I can’t believe that it was February, 2015 since I came out with a list of Apps that every school should consider having on their idevices. Anyone who has been to the App Store will know all too well the number of apps represent a mountain of options. How do we choose our apps for “THE LIST”? While exploration has its place, we assess all apps against a criteria. I wrote about this process on another blog post. We like a tight list as it leaves plenty of space on the idevice to do actual work, speeds up the efficiency of the device and is easier for staff/students to learn. Besides, who needs 10 audio, image or phonics apps?
The following is an updated list (you will notice that some have survived the test of time, while others have been replaced).
Google Apps for Education (Google Drive +) (free) – Risen to the top of our “go to” list is GAFE (includes the core suite of productivity softwares for education [Docs, Slides, Drawing, Forms, Sheets], which allow for writing, collaborating with teams any time, anywhere, commenting in real-time (think formative assessment), and an accurate speech-to-text synthesizer (imagine having those words magically appear on the page as you speak). Contact your Learning Technologies team for more information. (You need to apply for a GAFE account > FORMS. We do the rest to set up your classes.)
WordPress (free) – This is extremely handy to upload content direct from your idevices. You can write and save drafts for later editing. Or publish immediately. Apply through our FORMS page for your own sd41 blog to connect with your community (including students).
Image Size (free) – This easy to use app resizes images taken by the camera so they can be uploaded to websites. A definite ‘must have’ if you plan on doing something with those images!
Video Slimmer ($3.99) – While there are many in this category, this one is worth the price. Shrinks most video files while keeping the quality. Simple editing tools include trim, merge multiple videos, rotate, customize. Great if you want to upload the video to a website or send by email. An absolute must-have for those who like to create video (eg. from camera, iMovie, ChatterPix, Tellagami, your fav app…)
Voice Record Pro (free) – A professional voice recorder that saves in standard formats. Exports to anywhere including camera library, YouTube (as a movie), Vimeo, blogs. This is a phenomenal app to support reading fluency self assessment or formative assessments or oral speech or think radio talkshow host or musical review. Export products to multiple locations to use in other software.
Tellagami-Edu ($6.99) – Create a custom talking avatar to share story, lesson, teaching. Includes backgrounds, draw your own or take a background picture. Products can be saved to the camera library. Great for oral language development and speeches, explaining processes (records up to 90 seconds). No in-app purchases needed. There is a free version that save 30 second videos. (Hint: use other apps to stitch the ‘shorts’ together.)
ChatterPix Kid by Duck Duck Moose (free) – Take a photo of anything and make it talk. Teach a lesson, share a story, sing a song, do a rap. You’re only limited by your imagination. Share it on our class blogs. Stitch a few videos together to make a longer video. Or keep to “shorts”. There’s something to be said for brevity in 30 seconds.
Explain Everything 3.0 ($5.49) – screencasting and interactive whiteboard to annotate, teach, narrate and animate. Exports to/from anywhere which makes this incredibly flexible. New feature – collaboration!!
Book Creator ($6.99) – Create stunning ebooks that can be saved, uploaded, or saved as pdf. Incorporate images, video, audio, music, text. Import your ChatterPix, Tellagami, or Explain Everything files. Turn the pages and see the magic unfold before you. A great tool for a portfolio-esk presentation.
Pic Collage (free) – Photo editor and collage creator with some template effects. Make your images sparkle with stickers and comicbook bubbles. Export to a blog or pop it into Book Creator to create an ebook – so many options to share your thinking. Merge this with an interactive image (eg. Thinglink) and you have an added layer of depth.
MathTappers Family (free) – Find Sums, Subtraction, Multiply, Geometry… These activities go beyond drill designed to help make sense of math concepts. No internet access needed. Individuals can save own work to reflect on their personal strategies for problem-solving.
Green Screen by Do Ink ($3.99) – Take any green coloured background and turn it into your own green screen. (Yes, this is how newscasters do it.) Tell a story, teach an idea, share a research project, be a newscaster and include an interactive weather map or video behind you. Consider how this might access oral speech, critical thinking, sequencing, design, dramatic skills.
What are your most “can’t live without” apps? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear about them.