By Teachers, For Teachers
After the iPod revolutionized how society listened to music and the iPhone pushed the boundaries of smartphone technology, the iPad stands poised to alter the face of mobile computing. Many have praised its potential to make personal and professional lives that much easier – and that certainly includes the education industry!
Teachers with a love of technology and a passion for nurturing the minds of their students can easily discover creative ways to incorporate the iPad into the daily routine, and some of these great educational and organizational applications are bound to help them get started.
Perfect for busy teachers, Teacher’s Assistant Pro allows users to track students’ behaviors, infractions, and achievements quickly and easily. Incidents on student behavior and achievement can be documented in real time and reports can be sent to parents and administrators instantly via email. Organizing important documents is also simple and clutter free. The app can be customized to fit your classroom needs.
Outliner serves a couple of different uses for teachers, who can also discover their own creative applications the better acquainted they become with the interface. Users create and streamline lists and outlines for various projects, making this an excellent resource for writing up lecture notes, keeping grade sheets, drawing rubrics, and more. Because education is a dizzying field with much to organize and track, any workers with access to an iPad should take advantage of Outliner’s offerings to stay on top of everything.
Not only does Sundry Notes serve a valuable organizational purpose, it also costs nothing as well! With the ability to import .pdf files, format writings, make quick drawings, run searches of Wikipedia, Google, and Google Books, snag images off the internet, make recordings, and much more, educators need to download this application to help keep everything they need for class organized in one place. Math teachers will especially enjoy the ability to work on virtual graph paper.
As its nomenclature implies, Docs Anywhere allows iPad users a high degree of portability for their digital documents. Capable of reading Word, Excel, PowerPoint, .pdf files, rich text, plain text, HTML, and other file formats, it allows transfer between desktop and portable device using USB and iTunes. Teachers who prefer working on their home machines can very easily transport their work to the classroom on their iPads, which also provides e-mailing capabilities for an added dimension of file preservation.
The listed site is for the eClicker client, though users may need or prefer to download a host instead. Marketed towards teachers, the application features a means of polling classes during lectures by sending a signal via wi-fi to any enabled device in the room. This allows for immediate feedback, and educators are able to save the information for later reference – even editing! eClicker also allows the ones responsible for polling the ability to kick up their questionnaires with drawings and images.
For only $.99, math teachers (or even those involved with sciences requiring the manipulation of numbers) have a quick conduit for referencing the various formulas from various disciplines. Students can throw their educators for a loop sometimes, so it helps to have the information on hand to answer any questions that crop up during a lesson. Users also have access to examples that illustrate how the equations work, making this a handy tool for cranking out quick assignments, quizzes, and tests as well.
In spite of the title, this behavior-tracking application boasts value for teachers as well. Anyone saddled with educating preschool or kindergarten students can easily appreciate how Touch Karma (Parenting) assists them in keeping track of which students stand as exemplary and which probably need a parent-teacher conference, counseling, or juvenile detention. Schools or educators who dish out conduct grades especially benefit from this quick way of recording whether or not those rambunctious little nose-miners deserve praise or discipline, as they do not have to dig through any notes or memories to assign a pass or fail.
Dedicated to the distribution of knowledge anywhere, any time, gFlashPro serves students, teachers, and trivia junkies alike. Download flash cards assignment, quiz, and test inspiration, store images and audio for reference or incorporation into a lecture, and much more. The little quizzes even allow educators to test their own proficiency in the fields they teach and help them build up on the areas where they could use a nice, quick boost. When using this function, gFlashPro also keeps track of progress made when testing oneself!
Any educators with a need for quick reference to 23,469 books (and counting!) should absolutely download this amazing resource. Completely free, not only does it provide access to classic novels, but autobiographies, letters, speeches, and other writings by significant historical figures and recognized geniuses – including the American presidents – works of philosophy by Seneca and other influential thinkers, Shakespeare’s plays, and more as well!! Because of this, even teachers who do not focus on English still benefit greatly from what Free Books offers.
With technology and internet access becoming more and more mainstream in the classroom, one of the more pressing concerns involves how to monitor computer use to curb abuse and distractions. Fortunately, LanSchool’s extremely valuable Teacher’s Assistant application caters to these issues, providing educators with the ability to black out any distracting or offensive screens, limit what their students can and cannot do on their machines, send messages to students, allow silent, individualized help sessions, and take quick polls. Allowing teachers to monitor computer usage helps bolster productivity for all involved.
