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 modelwhen 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.
So you’re coming to DigiCamp for Teachers and you’re planning to bring your own Apple mobile device, but which apps should you load up prior to camp to make your time on the beautiful University of Akron campus productive? Look no further, I’m here to share with you all the apps that the Center for Literacy has loaded on their “loaner” iPads and iPod Touches. While we made ever effort to pick as many free apps as possible, sometimes it’s just worth paying to get a high-quality app.
iPad2, Xoom, Playbook, iPod Touch, netbook, iPhone, Chromebook, the list never stops. Everyday a new device is hyped, overhyped and pushed into our consciousness by a barrage of media and market glam. In the past 6 months I’ve fielded countless question from school leaders and teachers about the new world order of computing devices.
“Which is better?”
“Which runs faster?”
“Which has the best apps?”
“Which is cheapest?”
“How do we go 1:1?”
Aside from the constant questions, I also hear some horrifying statements.
“We’ve got $30,000 to spend and we’re going to buy every teacher in the district an iPad.”
“The teachers want iPads for teaching so we’re going to get them some.”
It’s got to stop. Enough already because I’m about to go EDTECHHULK on somebody.
Last summer at ISTE 2010, I had a blast at the IEAR Birds of a Feather session. Not only did I get a chance to share some of my favorite apps with the attendees, hang out with my IEAR colleagues @smeech and @jepcke, but I also got an opportunity to create some musical soundscapes with @kevinhoneycutt during an impromptu jam session. Ever since that event, I’ve been wanting to build my own portable music production system that lets me create, record, produce, and perform music with my iOS devices.
This week, I took a major step toward making that happen. I finally broke down and purchased a variety of hardware that I can use both at home and when I’m on the road giving presentations. With the current configuration, I can plug up to 5 iOS devices into a small mixing board and either run the sound out to a small amp for a live performance or into a laptop, desktop or iPad with Garageband or Audacity for recording purposes. I’m looking forward to embarking on my expert knob twiddling adventures and I’ll be sure to keep Raised Digital readers in the loop. For now, here’s a quick run down of the equipment I’ve started to assemble.
Every year in October I’m faced with the same dilemma; pulling together a costume for some type of Halloween related party or event. I know there are tons of commercial costumes available at the stores and online, but between the cost, and lack of imagination, and the fact you end up with a half dozen people all looking the same at a party, I often like to go the homemade route. This year I decided to go with a homemade iPod Touch costume.
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.
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.”
A few weeks ago I posted Essential iPod Touch Apps from a 9 Year Old Boy’s Perspective. In it, I provided an overview of all of the iPod Touch apps that Isaac currently had installed on his Touch. I created aGoogle Spreadsheet to use to keep track of his list. That led me tho think it might be an interesting little research study to collect Isaac’s opinions regarding the apps. Why did him pick them out on the iTunes Store and download them? What makes an app engaging, or not engaging? How would he rate the app? So, like any good educational researcher, I created a quick assessment tool for Isaac to use to review the app and for me to collect my data.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bit of tough sell to Isaac. Even though I created a desktop shortcut to the Google Form on Isaac’s laptop, he has been a little reluctant to actually open it up and submit review data on his own. I have managed to coax him into reviewing two apps on two separate occasions. I’m going to share the first four reviews with you tonight in their submitted form. Early on in this process, it seems like Isaac really enjoys apps by the developers at Donut Games.
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.
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Why Raised Digital?
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.