I am spending my half term sorting the apps that I have been trialling in school. The one thing I do not want to do is fill iPads with things we are not going to use.
As a way of archiving what I have done here is the current list of apps that can be used across the curriculum. Subject specific ones will come at a later stage.
i-nigma – the fastest QR reader app I have found. It scans quickly and directs to the web page instantaneously.
QR Reader – although i-nigma is great it does not generate codes. This app does. Failing that I like to use Kaywa online.
Calculator – in portrait it’s a standard calculator, in landscape it’s scientific. I don’t really understand why Apple have not preloaded a utilities folder on the iPad with a calculator in it. There is one on the iPod Touch. I have downloaded the free app but you can upgrade to get one without ads.
TED – by just having this app on the iPad curious pupils are exploring videos of interest to them. I have not used it as an ‘official’ part of my lesson but see it as a way to broaden horizons.
Choice Board Creator – an app that lets you make multiple choice quizzes – great for testing vocabulary in the MFL classroom amongst other things. The one drawback is that there seems to be no way to share what you create – it simply stores files within the app itself.
iWork – Keynote, Pages and Numbers need no other explanation. I do find that as they are simplified versions of the desktop version they are easier to use. This is particularly helpful in the classroom as pupils can quickly navigate their way around and do not have to procrastinate over a never ending list of fonts or animations. If you have your own iPod touch or iPhone I would recommend getting the Keynote Remote app. Using wifi or Bluetooth you can control your presentation and it also shows you your presenter notes.
Google – I have said it before, and I will say it again – I love Google. The beauty of this app is the camera search facility. It never ceases to amaze me how I can take a photo and Google will search the web for a match. Try it with world flags, book covers, – maybe not a pupil’s face as the closest return for one of my boys with a mop of brown hair was chocolate. Hey, it ain’t perfect but it is fun.
Newsstand – so far I have not taken full advantage of this new feature of iOS5. In an ideal world I would subscribe to a number of foreign newspapers and magazines. But that costs money. Paid Content on apps is a difficult one to negotiate in school. I am going to see what I can get for free. I have added La Tribune as although I cannot read the paper itself it links to their website and there are photo montages of popular stories which will serve as discussion topics in GCSE French classes.
As YouTube is now unfiltered in school I have put QR codes up in the classroom linking to my IscaLanguages class channel. Here you can find uploads of pupil work done using the iPads this term, along with playlists of favourite clips that I use in class.
Photography, animation and film
Beyond the Creative Arts classroom the following apps can be used across the curriculum and have become firm favourites of mine:
I Can Animate – does what it is. We have animated drawings, models, Lego people. Useful with the Aurasma app (another previous blog post).
PS Express – somewhat unnecessary now that you can edit photos within the camera app on iOS5 but a great app all the same, and offers interesting filters.
iMovie – I have already blogged about my issues with this. Here’s hoping Apple do a bit of tweaking soon as apart from those it is an incredibly easy way to create films, including instructional ones for use in the Flipped Classroom.
Sock Puppets – a great app that my pupils have used for short speaking tasks. Examples of their work can be seen on our YouTube channel (link above). For some reason at the time of writing this post the app is not available in the app store.
Puppet Pals HD – similar to Sock Puppets but the puppets do not lip sync as they do in Sock Puppets.
360 Panorama – Phil Campbell introduced me to this app at #tweetfellows in Exeter last week. It’s fabulous, as is Phil. I may just have to dedicate a whole blog post to him at some stage.
A note about Flash
At times I get irritated that Flash is not supported on the iPad – but this has a distinct advantage in class. All those games that pupils find to while away the time when they should be working will not play. I have put a couple of game apps on there for them (end of lesson fun, reward time and the like) but have chosen those games carefully. For brain training 0.03 Seconds and 0.02 Seconds are great. They also work well projected on the board with pupils trying to get the highest score. Try a boy/girl team split and see what happens. I am sure I could do further research on the way the male and female brains work differently based on how they play these games. I have also added an IQ game (which said I was ‘gifted’ so I quite like it).