The periodic table receives a lush makeover the likes of which Tom Lehrer and They Might Be Giants can only imagine. Educators tasked with teaching chemistry will especially appreciate having this application on hand as a point of valuable reference. Not only does it provide all the essential information regarding every element currently known to mankind, but rotating visuals of their uses, the latest news and discoveries that involve them, computations, videos of experiments, and even market prices, too! Wearing 3D glasses while browsing the visuals only enhances the experience.
Music teachers, directors, accompanists, and tutors from school districts unable to afford pianos and keyboards can use this application to educate students on the fundamentals. Magic Piano comes preprogrammed with the sheet music for a great many classics and beginner’s pieces, which kids can easily follow along with when the lighting elements of the keyboard are activated. With the lights turned off and the sheet music virtually tucked away, the keyboard functions on its own for independent study. Users can even arrange duet with others who use the Magic Piano, no matter where in the world they may live!
Seung-Bin Cho’s free iPad application proves useful for more than just history teachers, as students must nurture the ability to place works of art, music, literature, philosophy, politics, and other disciplines into their proper historical or geographic contexts. As a wonderful teacher’s aid, History: Maps of the World compiles cartography from different eras, allowing viewers to watch as boundaries change and tectonic plates shift. Some maps even group nations together by theme rather than geography as well.
Filemaker, Inc. brings its wildly popular productivity application Bento from the iPhone to the iPad. With 25 different database templates to choose from, the harried teacher can organize anything and everything he or she needs to rein in the occasionally overwhelming chaos. Some of these, such as the student list, directly address the needs of educators. People of all professions take advantage of Bento’s fantastic features to ease the stresses of everyday life, making the $4.99 price tag a worthy investment in peace of mind.
Teachers looking for a few visual aids to go along with their lectures would do well to explore what Keynote has to offer them. For ease of use, they can choose from 12 premade themes and sprinkle their notes with animations, pictures, tables, charts, videos, and other multimedia touches. The iPad hooks up to external displays, projectors, desktops, and laptops so the presenter can reach a large audience; nobody has to crowd around the tiny display screen, though files can easily be bounced from machine to machine via e-mail and .pdf files.
Turn the iPad into a viable wireless remote or trackpad using Mobile Air Mouse, which fortunately sports far more uses than these. Educators with a love of incorporating technology into the classroom will appreciate how it functions as an all-in-one tool with a number of excellent remote control, trackpad, keyboard, and foreign language functions – they can even place a computer into sleep mode and wake it back up! The application comes very much in handy for controlling the visual aids during lectures by reducing the amount of necessary equipment.
Perfect for science class, Molecules offers an incredible three-dimensional view of molecules. Users have the control to alter the view of the molecules by rotating them, zooming in on them, and more all through the use of their fingers. This app also allows users to get a hands on view of how molecules are composed and they can create their own specific molecules. This application is a great guide for visual learners and is free for download.
Create gorgeous and effective handouts, tests, quizzes, assignments, notes, and presentations using Apple’s own word processing application. With 16 templates for everything from cards to fliers, users start working on what really matters right off the bat. Teachers who take advantage of everything it has to offer can incorporate graphs, charts, videos, and photos into their projects to add interest and better illustrate information. Capable of file sharing, Pages also allows for saving files in convenient Word and .pdf formats as well.
A valuable application for teachers of all subjects, World Book encyclopedia’s This Day in History presents 365 days of important births, deaths, and events that eventually shaped today’s world. Users may navigate from day to day – they are not relegated to only exploring the past of the present. At the moment, things seem a bit less detailed than the company likes. Because of this, later updates will implement video, audio, images, and access to important historical texts.
Educators with notes and files scattered about different computers will love this application. By synching with other machines sporting Dropbox, users do not have to fear misplacing important documents – it even boasts the ability to read a number of different common file formats, too! Anyone with an iPhone may save their photos and videos directly to the application as well. Teachers who come across great bits of online multimedia to enhance a lecture can save their valuable findings for future offline viewing and organize them into specific galleries.
Obviously, many more iPad applications exist to make the lives of educators that much easier and creative. Take advantage of what they have to offer as well in order to provide students with well-rounded lessons that nurture them both inside and outside the classroom.
What iPad apps would you recommend for the classroom? Share in the comments section!
This article is reprinted with permission of the author Samantha Miller from her blog post.