2018 Top “15” iPad Apps

Yes, yes..apps come and apps go. Some maintain their longevity and merely get face-lifts, while others no longer exist. This is one reason we do not rely on apps themselves and focus on the goals of learning. As always, we have connected them to the Competencies. 

So here goes with our newly edited list of Top “15” for 2018

Audio –*Communication Competencies   Voice Record Pro (free!) – Professional voice recorder that uses a visual needle gage to provide feedback on how loud your voice is recording. Possibilities for use might include supporting reading fluency,  self-assessment, speeches, radio show or embed in other videos. Save in standard formats or upload to a website. Let the world know what you’re thinking/learning. 
Design/Video –  *Communication, Creative, Thinking, Personal Competencies   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, making this app incredibly flexible. Integrates with GSuite and OneDrive. So powerful. 
  Design/Video –  *Communication, Creative, Thinking Competencies     Green Screen by Do Ink ($3.99) – Use any green coloured background and turn it into your own TV studio. Tell a story, teach an idea, share your research, be a newscaster. Consider how this might access oral speech, critical thinking, sequencing, design, dramatic skills. Do Ink Animation – create your own animations and add them to your green screen projects or any other project.  
 Design 
 *Communication, Creative Thinking Competencies
    Popplet (free) – Graphic organizer gone crazy. Connect your ideas and concepts via images, maps, images, text, drawing, group by colours. Great tool to organize and process thinking. Exports as jpg to camera library (or email) – you can upload to another web area. 
Productivity plus –  *Communication, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Personal Competencies  app_googledrive   Google Drive/Google Docs/Google Sheets/Google Slides/Google Classroom (free) – Still at the top of our “go to” list as the most simplest way to do almost anything. This suite of tools include Docs, Slides, Drawing, Forms, Sheets allowing for writing, collaboration with teams, any time, 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). The app version has word prediction. Contact your Learning Technologies team for more information. The educational suite is GSuite. (*To apply for GSuite > click FORMS. We do the rest to set up your classes. BONUS! – an authentic place to practice digital citizenship and collaborative communication!) 
 Design –*Communication, Personal Competencies   i-Nigma (QR Codes) This QR code reader not only sends you to the right place, it saves the locations for future reference. Embed audio, video, text in the codes – use to invite discussion, dialogue, showcase thinking processes or launch a mystery. Stick the QR codes out in the hallway to make the walls talk and teach! What a great way to communicate and extend learning. 
  Design –*Communication, Creative Competencies      Splice (free) – Video editor that adds pizzazz to your videos. Use to trim, adjust transitions, add text, add slow motion effects to create the ultimate story.
  Design –*Communication, Creative Competencies app_piccollagekids

app_piccollage

  Pic Collage Kids (elementary), Pic Collage (secondary) (free) – Bring creative options to the forefront by layering your images with a variety of tools (draw, highlight, add multiple layers and stickers) to extend your story. Consider using this for Literature Circles or defending your research thesis.
  Audio/Visual –*Communication Competencies

  ChatterPix Kid (elem); ChatterPix (secondary) (free) – Take a photo, draw a line to represent a 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).
Design/Draw –*Communication, Creative Competencies app_drawingpad   Drawing Pad ($2.79) – Everyone needs an art/sketch app to give possibility to your creative self. Use photo-realistic crayons, markers, paint brushes, coloured pencils, stickers, roller pens. An entire box of tools is at your finger tips. 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, Pic Collage Kid and Explain Everything. 
 Design/Draw –*Communication, Creative Competencies app_paper   Paper by FiftyThree (free) – Sketch notes are all the rage. 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. 
  Design –*Communication, Creative Competencies      FilmmakerPro (free) – Video editor extraordinaire includes video and audio tracks, Chroma Key green screen, text overlay to 360, illustrations, Ken Burns effects.  Consider using this for the next phase of film making and communication. 
Productivity – 
*Communication, Personal Competencies
app_mstranslator    Microsoft Translator (free) – We have many students from many countries. Communication is challenging when there is no one in the room to translate. Translate text or speech (whew!) into other languages. Think of real-time conversation on the device or across devices. Best with single sentences.
 Productivity tool – workflow app_documents   Documents (free) – My “can’t do without” app for downloading and saving music clips or other files for import to other apps. Now you know my secret for expanding multimedia options. Tell your story with umph! 
Video Editor – *Communication, Creative Competencies 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. Simple editing tools include trim, merge multiple videos, rotate, and customise. Saves to camera library. 

