used to complete it. The five tasks that are outlined here are :
Task 1: Create a movieTask 2: Create a podcastTask 3: Create an interactive bookTask 4: Create a presentationTask 5 : Create a PDF"
#"Storytelling is a powerful way to inspire students, build community and give children a voice. There are a few great apps that help students of all ages write and tell their own stories (Shadow Puppet, Toontastic) and a new app that I absolutely love is Adobe Voice. This free iPad app is very user friendly and makes the storytelling process simple for children young and old. Kids can add pictures, text, and even choose from different icons to bring their stories to life. Adobe Voice has an easy recording feature for students to add their voice as narration. There is a music library and a selection of themes for users to pick out and include in their final product."
A recently launched summary of recent research is particularly useful for identifying some trends in education. The study, An Updated Literature Review on the Use of Tablets in Education undertaken by the Tablets for Schools consortium in the UK is a landmark document. It covers a summary of research into mobile learning; the use of tablets in primary schools, secondary schools and universities; the use of tablets by students with special educational needs; the role of teachers; content and apps; and the need for a pedagogical vision.
"Coding isn't just for computer science any more. Educators are finding that teaching students to write code and design games enhances learning and creates engagement. These examples illustrate how coding and games are being used across the curriculum and at all levels, as well as why great teaching is at the very heart of this innovation."
Kids will learn all about the process of photosynthesis, discover amazing adaptations plants make to their environment, and uncover the many ways humans depend on plants for our own survival in this interactive reading app.
"To help her students understand and be able to analyze the apps they come across online, Mutt Susan from Digital Divide and Conquer http://bit.ly/1nG4TZF ; has created this wonderful rubric. The Student App Review Rubric, features five sections ( or criteria) that students can grade when assessing an app. Each of these criteria can be graded with a numerical number from 0 to 4 with 4 as the top grade.
The five criteria included in this rubric are :
Looks and soundEngagement and motivationUser friendly directions and instructionsPerformance and ease of useDifferentiation in learning."
"Last night while I was watching the total lunar eclipse " Blood Moon", it dawned on me to compile a list of iPad apps that students can use to learn more about space. Of course there are no better apps to recommend than NASA's. I have gone through all the apps NASA offers and picked out for you the ones below. Have a look and share with your colleages."
As our 1:1 initiative moves forward, I see that there are three kinds of teachers that are part of the process: 1. The teachers who are ready for change (!!) 2. The teachers who are willing to change 3. The teachers who just want to get by I wish someone would have told me about …
"Using tablets in the classroom–whether iPads, Androids, or surging Windows devices–is largely a matter of workflow.
If you can forgive a mixed metaphor, the traditional classroom sees the teacher as the both the director and the bottleneck of all productivity. They create assignments, assess proficiency, respond to assessment data, and refine planned instruction in light of constantly changing circumstances.
This is challenging in any context, but in 1:1 and mobile learning environments, it’s even more complex. With tablets, every student has both an information portal and a digital printing press. This means they can reach both communities and potential collaborators.
The above graphic from @ipadwells addresses this issue with a helpful graphic that visualizes a workflow, while offering up representative apps for each step of the process."
"Learning how to write a computer program is a lot like learning a new language. There are nouns, verbs, and sentences. With far fewer words than a spoken language, it may be easier too. A student of languages can pick it up just as quickly as a student of math. To help, here are a set of tools that teach computer programming."
"Today with the easy accessibility of technology, students can learn anywhere and everywhere. With technologies like an iPad, we know there are various iPad apps available that can support your students in their learning. Are you a teacher who wants to bring her student’s creativity to the next level?
Here's a list of great creativity apps that every teacher with an iPad must know."
"If you are a primary class mathematics teacher you know that putting the foundation of understanding in place for new mathematics principles can be challenging. This often involves building on concepts like number systems and arithmetic basics while incorporating new ideas. For example, to teach the concept of square root “√”, you will have to ensure that students are well-equipped with the concepts of multiplication and division."
"I loving using Keynote, both on the Mac and the iPad. Keynote is a powerful presentation tool where students can show off knowledge of a subject. There are many web-based presentation tools I love, but Keynote has some really cool features that really resonate with students. For this project, 2nd graders used Keynote to illustrate and animate the letters in their first names. Here are some helpful tips if you do this project with your kiddos!"
With spring in the air, students typically clamor to get outside—and teachers would often like to follow. April is an ideal time of year to explore outdoor learning opportunities, and these apps and sites can lead the way.
"Craig Badura, a PK-12 Integration Specialist in Aurora, Nebraska, has developed a series of App Task Challenges. Each challenge is a an easy to follow guide that gives teachers the opportunity to create products with an app. You can read more about App Task Challenges on Craig’s Comfortably 2.0 blog.
Below are four of Craig's App Task Challenge guides. Craig is working on more of them, so follow him on Twitter to find out when he publishes new ones."
Is there an app for that? Well, chances are there are dozens of apps for anything you want to do, but sometimes you find one app that is robust enough to have multiples uses for you and your students. For me, iMovie is that app. I find myself using it for everything from slow motion videography to documentation, to presentations and everything in-between. Below are 13 ways that I have used iMovie (or have heard of others using iMovie) with students to enhance learning.
There’s simply no magic pill – whether it’s the laptop, smartboard, iPad or the next device that comes along in a year or two. Technology alone won’t ever have the capacity to improve education unless it’s woven into a holistic vision that meets the very real and urgent educational objectives that prepare our students for life outside and after school. Well-planned technology deployments can however have a transformative impact on learning.
Here’s a list of ten requirements for a successful iPad implementation in schools."
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