Poetics – create, write and share visual poetry, is FREE until the end of May. Writing visual poetry is easy with Poetics. The app combines photographic imagery and moveable text. Just choose a picture from your camera roll and write how it makes you feel – a word, a caption, or a poem. Or you can write a poem then search for the perfect image to accompany it. Words can be scaled, rotated, etc. as they are placed on the page. The app saves each project as it is being created. Finished poetry can be shared on Instagram, Facebook, postcards, and more. Kids could use Poetics to create and share postcards or journal entries of their summer activities. How fun!!
FREE – Little Bird Tales, an educational app that helps kids create their own stories and presentations. The app is very easy to use. First kids add text and/or voice to each page. They can import pictures or create their own drawings to go with their stories. Finished works can be uploaded to littlebirdtales.com for emailing, creating PDFs, and more. This is one of those apps with endless possibilities. Kids can create all sorts of original works with it. Teachers can create assignments for students to download, complete, and return for review. Parents can use the app for creating and sharing their children’s work with grandparents. Find out more about this great resource at the website: https://littlebirdtales.com. There you can also sign up for a free membership. Let the creating begin…
Use the power of this app to create a unique Mother’s Day tribute or greeting!!
Fabulous and FREE – Shadow Puppet is a photography app which has been featured by Apple as a Best New Apps. Using this app, it’s easy to create “puppets” – recorded explanations of your photos. First you choose your photos and put them in the order. Then you talk about your pictures. Everything is recorded. Finished “puppets” can be shared via email, SMS, Facebook and/or Twitter. There are so many ways for everyone to use Shadow Puppet: to teach something new, to share adventures with friends, to record children talking about their experiences, to tell the story behind old family photos, etc.
Recent updates have added many new features. Now you can include video clips, add music, search the web for images, overlay text/stickers, and more! The FREE version of the app permits you to include up to 10 photos/video clips. For $1.99 you can get Puppet Essentials which allows you to add up to 100 items to each video and have access to more drawing & decorating tools. The update made this great app even better!
The classroom uses for this app are only limited by your imagination: Take pictures of a child’s work and have him/her explain it to parents. Send pictures and voice recordings of the class field trip. Have kids give a step-by-step explanation of what happened in a science experiment. Draw & sequence pictures to retell a story. Make a “talking timeline” by sequencing photos of historical events. Have kids use it to present mini reports on any subject. Have virtual “pet day” – kids bring in pictures/recordings of their pets. Because you can use anything saved to your photo library, you can explain photos from the web, artwork created in other apps, and so much more. The possibilities for using this educational app are endless. For more suggestions go to http://get-puppet.com/education. What a fabulous resource!!
Record of Reading is a FREE educational app from Clemson University. The app provides an electronic form for running records, an oral reading assessment developed by Marie M. Clay. Teachers need to code and the analyze the child’s reading as they would with a paper/pencil running record. However, there is no need for a calculator because the app has formulas for accuracy and self-corrections embedded within it. The app also records the student’s voice as the teacher is taking the record. When the running record is replayed, the oral reading and the written record are synced. Running records can be saved and emailed – perfect for sharing with an intervention specialist or for adding to digital portfolios. The latest upgrade includes integration with Dropbox. If you are an elementary school teacher who uses running records, you are going to want to look at this educational app. 🙂
A fabulous tool for elementary teachers – thank you Clemson University!
FREE today – the FULL version of iScanner, an app that turns your iPhone or iPad into a document scanner. If you are looking to create digital portfolios for your students, you may want to add iScanner to your teacher toolbox. The app uses your device’s camera to scan documents: tests, drawings, notes, whiteboards, etc. You can then save them into individual student folders. Image recognition takes place on your device without an internet connection so that your documents remain private. You can set a passcode to further protect the privacy of your documents. Scans can be stored as multiple page PDF or JPEG files, synced between devices, and connected to your DropBox, Evernote or Google accounts. Scans can also be shared by email and/or printed. This app would be great for organizing student information to share at parent/teacher conferences, IEP meeting, etc. Get digitally organized with this app!
Calling all teachers… Here are 9 apps that will help YOU in a variety of ways: grade student work, keep in contact with parents, establish class discipline/routines, help students be organized, track student progress with ePortfolios, organize presentations, and create tutorial videos. And most of them are FREE – wow!
