Monday, June 18, 2012

My Random Top 5 iPad Apps for Learning

The exciting thing about the iPad (and indeed any tablet brand) is the proliferation of Apps that have uses in the classroom. The Apps I like the best are open ended and creative, assist critical thinking or collaboration and excite students to stretch their imagination.

This is my current Top 5. This will change as more Apps become available and are shared by educators around the world.

1) Aurasma. This App provides the potential to create and share an interactive learning environment. A little bit Harry Potter - a little bit QR code - Aurasma connects an image with a recorded video. The potential for educational applications is unlimited. Students can record their responses to books, talk about photographs or works of art, discuss historic events or describe a scientific principle. The student 'voice' is revealed via iPhone or iPad.

2) Skitch. This one's been around for a while but I like the interface Skitch offers. A nice feature is the inbuilt capture tool - take a photo in the App and immediately start annotating. All the tools are here - cropping, drawing, arrows, shapes. It all integrates with Evernote as well as sending via email or twitter. Students and teachers alike can share thinking, brainstorm ideas or just have plain fun with photos and other images.

3) Puppet Pals. This one's been a huge hit with the educational community and I can see why. Puppet Pals is a creative way to present stories - storyboard, create characters, and develop speaking and listening skills. The free version comes with several backgrounds and actors, the paid version allows for a more diverse selection of characters and backgrounds. You can even create your own. Its such fun and so engaging. Students love to see themselves as part of the action!

4) Faces iMake. This is a bit of fun and is hugely creative. It comes in a Lite version for iPhone, and a paid version for iPad. Remember Mr Potatohead? Well this App allows your imagine to run wild with vegies and other objects. Create unique faces, landscapes, objects, animals and share with the world via Facebook or email. Have students create a collage of a character in a novel or an historical figure, design their own self portrait or create a fantasy landscape in which to set their own stories.

5) Screen Chomp. Flipping your classroom? Screen chomp is an easy to use (and free!) recordable whiteboard. Show Me is a similar App. It has a multiple applications - as an assessment tool, as part of a digital portfolio, or as a record of your explanations that can be played over and over. Record on the whiteboard and narrate at the same time.

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