IPAD APPS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS

This article from the Washington Post looks at the better apps avaialable to help students with special needs.  

Written by Joan L. Green, a speech-language pathologist in Potomac and the author of “The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education,” she shares some of her favoriteiPad apps for kids with special needs. 

Read the article here.

TOP IPAD & IPHONE APPS FOR TEACHERS IN 2012

It has been a little while since we did a comprehensive round-up for our iOS users seeking great teaching apps to help them in and out of the classroom.  So here are 16 apps that will really make a difference to your productivity for 2012.

Please note that we have not included prices on these apps any more as they change so frequently it is almost impossible to keep up with.  If you click on the links you will find the latest pricing direct from iTunes.

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

TeacherPal - TeacherPal is a personal organizer for the teacher. It enables the teacher to organize classes, and students. Its simple and intuitive interface enables teachers to track the attendance, grades and behavior of students.

Cam Scanner + - CamScanner is a must-have application for your iPhone. With CamScanner, your iPhone is actually a portable scanner, with which all your paper documents, receipts, notes, whiteboard discussions can be archived anywhere at anytime. Our Smart Image cropping and Image enhancement algorithm ensures the scanned images perfectly clear and recognizable. With OCR technology, text within PDF files will be searchable.

Wunderlist - The Wunderlist mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch will boost your productivity. Organize your to-do lists on the go and synchronize them with your free Wunderlist account. View and modify your tasks on Windows, Mac, Linux,iPad, Android and the Web. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use Wunderlist everyday. Wunderlist - your tasks anywhere, anytime.

CURRICULA SUPPORT

School A to Z - Do you struggle to understand your child's homework? Does your child need to practise their spelling and times tables? Are you looking for inspiration for projects and assignments?

The School A to Z app is an essential tool for every parent of school-aged children. Produced by the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the School A to Z app brings together a wealth of resources to help parents to understand and support their child's homework.

Brainpop Featured Movie App - Bring learning to your fingertips™ with the BrainPOP® Featured Movie app for the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®. Watch a different animated movie every day, then test your new knowledge with an interactive quiz – free!

For even more access to BrainPOP’s award-winning content, choose an optional in-app subscription and enable kids to explore more than 750 Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Engineering & Tech, Arts & Music, and Health subjects right on their mobile devices. All movies are close captioned, so it’s easy for them to read along.

Pictello - Pictello is a simple way to create talking photo albums and talking books. Each page in a Pictello Story can contain a picture, up to five lines of text, and a recorded sound or text-to-speech using high-quality voices. Stories can be shared using iTunes File Sharing or via WiFi with other Pictello users through a free account on the Pictello Sharing Server. Stories can be shared with non-Pictello users as PDF files through email or iTunes File Sharing.

Is developed for all ages and skill levels, so it is easy to use and requires no reading skills to locate and read stories. Pictello offers an easy visual story creation wizard so everyone can use pictures and sound to share important moments in their lives. An advanced editor gives full control of the editing capabilities.

Flashcards - Flashcardlet is a free, easy-to-use studying application with material for any class or standardized test. You can also create and share your own. It is the best way to study on any iOS device.

Other flashcard apps can't handle large decks, deck sharing, images, intuitive gestures, or even manage to show nice looking cards. Flashcardlet feels like a real deck of flashcards and does not get in your way.

Collaboratively creating and sharing study material does not get easier than Flashcardlet. You can email your flashcard decks or share them using Dropbox.

Flashcardlet allows you to search for, study, and make local edits to Quizlet.com flashcards. Any subject you can think of already has a Quizlet flashcard set that is perfect for studying. 

From grade school to law school, Flashcardlet is the perfect studying tool for any subject.

INSTRUCTIONAL TOOLS

Mindnode - MindNode is a very easy and intuitive application for collecting, organizing and 
outlining your thoughts and ideas as mind maps. 

Mind maps can be used for many different tasks (e.g. to-do lists, brainstorming, holiday planning, research, writing, project management...)
and in many different environments (e.g. school, meetings, working place...).

MindNode makes creating mind maps on the iPhone and iPod touch extremely easy. You create new nodes directly on the canvas by dragging them out of the node well which appears as a plus sign next to a selected node.

Posterous - Posterous Spaces is the easiest way to share photos, video and ideas safely with family, friends and groups.

★ Easily control who you share with, every time.
★ Post anything – combine photos, video and text in seconds.
★ Follow friends and favorites, keeping up on their posts while commenting, liking and more on-the-go.
★ Create as many Spaces as you want (make them private or public.)
★ Automatically broadcast your public posts to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
★ Create a Space for your group in minutes, letting everyone involved contribute.

Stick Pick - Pick a student at random just by giving your device a shake or tapping the screen -- but that’s just the beginning. Stick Pick suggests question starters for learners at different levels and also records how well students respond during classroom discussions. If a student is consistently scoring near the top or bottom, simply change the level so students aren't bored or frustrated. Depending on students' levels of English proficiency, they might be asked simple yes-or-no questions or to elaborate in longer sentences.

PERSONAL ORGANISATION

Evernote - Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

DropBox - Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. After you install Dropbox on your computer, any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your iPhone and iPad and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the go.

