Our district has recently acquired iPads. I wanted to work on App-palooza! because I hope to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest apps should a teacher come with a question or an idea. I continue to use the iPads on a regular basis in the library.
My favorite newest app is Flipgrid. We use it to exchange videos with a school in India. So far it has been very casual and we’ve only opened up one room for exchanges because that’s all that is available for free. I really like the app and as our activities with our ePals evolve, I hope to subscribe to Flipgrid and open up more rooms for different schools and focuses.
I’ve also heard a lot about Seesaw and can’t wait to try it. We have it installed on our iPads, I just need to think creatively about how I can get it in use and properly expose teachers to the tool. Because digital citizenship is such a big focus for me in the library, I hope to use apps like Seesaw not only for their intended purpose of sharing work with parents and the classroom, but to practice and be mindful about ways to be good digital citizens. My thought is to have one grade level use the free version to share their learning in Media Literacy (the library) and allow teachers to see how it works.
While reading through the list of Apps, and there are a LOT, it can be overwhelming… I kept a list of apps I would like to try for school. We have a very focused approach to how iPads can be used in our district, following the SAMR model. iPads are intended to be tools for creativity with an emphasis on transforming learning. Many of the apps reviewed on Common Sense Media are educational, but don’t offer students the opportunity to create and share their learning. I found many apps on Common Sense Media that I would like to let my own children play and explore including several created by Tinybop, 1600 (an augmented reality tour of the white house using a dollar bill), Flocabulary, and Ginkgo Dino. I read that Shannon McClintock Miller’s son likes Terraria better than Minecraft, which I will try with my son.
My favorite article was iPad as the Teachers Pet – Version 2.0 from the blog written by Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand. This article is really one big giant Infograph about the many uses of iPads in the classroom. I like infographs and this one does a great job of chunking iPad uses into 7 different categories including: 1. Show on a Big Screen, 2. Manage the Classroom, 3. Assess Student Work, 4. Interact with Students, 5. Manage your Files, 6. Make Instructional Media, and 7. Learn New Things. In another article I read how much device use in classrooms improved student performance. As long as teachers are mindful about the purpose of iPads in education, using them as a means of reaching learning standard, iPads should be utilized.
Some other apps I want to try right away include: Post-It Plus, Pic Collage, Mindmup, Adobe Capture, Photo Editor by Aviary, and Masterpiece by Osmo. Post-It Plus is the solution to sharing student ideas without having a device in every hand as you would need for Padlet. Pic Collage will be a great way for students to create a visual representation or digital poster for an academic purpose, perhaps a book review. Mindmup will be useful for students to organize thoughts or review content. I have on the look out for a photo editor. This winter/spring my goal is for students to create fake photos so they can understand how easily fake photos are made and from that experience, be more critical and wary of the questionable images they may see online. For that purpose, I am going to consider Adobe Capture and Photo Editor by Aviary.
Staying current with the latest and greatest apps is a challenge and time consuming. It is also very rewarding though, as I’ve experienced while using Flipgrid! Thanks to CoolTools for compiling and sharing all these resources!