Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Favorite Apps

Many of you probably teach in schools that are saturated with technology because of public funding.  I, on the other hand, teach at a private school that does not have as much technology as our public school counterparts.  However, this year, I was fortunate enough to get an iPad 2 for my classroom and I'm so thankful.  Some of you may have a 1:1 iPad program at your school and that's awesome, but I say ONE iPad in my classroom is better than none.  ;)

I received my iPad the second week of school and am still learning things about it.  I wanted to share in this post my favorite apps that I use as I work with my 5th grade students.  If you have any to recommend, I'd love to hear your suggestions!  Here's my list:
  • BrainPOP--Engaging educational videos for grades 3 and up.  The videos are usually 5 minutes long and include a 10 question quiz at the end. There are several options with this app.  You can stick to a free version that allows you to watch the featured video (it changes each day).  You could also upgrade to various paid versions.  I bought the full access subscription for $6.99/month.  It's a little expensive, but I get access to over 750 movies and quizzes.  It's been a great addition to my lessons and the students really enjoy it.  I've set up my account so that I can choose to not purchase it for a certain month. 
  • iHurricane HD--was a very helpful and FREE app I used at the beginning of the year when I had my students tracking hurricanes. 
  • Google Earth--FREE; great tool as we study geography
  • Atlas for iPad by Appventions--$1.99 (but right now there's a special offer and it's 60% off)  It has large political and physical world maps, regional maps, time zone maps, and various information on over 250 world entities.  There are pictures of flags, comparison tables, etc.  You can also get a lighter version for free.
  • NASA App HD--FREE app that will be helpful when we study space.  It includes thousands of images from NASA, news stories, and lots of information about the planets, stars, and galaxy.  There are videos as well.  This app is FULL of cool stuff!
  • GeoPop--$0.99; A fun geography game that has three levels of difficulty.  This game poses one question at a time and you must touch the correct answer (i.e. country/continent) before the time runs out.  One you touch, or "pop," the correct place, a new question appears.  Hints are available if you need them. 
  • Stack the States--$0.99; Another fun geography game that was voted "Best Kids App for iPad."  I started out with the free version and my students wanted more.  Hey, I've even found myself playing it in my spare time.  We all love this game and are learning more about the 50 states.
  • Stack the Countries--$1.99; How could I get Stack the States and not Stack the Countries?!  I do teach World Geography, don'tcha know.  It's just like the game above and again, I play it in my spare time. 
  • Lobster Diver--FREE math game dealing with number lines and fractions for upper elementary/middle school students.
  • Bookabi--FREE educational app that allows students to write and digitally illustrate their own stories.  You also have the ability to voice record and play back the reading of the story.
  • Drawing Box--FREE (There is also a $1.99 version) drawing, painting, sketching app.  I love the video replay of the illustrations because I get to watch how my students created their artwork.
Teacher Apps:
  • Groovy Grader--FREE app that replaces your paper E-Z Grader
  • QuickVoice Recorder--FREE app that I use to record spelling tests for students who are absent
  • Dragon Dictation--FREE app similar to Quick Voice; however, this converts voice recordings into text. 
  • ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard--FREE app that allows you to turn your iPad into a personal interactive whiteboard.  With this app, you have the ability to record voice-over tutorials and share them online.
I hope you find these helpful!  Again, feel free to share with me your favorite iPad apps. 

Oh, yes, one more thing...I love using my iPad as a document camera.  It's so easy to take a picture of something and then project it onto the Promethean board using AirServer.  AirServer cost me around $5-$7 (I can't quite remember) and is a mirroring receiver for Macs AND PC's (I'm a PC). 

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