Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10 Productivity Apps

There are certain apps that just make your day easier. These are apps that I have been using regularly as part of my daily workflow. There is a nice variety of apps here, some are for use at school exclusively other I like because it gives me the freedom to just come home and continue with my lesson preparation. Have a look and see if any of these might be useful for you.

Agenda Calendar: $0.99 AU
Agenda is a well designed calendar for the iPad that gives you various "at a glance" views. They've stripped away all the stuff you don't need, so you can more quickly manage your day. They have introduced a clever feature called “status taps”which allow you to quickly confirm events, indicate arrival or lateness, and more generally send an email to attendees of an event.

Downloads Manager: $2.99 AU
Downloads for iPad is a fully featured download manager. You can view or play the downloaded files right on your iPad or transfer them to your computer. It save pages with images for offline viewing, supports resuming of interrupted downloads, provides live download progress bar. You can add download links, download with correct filename and has the ability to download file of unknown size.

JotNot Scanner Pro: $1.99 AU
JotNot is the original and premier multi-page document scanner for the iDevices. JotNot has many additional features including: A simple, easy to use interface with Camera stabilisation. It includes quick capture “Single Page Mode” and automated backup of scans. It includes the ability to email PDFs, PNGs, and JPEGs, presets for receipts, documents, and more and the ability to save to the Photo Library.

PDF Expert: $9.99 AU
PDF Expert lets you read and annotate PDF documents, highlight text, make notes and save these changes. Moreover, PDF Expert is the only app that can fill PDF forms! PDF files from desktop computers, email attachments, documents on the Dropbox, MobileMe iDisk, GoogleDocs and even in other applications could be accessed with PDF Expert.

Skitch: FREE
Use shapes, arrows, sketches and text annotation to get your point across fast. Mark up photos, screenshots, maps, and webpages then share them with anyone you like. Skitch lets you annotate, add arrows, shapes and text to existing images. You can draw something new. You can edit images with reposition, recolor and remove your annotations at will.

Printmagic: $0.99 AU
Print Magic is simple to use. Launch Print Magic and touch the printer icon to print. For convenience, Print Magic also allows you to select and print pictures from your Photos Library right from within the Print Magic application. You can pinch, zoom, and crop the images to set exactly what you want to print. Print Magic supports photo sizes 4x6 and up. Print Magic uses WiFi to print directly to many types of printers and any printer that can be shared from your Mac via Printer Sharing.

Keynote Remote: $0.99 AU
Keynote Remote lets you control a Keynote presentation on your Mac or iDevice, from another iDevice touch in the room. While you present, view your current slide and presenter notes in portrait, or the current slide and next slide in landscape. Swipe forward to advance and swipe back to return to the previous slide. Keynote Remote works with Wi-Fi network, so control your presentation from anywhere in the room.

QR Reader: FREE
A QR Code is a matrix barcode readable by QR scanners, mobiles phones with cameras and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. You can use it to scan any two-dimensional barcode with your iDevice. QR Codes to create: Contact Information, Calendar Event, Email Address, Geo Location, Phone Number, SMS and of course URL (visit URL)

Onenote: FREE
OneNote for iPad is a note-taking app for capturing all of your ideas and to-dos on the go. Create searchable notes with text, pictures and bullets. Make and manage to-do lists with checkboxes. Then keep your notes in sync. With the free version of OneNote for iPad you can access, create and edit up to 500 notes. Once you reach this limit you can still view, delete, and sync your notes.

DualBrowser HD: $4.49 AU
This is probably my favourite dual browser. You will be able to browse the web in two different windows at the same time, with the advantage of opening the links from one in the other. It's features and options make it unique; Two simultaneous windows to navigate independently, full screen option and hide the navigation bar as well as private browsing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I want my students to.....iPad Learning Objectives

Sometimes we intimidate people because the lists we create are just too big. Sometime bigger is not better. Yesterday I found a perfect example of this. I came across this website on twitter via @meesterkurt. I love the idea of having the apps organised by what you want your students to do. This makes so much sense, even from the student's point of view.

What is the task - what apps can I use.

iPad Learning Objectives
  1. I want my students to record and edit video on the iPad. 
  2. I want my students to record and / or edit audio on the iPad. 
  3. I want my students to read class content on the iPad. 
  4. I want my students to annotate course readings on the iPad 
  5. I want my students to be able to use audio books on the iPad. 
  6. I want my students to use the iPad as a digitial notebook / note-taking device. 
  7. I want my students to use their iPads to create screencasts to share and demonstrate their understanding.
  8. I want my students to create presentations on the iPad. 
  9. I want my students to create digital stories on the iPad. 
  10. I want my students to be able to study with the iPad. 
  11. I want to use the iPad as a student response system. 
  12. I want my students to create written content on the iPad. 
  13. I want my students to blog on the iPad.
  14. I want my students to create ePubs / iBooks to read on the iPad

Monday, February 27, 2012

Apps for Grading Assessments

Using rubrics and providing student's feedback via the iPad has not been an area that has received a great deal of attention. This is, however, starting to change. I have recently spoken to a number of teachers who have developed apps that will allows teachers to use the iPad as a viable way of assessing student work. Some of these apps actually do more than just mark work. Check out the list and see if any would work for you and your students.

