From the NAEYC ECETech Listserv:
As it takes so much time to locate and evaluate apps, I was wondering:
-Do you have favorite app review sites? (there are so many now, and video reviews cropping up, so people can see apps before they buy them.)
-Do you have a system, and if you do, what is it, for listing your favorite apps to share with others? Is your favorites list available online/can you share it? I am interested in ways others in the group are organizing this info, and to take a look at your lists, if possible.
-In schools/programs where teachers in various classrooms may be exploring and finding new apps-are there systems set up to share about these discoveries with others?
So many apps, so little time- thanks for sharing tips from your workflow about these questions.
I’m often asked to provide lists of apps for schools, districts or teachers. This is tricky because of the wide variety of apps. In general, I’d say that there are way more skill and drill type apps available (flashcards, letter games, puzzles, etc…) most likely because they are simple for app developers (non-educators most often) to create. Apps that support higher-order think skills are less in numbers. I think the most important thing for a teacher to consider is what they want their students to accomplish using the app and then consider whether an app is actually the best resource for this learning experience. I like to point admins and teachers to the SAMR model when asking them this and then try to help them discern is the are using the app as simply a substitution for something they have always done or if they are able to use the app to help redefine the learning task.none
I’m going to rush to get this post out ahead of the big Apple Education event on Thursday. All the hype is pointing to some sort of announcement of an easy way to create custom books for the iBook app. While this is certainly exciting news, I’m sure it is going to come with a bunch of “How to Use [Apple’s Newest Thing] in Education” tweets, blog posts, lists and presentations. So ahead of all the hipster, fanboy, and hater posts that will inevitably follow Apple’s big announcement tomorrow, I’m bringing you this post. Option 1 from my Creating Custom Digital Content for iPad: Educators Have Options series!
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Creative Book Builder app for iPhone and iPad. Created by Tiger Ng, this app is currently selling for $3.99 in the iTunes Store.
Creative Book Builder enables everyone to create, edit and publish ebooks in minutes. Creative Book Builder can import document from Google Docs and parse HTML output into chapter. Create unlimited number of chapters add title, description, images, videos, audio recording, music, links, and lists. CBB lets you sort your content’s ordering within a chapter and customize your cover image.
My plan is to base this project on a second grade Rocks & Fossils unit that my wife and a colleague originally developed in 2005. That unit contains a collection of resources ranging from a section of a science textbook, videos, digital photos and a couple PPT presentations. I have all the various source files stored on my Dropbox account and in my iTunes/iPhoto albums so I can access them as needed across devices. Read the rest of this entry…2 com
One of the things I’ve been looking into lately has been mobile content creation. With the rise of the tablet, I’m finding k12 and adult students are eager for opportunities to learn just-in-time with their device of choice. From an instructional design perspective, this means that to deliver to any & all devices, you’ve got to be looking towards HTML5.
My developer colleagues at the University of Akron’s Center for Literacy cringe every time we talk about HTML5 and designing apps for iOS and Android. To them, HTML5 is a giant step backwards in terms of the complexity and richness of web apps that could be developed with other tools (RIP Flash).
They feel that in the HTML5 arena, animations are stripped down and much less interactivity is available. They are mostly right here. HTML5 has limited the types of instructional interactions we can offer all ages of students in the online environment. As we begin to design web-based user experiences in HTML5, we are essentially creating a duel interface that can be run through a desktop or laptop browser AND a mobile browser. Until mobile devices have processors equal to their desktop/laptop brothers, we’ll never be able to offer as rich of a learning environment on any type of mobile device, yet we are still going to develop custom digital content for mobile…
So what can the average educator do? Read the rest of this entry…one
As IEAR app reviewers, we sometimes stumble across an app that just oozes of potential but isn’t there quite yet. With a $14.99 price tag, Pictello, from AssistiveWare packs quite a punch with its unique opportunity to create and publish visual stories. However, IEAR app reviewers can’t help but notice there are some critical features that are missing from the app at this time. Meg Wilson (@ipodsibilities) and Jeremy Brueck (@brueckj23) share their educational insights into the positive features of the app, provide possible areas of classroom application, share their Pictello story codes and point out some places where they hope to see Pictello grow in future releases and updates.none
Fresh off a 12 day trip to Europe where my research team presented a paper at the SSSR 2010 Conference, I wanted to share the different iPad apps I traveled with. I loaded the device with a variety of apps and media that I hoped would allow me to be productive during the trip. It was my hope to use the iPad the entire time in place of the MacBook Air I normally rely on during travel. In the interest of full disclosure, I did have the Air with me. (Hey, you ALWAYS need to have a back-up plan!) Also important to note, while I did use a 3G model during the trip, the AT&T data service is not accessible in Europe, which limited the availability of some apps at certain times.
My iPad strategy for this trip was to use the iPad for both Creation and Consumption purposes. I really wanted to try to be productive during the 6-7 hours of both flights, not just spend the time watching movies and listening to music. I also wanted to diligently eliminate all that paper-based clutter (and weight) from my satchel, i.e., take text files with me rather than carry books, magazines, paper copies of articles and printed PDFs.
I’ve created a Google spreadsheet to share direct links to the iTunes App Store of all the apps I will share. The spreadsheet also includes a brief overview of the ways I find myself using each app and the cost of the app. This time around, I really tried to keep things free, but I did decide to try a few Paid apps. Currently, I have around $12 – $15 invested in the apps that will be showcasing. This post, we’ll focus on the apps I targeted for CONTENT CREATION.one
App Title: TumbleBooks ToGo Munsch 6-Pack
Grade Level: Pre-K – Grade 3
At the heart of early literacy experience is the storybook, which marks the young children’s entrée into literacy around the world. Its powerful role in literacy development is well documented in family literacy and early education. A staple of the bedtime (or nap) routine, the storybook shared between adult and child mediates what Don Holdaway referred to as an emerging literacy set: high expectations of print; models of book language; familiarity with written symbols; print conventions; listening skills; and de-contextualizing abilities (e.g., imaging) (Holdaway, 1979). Substantial research supports the claim that storybook reading prepares children for the learn-to-read process (Bus, 2001).
Roskos, K., & Brueck, J. (2009). The eBook as a Learning Object in an Online World. In A. Bus & S. Neuman (Eds.), Multimedia and Literacy Development (77-88). New York: Routeledge.
App Title: iTouchiLearn Words
Grade Level: Pre-K, Kinderbound, Kindergarten
Developer Website: http://www.staytoooned.com/
iTunes Link: Click Here
A student’s knowledge of word meanings, or oral vocabulary, plays a key role in reading comprehension. The iTouchiLearn Words app for iPhone and iPod Touch provides young learners with an opportunity to engage in vocabulary building practice. Developed by Staytoooned, the cover screen indicates that the app is designed to “learn words through entertaining animations.”none