We’d love to hear about your “Must Have” list. Drop an idea in the comment box. 

It’s 2018 – Moving Forward

It’s already  22 days into the new year! Recently we moved all classroom blogs and student BlogFolios to a new service allowing for growth over time. It’s been exciting to connect with people from all the team initiatives and be a part of their learning stories. 

LOOKING AHEAD:  As I’ve said before, change is the only constant one can depend. While I have written about available opportunities with regards to tools and platforms  in past posts, a few others are worth mentioning. You may wish to forward this information to anyone who might be interested – extending the learning for others. 

Synergy – Focused on innovative practices in communication, these teachers (primary and intermediate) use iPadcaster and green screen to bring experiences of past, present and future to life. Imagine having your own portable TV recording studio. What’s involved is a whole lot of research skills, organization and practice in oral speech; lots of practice. See the connection?

WordPress Class Blogs/Student BlogFolios  – Start the new year with a new theme look to wake up your audience, especially if you’ve been on the same one since you started. New themes (Frindle, Emmy, Lavelle, Merriment, NewFangled, Renden, Child Ed, Hand-drawn) and features like calendars, tables, Forms collection or direct notification to parents, serve to communicate the ongoing story of learning. Capture the heart by pulling “aha” moments, and connect them to curricular standards – leads to great dinner table conversation. Extend these stories in student BlogFolios as opportunities for private reflection. Engage student thinking as they work through the “evidence of their learning process” – I see core competencies here, don’t you? These connecting parent-student-teacher conversations are not restricted by time or place (happens anytime, anywhere).  

Google Classroom – our longstanding integrated approach to written output in a collaborative conversational environment. Simple interface allows any grade level access to this powerful tool. Take advantage of new extensions that support struggling writers (eg. voice typing. We’re working towards adding Read/Write).  Use any device available to you. 

O365 – all secondary teachers and students now have access to connect/work within this online suite of Office. Pilots will go out to elementary soon. This extensive suite includes all that you expect and more (eg. Sway). Consider this environment for collaborative teams (teachers or students). Another any device available to you.

iPad Apps – a couple to strengthen our Top Twenty List

  • Image Compress and Resizer – compress any image taken on ipads/phones for uploading to any site. Extremely simple slider makes a successful entry point for any age. Instructions here
  • Compressor – oldie but a goodie. This one uses a slider for that simple touch.
  • Video Slimmer – want something more? Add editing tools to the mix. Worth the small price. 

ADST – if you purchased Spheros and need a little support, find our instructions under the Curriculum tab of ADST. If you are interested in adding more Spheros to your collection or starting one, please email us. 

*Check the Learning Portal (Staff Development Calendar or February District Day) for upcoming sessions. 

*Check our Resources links on the sidebar for any new connections.

If you have any stories to share, please add your comment below. We’re always interested in what’s happening at the school sites. 

Mid November Reflections – Voices

It’s mid November and the leaves have displayed their Fall colours (either still hanging onto trees or splashed across the landscape). We truly live in a wonderful part of the world. 

One of our concentrations is to provide a written voice for every student. Six teams of classroom and LSS/ELL partnerships from six schools launched, each with their own set of laptops or ipads. These teams are using a variety of tools to support voice: Google Apps for Education, student blogfolios to reflect, Solo software (focused on CoWriter offering word prediction) or ipads with DoInk green screen, Explain Everything and padcaster. As part of the journey, the teams meet together to share and push their learning as well as document their ongoing story. Lessons learned and nuggets of connections will be shared here on our Teams page. Even better – ask them yourselves:

  • Maywood – Satpaul, Jason, Halina; 
  • Edmonds – Hayley, Angela;
  • South Slope – Grady, Deb, Jennifer A; 
  • Chaffey-Burke – Carlene, Alan; 
  • Suncrest – Balbir, Joe;
  • Parkcrest – Sheila, Scott;
  • UHE – Kristina (year 2);
  • Marlborough – Ann (year 2) 

We’re looking forward to strengthening our strategies.