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.

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The IEAR community is happy to announce the opening of nominations for the 1st Annual IEAR App Awards. We are looking for community input as we seek to identify the appsolutely best apps in the following categories: Read the rest of this entry…

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I’m pleased to announce that I Education Apps Review has been nominated for a 2010 Edublog Award in the Best Group Blog category. All votes must be cast by noon Eastern, December 14. Winners will be announced shortly after. I’d encourage you to spend some time checking out the lists. Make sure to vote for your favorites!

While I can take very little credit in the success of our community to date, I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of educators. It really is the work of the community that has built IEAR into what it is and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the tireless work of all those involved in the blog. A special thanks to Scott Meech, who had the vision for what was and is IEAR.

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iPad desktop

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.

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TumbleBooksToGo1

App Title: TumbleBooks ToGo Munsch 6-Pack

Grade Level: Pre-K – Grade 3

Description:

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.

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A few weekends ago my wife’s parents were in town visiting for the weekend. During that time, our 3 year old son was eager to show his Nana and grandpa a few of his favorite apps on his iPod Touch. One of those apps was YouTube. He loves to watch videos of some of his favorite Nick Jr. shows. Usually, I use the SEARCH feature of YouTube to try and filter out irrelevant videos.

However, as my father-in-law quickly found out, that doesn’t help in filtering inappropriate content. Take a look at these search results for Blue’s Clues. The top results turn out to be actual episode content, but as you scroll down the list, you really begin to run into some objectionable content. Take a quick look at this clip which has been viewed over a million times. [WARNING! Explicit Song Lyrics]

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App Title: iTouchiLearn Words

Grade Level: Pre-K, Kinderbound, Kindergarten

Cost: $0.99

Developer Website: http://www.staytoooned.com/

iTunes Link: Click Here

Description:

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.”

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Apple rep. now showing iEAR.org. How ’bout them “Apples” @smeech, @brueckj23, et al.

This @jonbecker tweet just popped up a few minutes ago. It’s really great to know that Apple is aware of the great things we have been working to do with the I Education Apps Review community. @smeech, myself and many others have volunteered countless hours in order to try and provide quality insight into how iDevices could and should be used in the classroom. I hope that Apple education reps reach out to those of us at IEAR.org and that we can find a way to work together in the future to do what is in the best interest of our students.

Posted via web from brueckj23’s posterous

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iPad001

And as a tech director, I am concerned that no one at Apple seems to have a good answer about managing sets of these devices. “The iPad is designed for end-user management” was the rather glib response we received from our local Apple rep. Buying software requires buying an iTunes gift card if one wants to use a PO. No attention that I can find has been given to educational licensing of any “apps” for the thing. Sigh…

I found the last paragraph of this excellent post by Doug Johnson to be particularly interesting. The management of a classroom set of iDevices has been a subject of discussion at the I Education Apps Review Ning for some time now. See the Forums titled “Management of iPod Touch,” “Organizing Apps on Multiple Touches” and “Can we finalize the discussion on licensing for multiple touch devices for schools?

There seems to be a general lack of interest by Apple in helping educators unleash the full potential of the devices. I have personally reached out to an Apple exec who I met at METC 2010 on multiple occasions and received no follow-up reply. Yes, I’m talking about you, Mr. Morrie Reece (reece@apple.com), Apple’s Senior Education Development Executive. Was it all an act when you excitedly snapped pictures of my jailbroken Touch running Screensplitr & DemoGod as I explained how I needed to mirror Touch apps on my local computer for use at conference presentations and for creating screencasts for professional development and training purposes?

Posted via web from brueckj23’s posterous

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I’ve had the iPad for three days now and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the device. One part of me is totally in love with the device. Another though can’t help but feel a little unsatisfied. As of now, I’m planning to write a proper review after my first full week using the iPad.

Today, I’ve decided to focus instead on a short post using the WordPress app for iPad. Download and set-up of the app, which is free, was really simple. If you already have an existing WordPress blog, you simply enter the URL and your log-in credentials and you are ready to go. By default, the 25 most current posts load into the app.

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Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.