Our Top 20 iApps Recommendations for 2017

You might have guessed that in the last post, I was aiming for my top 20 apps for iDevices but ended up with only 14. It was incredibly challenging to filter the apps out of 800 on my list (yes you read correctly – 800 of the best). Well, I have finally chosen the last six to round out our top 20 (though I might change my mind as soon as this is published). Note again that this list is more about creation (and the opportunities for reflection and sharing) than consumption. We hope that this offers a guide to your selections.

Before you proceed, where do you document the learning processes or competencies accessed for your class? Consider using your class blog (or other web presence) as the vehicle for sharing the learning with your students, parents and larger community. This is where you can communicate your “why” (Start with Why – Simon Sinek). On the iPad, use Safari icon to bookmark all the class blog sites onto a single page or on the shelf. Voila – easy access for all. (No idea how to get started? Email us and we’ll help get you on this exciting journey.)

Collage Creator – *Communication, Creative Competencies

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 Pic Collage Kids (*Elementary), Pic Collage (*Secondary) (both free) – Collage creator with clean designs. Add ‘oomph’ to your story, your meme, your ‘booksnap’ by choosing stickers or backgrounds and fonts to layer on top. Pic Collage Kids came out last year and is a great option for elementary. Consider using for Literature Circles or book club note or research culmination. Pop it in eportfolios as part of thinking process learning. 
Productivity tool  app_documents  Documents (free) – My secret weapon! For those of you who wondered how I got additional music, audio, or other files saved onto ipads for extending basic options of apps like iMovie, this is my “Princess Leia go to”. It is basically a file manager for pdfs, images, audio, reader, storage (something the iPad is severely lacking). Find something on the web that you’d like to add to your story or creation? (*Ensure it is copyright free.)  Use Documents app to download it; open it in other apps. 
Productivity tool  app_splice  Splice (free) – Simple yet powerful video editor. Trim sections, add transitions, slow motion, title slides. Add narration and sound effects. Sync video to music beat (this takes a bit of learning). Your product saves to camera library for uploading or sharing. 
Design –  *Communication, Creative, Thinking Competencies  app_telestory TeleStory (free) – Create and broadcast a TV show. Build your script, teleport to another planet or location, film your show. Add in animated scenes, special effects. Use digital costumes like Ancient Egypt headpieces – it has face tracking so this will follow your movements! Practice, practice and save your creations in the camera library for sharing. Upload to your eportfolio and reflect on the process and any changes you had to make. 
Design – Personal, Communication, Creative Competencies