Still FREE and getting better with every upgrade – Socrative, an app that turns any device with a web browser into a student response clicker. I have been a fan of Socrative since I first discovered it two years ago. It’s one of those apps that I wish had been around when I was still in the classroom. Last July, Socrative added two additional quiz features. # 1 – Teachers can now add images to their questions. #2 – The system can now grade short answer questions. Teachers just input the acceptable answers and the system does the rest. 🙂
The Socrative website and app are unbelievably cool – they turn any device with a web browser (iPhone, iPad, laptops) into a student response clicker. If a teacher has access to any kind of wireless lab, he/she can engage the entire class in a game or quiz and watch the results in real-time. Teachers begin by using their teacher app or logging into t.socrative.com with their email and password. Once logged in, teachers are assigned a room number to share with their students. Students log in using their student app or at m.socrative.com and enter the “virtual room number” provided by the teacher. Teachers initiate an activity and students respond on their devices. Multiple choice and short answer quizzes are easy to create – types of questions can be mixed. Teachers can also choose to run the quiz as a Space Race game. The students’ responses are visible to the teacher in real-time. Teachers can see what each child answered individually as well as what the group answered collectively. And the best part is… the app grades, graphs the results, and generates a report as an Excel spreadsheet or an email.
What a powerful tool for teachers – a short quiz at the end of a lesson can pinpoint what students understand and what needs to be reviewed. Hours of grading and analyzing test results are done immediately. Every student is involved – wow!
Link to new user guide: http://www.socrative.com/materials/SocrativeUserGuide.pdf
2. Remind: Safe Classroom Communication
Remind: Safe Classroom Communication is a FREE iPhone/iPad app that provides a safe way for teacher to text or email parents/students. To start, a teacher goes to the Remind 101 website to add his/her class list. A unique code is generated and the teacher shares that code with parents/students. The parent or student then sends a text message with the code to subscribe to the teacher’s class. From that point on, the parent/student will receive any message that the teacher sends from Remind 101. Teachers can text or email their entire class in minutes – homework assignments, field trip reminders, etc. All phone numbers remain private – students never see the teacher’s phone # and the teachers never see the students’ numbers. This app has been written about by NBC, NPR, Huffington Post, Edutopia, and Edweek. Wow – what a great tool for improving communications but maintaining your privacy!
3. Class Dojo
ClassDojo is a FREE & fabulous tool that helps improve classroom behaviors. Rewarding good behavior in real-time is easy – all it takes is a click. To use ClassDojo, you only need one device (computer, smart phone, a laptop, or a tablet) and an internet connection. It is very easy to set up. Each student on your class list is assigned a cute, monster-like avatar. Kids earn points for positive behaviors and lose points for negative behaviors. ClassDojo is also fully customizable so you can delete behaviors from the original list and/or add your own behaviors. As you use it, it automatically logs any data that you input. This data can be used to generate behavior reports to share with parents and administrators. How awesome is that? You can go into a meeting/conference with reports in hand! And now, parents can check online to see what kind of day their child is having.
If I were still in the classroom, I would enter my class list twice – once for data on work/study habits and the other for data on behaviors. I would make my habits/behaviors match exactly what was on my report cards. Then as I used the app, I would also be gathering data for my report cards. At the end of the grading period, I would just print out the date and enter it on the report cards – how easy! I would also have the data (in a printed report) to be able to back up any grade on the card. “As you can see Mrs. Doe, Jane only turned in her homework 56% of the time.” Instant data would also be available for the RTI process, IEPs or any other team meeting on a child. What a powerful tool for teachers! An educational app that has the ability to positively impact the learning environment – LOVE it!!
Check out the website for more information: www.classdojo.com
Currently $.99 – Homework+, a simple to use homework/test planner. This educational app is geared towards older students who are taking multiple classes. It could also be used with younger kids as an electronic assignment book. It’s never too early to teach kids how to be organized. 🙂
To set up the app, first edit the subject list & category lists to reflect what you are studying. After that, it is very easy to add assignments to the calendar – just give the assignment a title, choose the subject & category, put in the due date, choose a level of priority, and save. As you finish an assignment, mark it as complete and the app moves it to the finished list. App badges show you how many assignments you have and how many you have finished. Notifications can be set (1 or 2 days before) to remind you of an upcoming assignment. The app also keeps track of overdue assignments. Very slick and intuitive – great for teaching kids to be organized!!
5. Too Noisy
Too Noisy Lite is a FREE noise meter for iPhone/iPad. It measures the level of noise in a room and graphically displays whether it is at an acceptable level or not. If the level is acceptable, a smiling face is displayed. If the noise level increases beyond a level of acceptability, the graphic changes to indicate that the noise level is NOT acceptable. In the settings, a teacher/adult can adjust the sensitivity of the meter to go with the activity. A testing situation could be set at a 99% sensitivity level and group work could be set at a much lower sensitivity level. The meter worked when I tried it but, I was not in a large room with a group of kids. I would think that the FREE version is worth a try to see if it works for your situation. There is also a PRO version available for $.99. By using an Apple Digital AV adapter or a VGA adapter, Too Noisy can be projected on a TV or monitor so kids can learn what noise level is acceptable – cool idea! Another great FREE educational app!
