Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Best iPads Apps for the Elementary Classroom

For three+ years I have worked with teachers integrating iPads into their classroom curriculum. During those years I have found some favorite apps that I would recommend have a permanent home on classroom iPads.

Top 12 Creation Apps:

1. AudioBoo (free) is my all time favorite app!!! Great app for literacy and adding voice to any project. Visit my blog article about AudioBoo to learn more about you can use AudioBoo with your students.

2. Educreations (free) is right up there with the best creation apps.  In the last few years they have made some wonderful updates, however some of the cool features are paid features. With this app, students can explain their thinking on math problems, report out on anything that they have learned, practice reading fluently, demonstrate how to do something, and the list goes on and on. Article on Educreations in K.

3.  iMovie - ($4.99 or free) Who doesn't LOVE iMovie? What a great and intuitive app for creating book trailers, demonstrating learned standards, and creating reports. Free for iPads purchased within the last year. Student's Love it, iMovie Article

4. Moldiv - (free) A wonderful picture editor and collage creator. Use to create a robust vocabulary collages, annotate on photos, give step by step instructions, etc.

5. Pic Play Post - (free) Make collages that can include photos as well as videos.

6. Popplet Lite - (free) A wonderful brainstorming and project creating app. There is no need to get the paid version, as the user can move the canvas around to find space for new creations. Once saved to the camera roll, projects can be erased from the app to make more space for new Popplets. Article

7. Scribble Press - ($3.99) Students create storybooks in a variety of formats. The books can be illustrated by the students or they can use Scribble Press gallery drawings. All creations are saved in the app on a bookshelf. Students can publish their books to the Scribble Press Gallery, email the link, or export to iBooks. Students may also post links on a website or blog. For a fee Scribble Press will publish your book or use one of your drawings to create a few different products. Article

8. Tellagami - (free) Tellagami is an extremely enjoyable and engaging way for students to record themselves reading fluently. I have used this app with students ranging from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade. Article

9. StoryKit - (free - Purchase as an iPhone app, but will work on iPads.) Using StoryKit students can create books by taking photos with the camera or import from the photo library. Users can also create their own illustrations. Another great feature of Story Kit is that students can read the text to add voice to the book or add their own sound effects. The story will be uploaded to StoryKit. After uploading the user will receive a private web address to share via email, or save the link to put on a blog, website, or wiki. Article

10. Keynote - ($9.99, but free for recent device purchases) I have mostly used this app with fourth and fifth grade students to create presentations. The students love it because there are a lot of effects. If you are an "Apple District" then having your students use Keynote, iMovie, and Pages on an iPad will prepare them for using the same apps on a laptops when they get to Middle and High School.

11. AutoRap - (free) A very fun app that changes what students record into a rap. Have students read a passage from a book or a story that they have written. Article

12. Skitch - (free) A great way to annotate on a photograph. Article

Utility Apps

1. Google Drive - (free) A must have app if your district is a Google Apps for Education district. Google Drive makes a wonderful digital portfolio. Not only can students create documents, but they can upload picture and video files to their own accounts.

2. Instagrok - (free) An excellent research app. It helps students stay focused on what they are researching and less likely for students to find something that is not appropriate for a school setting.

3. iBooks - (free) Many creations can be opened in iBooks (like ScribblePress books), along with .pdf, and there are many free books available in the store.

4. QR Reader for iPad - QR Codes can open up your classroom to many possibilities!  Article on several ways that you can use QR Codes in your classroom.

Great Sites to use from Safari/Browser:

1. TenMarks - Math practice and tutorials according to state standards.
2. XtraMath - Math fact practice.
3. Tar Heel Reader - On-line book creator. Article