I have been lucky enough to have an iPad in my classroom for the past academic year and myself and my students have enjoyed discovering its potential. Our department were then, after having submitted a written proposal, given 20 iPads for use in our classrooms and as a consequence I have been busily spending lots and lots of my free time deciding which apps to use and install on our iPads.
This list is by no means exhaustive but it will certainly be my starting block. After reading a LOT about apps I have followed advice and gone for generic apps rather than subject specific ones.
Google Drive – all our students and staff have a gmail address and a Google Drive so this is really a no brainer. It will allow me to share documents with my students and it should help when giving feedback.
Evernote – much though the whole island has gone Google I have to say that I rather like Evernote, whereas I often find Google Drive clunky especially in the app, I find Evernote to be slick and very easy to use. Furthermore, students can email documents to your Evernote via your Evernote email address, they can type @ and the appropriate notebook’s name in the subject line and they can even tag it for you using # and the document is instantly filed in the correct notebook for you and tagged so that you can easily find it – what’s not to love?
Evernote Peek – this clever little app allows you to make quizzes. Students lift a small portion of the ipad cover to reveal the question and then the whole cover to reveal the answer – it’s ace! Don’t worry if your iPads don’t have a liftable cover there is an electronic one provided by the app.
Evernote Skitch– allows students to write on images, pdfs, maps. It would be great to use to analyse a text in the foreign language. You can then share your skitches via email
Show me – a free app that enables students to draw on a “whiteboard” and record themselves talking about what they are doing at the same time. It is super simple to use which is why I love it. Explain Everything is similar, it does have the ability to do more things but it costs £1.99
Infinote and Sticky Notes – My students go through reams of Post-It notes when they are revising for their controlled assessments, now we will be able to use an electronic version.
Popplet Lite – I love this really simple, yet effective mind mapping tool
Fotopedia – Lovely photos of UNESCO world heritage sites, great to show your students some of the amazing places that exist in far flung lands and closer to home too.
Haiku Deck – gives you the ability to create beautiful simple slide shows
Videoscribe – allows you to create videos of a hand drawing the images and words that you require. It’s also pretty easy to use.
Say Anything – like an electronic mini white board that allows students to type words and phrases that then scroll across the board. Mini white boards for the technological age!
Goodnotes – this is a relatively new find for me. You use this app to annotate pdf documents, once again it’s very easy to use and completed documents can be shared via email or Google Drive. The basic version is free and so you are limited to how many notes you can create, £3.99 is the cost of the premium version.
Shake and Boom – a pass the bomb type game where the iPad becomes the “bomb”
Pass Parcel HD – upload “forfeits” in the shape of questions to this app and when the music stops students unwrap their question.
Tap Roulette – ever had arguments amongst students about who is going to go first? Now Tap Roulette can decide. Place fingers on the iPad, hit “pick finger” et voila!
Decide Now – a wheel spinning game
Sock Puppets – a free app that allows students to record the voice of various sock puppets
A+ Spelling – a spelling app. Great for learning vocabulary
TuneIn Radio – various radio stations from around the world.
As an MFL teacher the relative ease with which students can record themselves speaking using an iPad is, for me, one of the most important uses of this technology. My favourite recording apps are as follows;
Soundcloud – you can make your recordings private of public, you can email the link of the recording so that it can be shared. This app is also supported by a website which means that it is easier for students to access this from home.
Recordium – this app is really cool at first glance but it does have its limitations. You can add notes to bits of the recordings and you can highlight sections of the recording, which would be great for giving feedback. However all of this has to happen in app and once you email the recording off the app you lose the notes and highlighted sections which is a shame.
Croak.it – croaks are private. There is a time limit to how much you can say on a croak but this app is dead easy to use and would be great for use with KS3.
DJ Spreaker – lovely, easy app to use which turns the iPad into a radio studio. My 7 year old loves using this app.
Aurasma – make photos come to life using Aurasma. Great for creating talking walls.
iPrompt – not a recording app but a really useful one which could help students when revising for their speaking controlled assessment. From iPad to teleprompter in one easy step.
My final few apps are what I have classified as classroom management apps. I intend to go paperless this year and these apps will hopefully help me on my way.
Lesson Planning from Teacher Cloud – is a really simple to use lesson planning app. I got this app for free but I think there is now a charge. There is also a premium version.
Smart Seat – a seating plan app – no more drawing squares on to an A4 sheet to represent the tables in you classroom – this app cost £2.99
Wunderlist – you can have this list making app on all of your devices including your desktop. You can also share lists.
Class Dojo – I experimented with this behaviour/reward app last year but it didn’t quite work out for me however, having discussed with others how they use it, I am going to give it another go.
So there we have it a list of apps for the new school year. If you have any must have apps of your own I would be really interested to hear from you.