6. Easy Portfolio
Currently $1.99 – Easy Portfolio – ePortfolio Tool for Students & Teachers. Download this educational app today to start getting organized for the upcoming school year. Easy Portfolio makes it simple for teachers to create ePortfolios for individuals, groups, or subjects. Individual student portfolios can be used to track student progress, highlight student achievement, monitor classroom behavior/work habits, and more. Subject portfolios can be used to organize teacher resources – videos, websites, images, etc. Imagine having everything you need to teach a unit or to make a presentation in one portfolio. The possibilities for using Easy Portfolio are endless.
Easy Portfolio is very simple to use. Just name your portfolios to begin. Then it’s easy to add videos, images, audio recordings or music, notes, URLs and digital documents. Added files are stored by type and can be sorted by date or ABC order. Files can also be shared via email or Dropbox. How wonderful it would be to have a digital portfolio for every student in your class. It would make getting ready for parent-teacher conferences or a IEP meeting a breeze! Capture and share your students’ learning this year with Easy Portfolio. 🙂
Educreations is great FREE app that turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. You can create tutorial videos for a variety of purposes: teach a lesson, create example math problems, explain a diagram, add commentary to your photos, etc. This educational app records & replays your voice, handwriting and/or drawings. Educreations is simple to use and permits you to build lessons with multiple pages. The editing tools allow you to: add text to any page, add photos, resize and move images, easily erase drawing mistakes, create “animated playback” by dragging objects as you record, and more.
But the best thing about this app is the ability to share your work. Free accounts are available at http://www.educreations.com where you can share your work as well as look at lessons created by others. Students can be given online access to the lessons that you have created there. Or, you can embed your lessons on your class blog/website. Students can watch a lesson before class or review a lesson after class. Absent students can watch from home. You can post information to help students with their homework. You can tutor someone online. Parents can log in to find out what is going on in class so they can help their children. What a powerful tool!! This app is being used at all levels of education including the college level. The features of Educreations make it a standout among the recordable whiteboard apps!
FREE to try – ZipGrade, a slick app that grades multiple choice tests & quizzes instantly by using your device’s camera as a scanner. It’s very easy to use. First go to ZipGrade.com to download an answer sheet for any size test – 1 to 100 questions. Print as many as you need. A 100 scan demo is FREE with the download. Click new quiz and enter your answer key. Start scanning/grading. ZipGrade can scan up to 20 tests per minute. The app can be set up to use student ID numbers or student names. Results are organized for reporting/exporting via PDF and Excel. They can also be synced between devices. Students will love the instant feedback and teachers will love the item analysis. This app would be especially great for high school/college teachers who have overwhelming numbers of test/quizzes to grade. Check out the FREE version today! The full version of the app is $1.99 for 2 months or $6.99 for 1 year.
FREE again for a limited time – Popboardz, a productivity tool that normally sells for $4.99. Popboardz makes it easy to organize, store, and present information. Each board is a grid with 16 spaces for content so that all of your PDFs, images, videos, websites, can be arranged on one screen. Unlike other presentation tools, Popboardz makes it easy to customize your presentation to meet the needs of your group. Just click on the grid space that contains the example, information, or link that you would like present next! It’s easy to skip around. This app would be fabulous to use in the classroom. A teacher could organize all his/her digital resources for a unit on one board. That board can be saved so it is always ready to present! It is also easy to edit and/or rearrange boards so that lessons can be tweaked as new resources become available. Students could also use Popboardz – to organize information, to present projects, to give reports, and more. What a great educational app!
FREE again – Paper Camera, an app that permits you to add special effects to your photos as you are taking the picture. Just open the app, choose camera or video, then choose one of the 12 special effects – comic boom, sketch up, acquarello, old printer, con tours, neon cola, bleaching, gotham noir, half ton, granny’s paper, pastel perfect, andy pop, etc. The effects are applied to your photo as you make the shot! You can point you camera at a scene and toggle between effects to decide which one to use. The app also permits you to “paper-ize” existing photos from your photo library/camera roll. There have been a few updates since I originally reviewed the app. It looks like there are several in-app purchases and the developers have introduced an optional subscription service. Try the app while it’s free then decide if you want more features or to subscribe.
This app could be used in a variety of educational settings. Video your kids using the cartoon mode – instant cartoon! Add special effects to digital artwork. Create invitations using the andy mode. Make posters using the hope mode. The list goes on… get creative!