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WeeMoji  – Sometimes you just need to be you! Create a customized emoji that you can use as an avatar. Build using an ongoing library of parts, designs, emotions, stickers, backgrounds. Save results to camera library to use in other apps (eg. add to Pic Collage Kids memes or stories to layer pizazz; use to speak in ChatterPix Kids…). If students have access to G-Suite, they can upload their content for even more flexibility in storytelling. 
Coding – Critical Thinking, Communication, Personal Competencies   app_scratchjr Scratch Jr (free) – From the great people at MIT. Learn to solve problems, design interactive stories, develop logic and language process. Use visual programming blocks through drag-drop and see the results right away. This feedback allows you to adjust your designs. Add this to your toolkit for Applied Design Skills and Technology curriculum. Key ‘take away’ is the process of design, feedback, redesign and personal competencies needed to persevere. 
 Audio -*Communication Competencies app_voicerecordpro  Voice Record Pro (free) – A professional voice recorder that has a visual feedback to show how loud your voice is recording. Possibilities for use might include supporting reading fluency,  self-assessment, oral speech, radio show, podcast, embed in video as audio track. Save in standard formats and export to multiple locations including the camera library. 
 Audio/visual –*Communication Competencies  app_chatterpix_kid  ChatterPix Kid  (free) – Take a photo of anything, draw a line to represent your mouth and record your voice. Teach a lesson, share a story,  sing a song, do a rap. You’re only limited by your imagination. Share it on your class blogs. Stitch a few videos together to make a longer video. Or keep to “shorts”. There’s something to be said for brevity (30 seconds or less).
  Audio/visual –*Communication Competencies  app_tellegamiedu   Tellagami-Edu ($6.99) – Create a custom avatar to share your story, lesson or learning. Includes  backgrounds, draw your own or take a background picture. Products can be saved to the camera library. Great for oral language development and speeches, explaining processes (records up to 90 seconds). No in-app purchases needed. There is a free version that save 30 second videos. (*Hint: use other apps to stitch the ‘shorts’ together.
 Image Editor – *Communication, Creative Competencies  picmonkeyapp   PicMonkey ($1.38) – Worth every penny especially if you use your ipad to take pictures. Our favourite web tool is now an app! Use it to resize your images before uploading, and edit using a range of effects. Personalize any image and use in your presentations, photo albums, eportfolios, posters, infographics.  (*Free on phones – capture, edit, upload from your phone) 
 Draw/Sketch –*Communication, Creative Competencies  app_drawingpad  Drawing Pad ($2.79) – Everyone needs an art/sketch app to give to your creative self. Use photo-realistic crayons, markers, paint brushes, coloured pencils, stickers, roller pens. An entire box of tools is at your fingertips. Products are saved in the camera library for export or upload. Use to enhance artistic voice, upload to eportfolios or blogs, presentations or smash with other apps like ChatterPix. 
  Draw/Sketch –*Communication, Creative Competencies  app_paper   Paper by FiftyThree (free) – Sketch notes are all the rage now. This app gives freedom to design, take notes, create diagrams in detail. A stylus pen is helpful but not necessary. More complex than Drawing Pad. 
Video –  *Communication, Creative Competencies  adobesparkapp   Adobe Spark Video (free) – Create stunning videos with voice, music and images. Add cinematographic motion and share your product. Saves to camera library for easy export. As if this wasn’t enough, use this to illustrate ‘work flow’ in organization. *Requires login account. 
Design/Video –  *Communication, Creative, Thinking Competencies  app_greenscreen   Green Screen by Do Ink ($3.99) – Take any green coloured (eg. school paper roll, dollar store tablecloth, broadcloth) background and turn it into your own TV studio. (Yes, this is how newscasters do it.) Tell a story, teach an idea, share your research, be a newscaster and include an interactive weather map or videos behind you. Consider how this might access oral speech, critical thinking, sequencing, design, dramatic skills. *Warning-if students wear green clothing, this will make that part transparent. 
 Design/Video-  *Communication, Creative, Thinking, Personal Competencies  app_explaineverything   Explain Everything 3.0 ($5.49) – “They know when they can teach it.” Communicate learning by screencasting and using an interactive whiteboard to annotate,  teach, narrate and animate. New feature – collaboration! Incorporate products from other apps. Export to/from anywhere, which makes this app incredibly flexible. 
 Design/Compile –  *Communication, Creative, Thinking, Personal Competencies  app_bookcreator   Book Creator ($6.99) – Create stunning ebooks that can be saved, uploaded, or saved as pdf.  Incorporate images, video, audio, music, text. Import your ChatterPix, Tellagami, or Explain Everything files. Turn the pages like a book and see the magic unfold before you. A great tool for a portfolio presentation.
Productivity tool app_compressor   Compressor (free) – While using the video camera on an iPad is great, what happens if you want to upload the results to a blog, eportfolio or other web presence? iPads are notorious for huge file sizes. This app compresses a video file size using a target slider – what could be easier? Saves to camera library ready for you to upload to any other site. 
Productivity tool  videoslimmer_ap  Video Slimmer ($3.99) – While there are many in this category, this one is worth the price if you use video a lot and would like to upload the results to a web presence (eg. from camera, iMovie, Adobe Spark, Book Creator …). Shrinks video files while keeping the quality. Editing tools include trim, merge multiple videos, rotate, and customize. Saves to camera library. 
Productivity plus –  *Communication, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Personal Competencies  app_googledrive   Google Drive (free) – Still at the top of our “go to” list. This suite of tools includes Docs, Slides, Drawing, Forms, Sheets allowing for writing, collaborating with teams anytime, anywhere, commenting in real-time (think formative assessment), an accurate speech-to-text synthesizer (imagine having those words magically appear on the page as you speak). Contact your Learning Technologies team for more information. The educational suite is G Suite. (*To apply for a G Suite account > click FORMS. We do the rest to set up your classes. An authentic place to practice digital citizenship and collaborative communication!) 
Math practices – *Thinking, Personal Competencies  mathtappers_ap   MathTappers Family (free) – Find Sums, Subtraction, Multiply, Geometry… These activities go beyond drill designed to help make sense of math concepts. No internet access needed. Individuals can save own work to reflect on their personal strategies for problem-solving.  

Please share this with others so we can all grow together. Do you have a favourite app?  Share in our comment box. 

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