Easy Assessment: $1.99
Easy Assessment is the app teachers have been waiting for. A simple way to capture and assess performance in any context or situation. Experience a new level of efficiency. This app was designed and developed by an Australian Teacher Jarrod Robinson. He initially designed this to be used for PE and so wanted an easy way for teachers to construct rubrics. The design was so good other teachers saw the benefit of the rubric maker and it has become a standard tool on many teacher's iPads. This is one of the easiest assessment apps I have used. I love it!

Formative Feedback: $1.99 AU
This is another great app design by an Australian teacher - Paul Hamilton. Formative Feedback for Learning was created to foster and encourage communication between teachers and students. It uses icons and basic editing skills to prompt discussions through a conference setting. It does not have saving abilities or comment boxes as I believe in rich discussions between teachers and students. Utilizing the Ipad 2 camera, formative feedback allows students to play back video and allow feedback to be given on performance.

Stick Pick: $2.99 AU
Stick Pick is the first app of its kind to uniquely link question stems to the cognitive or linguistic needs of each individual learner. Formative assessment is easy to track because teachers can tap a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student's answer. Teachers can also rate each student's answer by selecting 0-5 on a critical thinking rubric (Bloom's). Stick Pick suggests question starters for learners at different levels and also records how well students respond during classroom discussions.

Essay Grader: $6.49 AU
Provide your students with exceptional feedback, and reduce your grading time with Essay Grader for iPad. By moving between a series of tabs and clicking appropriate comment fields, a feedback document is created for each essay you grade. Essay Grader comes with three banks of pre-written comments for a multitude of topics within the categories of praise, organization, content, mechanics, style, and documentation. All comment text, comment labels, and category labels are fully editable.

GradePad: $2.99 AU
GradePad is a performance assessment tool for teachers, trainers, and coaches.Gradepad is a mobile performance assessment tool with group managing facilities. You can create assessments, track performances and monitor progress. Assess a variety of behaviors and performances with GradePad rubrics that have criteria and scales. Manage groups of individuals and track their performance over time. GradePad also allows you to send the data to your email account for further analysis.

Assist lets you administer and collect student results from common, summative, formative and rubrics-based assessments. It will automatically grades bubble sheets captured by camera and it allows you to log individual student results to any assessment type. You can manage and score collaborative learning activities as well as immediately review the results of any assessment in ASSIST. With subscription to PLUS, results from ASSIST can be uploaded and aggregated by student, class, campus, assessment and standard.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

1000 Recommended Apps Sorted by Subject Area

With more than 500,000 apps available for use on the iPad, which ones are best for education? TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) helps by testing and recommending great apps for the classroom. They regularly try out new apps and list those that make the grade in the shared document available here for iPad. Apps are categorized into 46 different subject areas and 14 different personal use areas. Apps that are free are listed in white.

Make sure you check out the rest of their site for some great resources -

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hot Apps 4 HOTS

This is another great publication by Lisa Johnson and her Appy Hour partner Yolanda Barker. The first, however, released on iTunes. These guys spend so much of their time and energy developing fantastic resources simply to share with other teachers and educators. This is one of their most comprehensive publications and it is easy to obtain, simply download it for FREE from iTunes into your iBook collection - search Hot Apps 4 HOTS. HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) are directly related to Bloom's Taxonomy and as such gives us a scaffold in with to situate the learning experiences of our students

This ibook is really a supplement to the ideas and discussions they have on their Appy Hour Radio show. This is itself a fantastic resource and can be found at -

I love what these two women do - they give the rest of us the confidence to give it a go. More importantly they provide appropriate guidelines for incorporating iOS devices into our own pedagogy. With Lisa and Yolanta it is never about just giving the students a go on an iPad it is about embedding real and authentic learning by using appropriate apps. There is an constant evaluation of both the learning outcomes and of whether the apps build on the learning taking place. This is the one aspect the we all need to take away from this iBook. It is one aspect we need to implement into our own pedagogical reflections.

This publication Hot Apps 4 HOTS is another great example of incorporating multiple apps into a learning situation. Rarely would we use a single resource within a classroom, it is the same when you are using an iPod or iPad. We need to start looking at ways of designing learning experiences where students use a variety of apps to digest, to develop understanding and then to delivery evidence of their learning to a authentic audience.

Make sure you also check out Lisa's blog Techchef4u. It is one of the places I go when I need ideas about using apps or when designing new units of work. There are some great existing lessons but again I think they provide a great blueprint for you to develop your own lesson ideas. 

This definitely now resource I will be sharing with my colleagues.