Thursday, September 19, 2013

Revised list of 6 must-haves for elementary iPads

I enjoy setting up iPad carts for elementary. As a former classroom teacher, I see the possibilities as I download each app to the devices. I know there are differing opinions, but I always err on putting too many apps on the student iPads. I want options, and I don't want to stop everything and download an app in the middle of class when a student really needs it. So here's a revised list of 6 apps (or categories of apps) I would never leave off a student iPad.

Voice Recorders (QuickVoice, iTalk, Voice Record HD)
I love multi-purpose apps. The possibilities are endless with voice recorders. Students can conduct interviews, listen to their fluency, read their own writing, or anything else. All three apps I listed above work great. You can record, save, and export. Voice Record HD offers many more exporting options. All are free.

Presentations (Keynote, Haiku Deck, SnapGuide)
Here are three great options. Keynote is the best, but it's also $10. If you want free alternatives, then try Haiku Deck and SnapGuide. Haiku Deck lets you create visually rich presentations using copyright free images. SnapGuide will use your own pictures or video, all packaged in a neat slideshow format. 

Multimedia (iMovie, 30Hands, PuppetPalsHD)
iMovie is easily my favorite app. It's applicable to any content and age group. You have to pay $4.99, but it's money well spent. 30Hands is a great app for adding narration to pictures. Puppet Pals lets you make puppet shows narrated by students. All great apps that students can use creatively to show their learning.

QR Reader (QRafter)
If your students have devices, they need to be able to read QR codes. Which means you need to make QR codes a part of your teaching. There's no better way to efficiently send students to digital resources or secret text messages. Post them around the room, on worksheets, backs of books, or anywhere else. 

For many reasons. First, you can easily create a classroom account with notebooks for each student. Then you have a shared drive for word processing documents, research, pictures, or anything else. Second, it's log in specific. You can log in to a cart of classroom iPads and it will stay logged on. Or if you go with student accounts, they can log out when they're done and pass it along to another student. 

Pic Collage
What a great app. It's probably the first one that got a lot of buzz in our district and it's still at the top of most lists. Easily import pictures to make your own collage. Add text and backgrounds and you're done. Great way to share learning. Here's how a fifth grade class used Pic Collage to show their learning about genre: Mrs. Robison's Genre Project

I tried to be succinct. There's just so many great apps out there. Hope you found something new to add to your iPads. 

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