While at times I am overwhelmed by technology, I also embrace the possibilities it opens up to students and me. I decided to become i-connected when the iPad 2 was released (I was already using my iPod and iPhone). I set my alarm to the wee hours of the morning to be among the first to place my order, and good thing I did, too, because, while it only took me 10 days to receive my package, others waited for weeks longer.
Three of us, at work, ordered in the wee hours of the morning and received our iPads on the very same day! Eagerly, we arrived at work & compared notes. Exchanging procedures and capabilities, not to mention the APPS (all the APPS; it was like Christmas each time I visited the iTunes store) had become a daily routine. We were each others’ support and pioneers at our school.
So, I thought, why not open up my finds to a greater audience, and all I ask in return is that you make some suggestions of your finds to me, too! I’ve listed all of the TEACHER-friendly APPS I use at and for school, some on a daily basis. Keep in mind that I teach high school English, so my APP Table of Contents may vary from yours if you are teaching a different grade level or discipline.
I’d be happy to answer any questions that you have about any of the APPS I have listed below.
Just a few of my faves:
Among my favorites, by far, is the Planbook APP by Hellmansoft. It has afforded me to have a paperless planbook that I no longer need to erase when I haven’t accomplished all I’ve wanted to or when we have a snow day and I have to push everything I’ve written in pencil forward. Paper-thin paper, be gone! Not to mention the developer is extremely supportive and takes suggestions for future updates.
In addition to the Planbook, Essay Grader is also a very useful APP where you could customize your comments to avoid having to write the same things over and over again, and then you email the comments to the students; you can even upload your student lists and save them.
ibook Writer is something I’ve explored a bit with but not fully. It’s an app where basically you can write a book for each unit and ultimately a course, importing documents, pictures and media. It reminds me of Wikis.
Dropbox is similar to the iCloud, in that you can upload documents from your iPad to your desktop or laptop and vice versa. It makes moving documents a dream.
For research and establishing connections between topics, Wikinodes is fantastic. It’s kind of like six degrees of separation. I use it at the beginning of a unit to establish some background information of the time period and author we are studying. The way one subject connects to another is particularly effective for visual learners. A scavenger hunt assignment is fun to create with this APP.
For the British literature passion I get to indulge while teaching a course of the same name, Shakespeare is an essential APP, providing biographical info, full texts of his plays, his sonnets, instruction on iambic pentameter and links to performances and Shakespeare resources.
London is an APP that provides the evolution of the city including maps over various time period, events, people, etc. that shaped London. It even has some media clips of short documentaries and interviews.
Both British Library apps are also helpful when wanting to demonstrate primary source material from various time periods. They have such materials as the original texts of Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales which are housed at the British Library.
For film buffs, the IMDB APP is essential. It includes everything you’ve ever wanted to know about films, directors, actors/actresses, genres and film history. It’s a must have APP not only for film teachers, like myself, but also for film buffs.
Paramount 100 is effective when presenting the history of film or to acquaint students with the makings of a production studio.
Editions is also one of my visit-everyday APPS. It allows you to select topics of interest and pulls articles based on such topic from daily sources to create a magazine. I highly recommend this one to get all of your info from one source!
For short presentations on a variety of topics, TED talks are both interesting and thought provoking.
iTunes U hosts a vast array of collegiate sources (both text and audio) that I’ve found useful for my literature classes.
POADAT: Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus
British Literature APPS:
Treasure: British Library
London: City Walks
I plan on updating this list and reblogging as I find more useful APPS. I’m looking forward to seeing your suggestions. hAPPy APPing!!