I’m delivering some iPad training to a school tomorrow, so thought it might be useful to collate some of the links I’ve been putting together for the session.
The session is concentrating mainly on teachers using the iPads for their own professional use, rather than being used as a classroom resource, but a lot of the apps below will be suitable for use by students too. I’ll do another post sometime of great apps for different subject areas.
Here’s some of the useful apps I’d recommend investigating. Some are free, others the price of a pint or so. Links are to the UK version of iTunes so other readers may need to do a search in the App Store to find the version for their region.
File storage / Transfer
Dropbox is probably one of the most useful applications I’ve used in years. It allows me to store files in the cloud. I can put files in my Dropbox folder on my PC and they’re immediately copied to an online space. This is synced with my laptop the next time I power it up. In addition, the Dropbox app on my iPad (and phone) allows me to access and view these files on my iPad – as long as I have an active network connection. You can get a free Dropbox account here.
Other apps also work with Dropbox too. So I can open a file for editing. And then save it back to Dropbox afterwards. This makes it much easier to get the files created on my iPad onto my PC.
Word Processing / Office Capability
Microsoft have yet to release an Office app for the iPad – so there’s a need to look at alternatives. I use Documents to Go. It’s not free – the Pro version is about £12 or so… But this gives Dropbox features so I stumped up the extra. It gives me access to a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation tool.
The spreadsheet would make it possible to set up grade books and student record sheets without having to buy additional gradebook applications.
These two are my current apps of choice for taking notes in a meeting. I’ve just bought a stylus which lets me use handwriting in Notability. I can copy pdf files in from Dropbox and annotate over the top of them.
Evernote is a useful way of managing bits of information – I’ve used it for taking notes in meetings and also for taking photographs of powerpoint screens in meetings, and parts of documents I need to remember. It syncs with the Evernote website so you can access your notes on your PC later.
Also worth taking a look at these apps too :
There are a lot of options for getting content onto your iPad. In the UK BBC iPlayer is excellent. For accessing blogs try Flipboard and Reeder. iTunes U has a lot of good videos on it. And for teachers you have to take a look at the BrainPop app too! It gives you a new free BrainPop movie every day.
To display content on your IWB you could either use the VGA adaptor, or investigate Apple TV which allows mirroring of your iPad screen. You just need to hook these up to your classroom projector.
I’ve only just got iThoughts and it looks good. I’m not always great at using some of these brainstorming apps – but as a way of collecting your thoughts and summarising concepts they are very useful.
Audio Recording / Podcasting
Both these apps (and there are others) let you make simple voice recordings and upload them to the internet for sharing with students.
Both these apps let you record short screencasts using the ipad as a whiteboard. Draw and annotate, plus record your voice to make revision guides, information broadcasts, and more.
iBooks comes as standard on new iPads now. It’s also worth getting the Kindle app too. Both give you access to a wealth of free books that are out of copyright. For English teachers you’ll find a lot of the classics are available for free. Also check out the Project Gutenberg website for e-books and pdf/txt versions of books that you could add to your library or access via Dropbox.
Here’s a selection of useful blogs, articles and documents that you might find useful
iPad Apps and Blooms Taxonomy – Excellent post by Sylvia Tolisano
Classroom iPod touches & iPads: Dos and Don’ts – by Tony Vincent. Some good advice here. I love the idea of using wallpaper to simply label up each ipad/ipod. Nice idea.
InterAction Education : Some very useful guides for using iPads in the classroom
iPads for Learning– Australian educational site. Nice guides.
and of course there’s the excellent 103 Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the Classroom presentation
You can find more links collated at : http://delicious.com/dannynic/ipad
Got a favourite app for teachers that isn’t here? Share them in the comments below!
And for ipad training with your staff – get in touch!