DAY 1 – Skitch: With an unusual name, there’s nothing unusual about this app. In fact, it’s one of my favourite apps to use at the moment. It allows users to take photos, snapshots and annotate them by including arrows, text, highlights and many more options. This isn’t a photo editing app; it’s more of an instructional guide creator. In the classroom can be applied across all areas of the curriculum most notably Science/HSIE. It’s simple interface makes it easy for anyone to use as well as its integration of easy-to-share options (Facebook, Twitter & email). So next time you are going on a family holiday, take a snapshot of your map from Google Maps and use Skitch to highlight your route and share with others.
Similar apps include: Evernote
DAY 2 – School A to Z: This free app produced by the NSW Board of Education, has lots of in-app resources for teachers and students. The beauty of this app is its link to the NSW curriculum. It can be best used for students as tips and tricks for their homework as it has demonstrations, fact sheets, videos and activities for students of all ages. It covers Mathematics (times tables practice), English (writing, reading, comprehension strategies), Spelling (add you own list and complete language activities based on your own word list), Technology and Assignment management.
Similar apps: Draft Aust. Curriculum or Khan Mobile (instructional videos on a range of Primary and Secondary school topics).
DAY 3 – Rover: This education browser for teachers and students is designed to bring online learning to your fingertips allowing users to access sites and content ordinarily unavailable on the iPad such as flash content. It is easy-to-use and very intuitive, albeit its screen lag, and its built-in filters ensure students are protected from inappropriate internet material. It is superbly used for Mathletics for which our school is a prolific user. I recommend this app as a child-friendly browser to access dynamic flash content.
Similar Apps Include: iSwifter
DAY 4 – Khan Academy: Ever struggled to remember how to divide fractions? Does your child struggle with the area of a circle? Then the Khan Academy app is for you! The beauty of this app is the access one has to over 3000 educational video lessons that you can either stream or download and watch any time you don’t have a connection. The teaching style of the videos isn’t for everyone but they get the message across. What I like about the updated version of this app is its ability to differentiate and cater to all levels in the classroom. Want to learn about probability? There are 53 videos ranging from the basics of flipping coins all the way up to Expected Value of Binomial Distribution! I am a true fan of this app and would recommend it to any student or teacher out there.
Similar Apps Include: Edcreations, ShowMem Screenchomp
DAY 5 – GarageBand: The extremely functional, user friendly, music composition app is a must for everyone. The flowers of creativity bloom through the simplicity of music composition. This app not only allows you to plug and play your own music with your own instruments (need an iRig) but also offers an effective way of creating music with the ‘Smart Instruments’ offered by the program. These instruments give even the most basic users the ability to create and make their own songs and music tracks. The sharing capabilities of Garageband are true genius allowing users to upload to facebook, email, iTunes and to save locally. Additionally, the new Jam Session feature is the true hero of the app allowing for multiple device/app owners to ‘Jam’ together using different instruments. At only the price of a large cappuccino, this app is a must for any music lovers out there.
Similar apps include: iMovie, Soundprism, Madpad, Beatmaker
DAY 6 – Futaba: This app is a unique, educational, multi-player game that is fun and interactive. It’s well suited for ages 5-10 and reinforces vocabulary and teaches reading and spelling skills. What is great is its functionality and intuition in its response time. This app is a breath of fresh air as its game’s best feature is aimed at building collaboration through interactivity.
Similar apps include: Classroom Games
DAY 7 – Dropbox: If you don’t have a Dropbox account you haven’t lived! Throw away those clunky, futile USB’s for this web-based cloud storage facility with many capabilities. Dropbox allows you to store all types of media, documents, etc, in the cloud. This means that those documents are accessible from anywhere at any time. The beauty of Dropbox is its simple interface and user-friendly capabilities. It’s so functional; the staff at my school have embraced Dropbox and are using it productively across all facets of their professional and personal lives. Some functions include: sharing folders with colleagues (docs, music, work), backing up data, sync and upload from anywhere and live without fear of losing your USB and of course having your students share their work with you.
Similar Apps: Sugar Sync, Evernote, ZumoDrive