Read your docs or flip through your albums when you're out and about. Save photos or videos to your Dropbox and share them with friends in just a couple taps. Even if you accidentally leave your iPhone in a taxi, your stuff is always safe on Dropbox.

Features:
● Always have your stuff with you, no matter where you are.
● Add files to "Favorites" for fast, offline viewing.
● Easily save photos and videos to your Dropbox.
● Share your photos and docs with family and friends.
● Save email attachments straight to your Dropbox.

Go Docs for Google Docs - Use this app for both devises and I love it! It's my favorite app because with it I'm working with all my documents: I view all my spreadsheets, documents, PDFs images, video and audio files. All these files are stored on my devise so I can use it mush faster! And with this update app has folders support and it's great. Thanks for your work. And it's working so good - fast, without bugs. My conclusion - useful and extremely amazing app for everyone."

REFERENCE

Articles -  Articles is a beautiful Wikipedia reader for your iPhone and iPod touch.

Articles makes it easy to read about whatever happens to be on your mind. With the integrated map feature, you can also learn about interesting places and historic events nearby with a single tap.

ELEGANT AND INTUITIVE INTERFACE
Articles’ award-winning design presents Wikipedia articles perfectly optimized for reading on your iPhone or iPod touch. A single tap in the search bar lets you find the article you need and start reading.

Wolfram Alpha - Remember the Star Trek computer? It's finally happening--with Wolfram|Alpha. Building on 25 years of development led by Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram|Alpha has rapidly become the world's definitive source for instant expert knowledge and computation.

Across thousands of domains--with more continually added--Wolfram|Alpha uses its vast collection of algorithms and data to compute answers and generate reports for you.

Parts of Wolfram|Alpha are used in the Apple Siri Assistant; this app gives you access to the full power of the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine. Domains covered by Wolfram|Alpha include:

2012 World Factbook - The World Factbook is the reliable and extremely popular source of information on all the nations of the world. 
It provides up-to-date, valuable data for more than 250 countries and territories in a concise, well-organized format whenever and wherever you want. 
The World Factbook also provides interesting chapters for our changing planet, oceans and parts of the world whose status has not yet been resolved (e.g., West Bank, Spratly Islands). 
Topics addressed include natural resources, industries, GDP, religion, ethnic groups, legal system and much more. Key data are grouped under the headings of introduction/background, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, transnational issues. 
The World Factbook is a must-have application for those who possess a curiosity or concern about the rapidly changing world in which we live.

Is the iPad changing Education?

I came across this article from readwriteweb.com today and it is worth reading.

The iPad may only be two years old, but it's already begun to change many things. Reading is one of them. Work is another. It is selling like crazy, but it will be some time before most of the people you know own a tablet.

The market for this type of device may only be in its infancy, but it's already becoming clear how it will revolutionize certain aspects our lives. Education is a huge one, as recent developments have demonstrated.

In January, Apple made good on its late CEO's vision to enter the digital textbook market with the launch of iBooks 2 and the iBooks Author production tool for e-books. That early effort was met with mixed reactions. While some were excited to see Apple move into a space that's ripe for disruption, others pointed out theinherent limitations in Apple's model, which for starters, will be cost-prohibitive for many school districts.

THE IPAD: AN OBVIOUS USE CASE FOR EDUCATION

In a way, Apple didn't enter the education market. Rather, it followed its customers there. By the time iBooks 2 landed in the App Store, many people had already seen the potential the iPad has to change education. A growing number of college students have, on their own accord,

Click here to view the entire article.

USING EVERNOTE IN THE CLASSROOM

Having had a bit of  a look atEvernote in the past when I used to use my PC and laptop in the classroom I could see it had some potential but didn't really see it offering me much to help me organise my student records, notes and data that other programs such as Microsoft's Onenote could do better.

I must say though that since giving the iPad app of Evernote I have never looked back.  I use it right throughout the day across all learning areas to take anecdotal notes on my students which go straight into saving me hours in the report writing process. 

I can easily record audio, video, and add photographs to those notes and everything is automatically backed up to the cloud in which Evernote runs.  It is incredibly quick and easy to jump from student to student and has never crashed on me - touch wood.

Evernote on the iPad is a non invasive app that doesn't get in the way of teaching and learning when working one on one with students unlike sticking a laptop computer in front of them which creates an instant barrier.

If you own an iPad and are really looking for a positive means to help improve your teaching and learning in the classroom then I cannot recommend downloading the free app today which is available on all desktop and mobile formats.

I would love to hear of any other great teaching apps you might use.

iPhone & iPad Apps for Teachers: Today in History

As a bit of history Buff it caught my attention because it is full of facts linked to Wikipedia and lets me find both nibbles and in depth information on thousands of topics ranging from the strange through to bizarre.

However as a literacy who is always looking for fresh and relevant ideas Today in History offers a wealth of writing prompt materials.

For instance today November 22 is the anniversary of JFK's assassination in Dallas 1963. This was a great discussion topic for my class to explore the notion of 'conspiracy theories and cover ups' that led my students to research why people go to such great lengths to cover up the truth?

We discussed JFK and then the kids brought up Roswell... We ended up writing a short essay on "Does society sometimes need protection from the truth?"

Anyhow.. If this sort of thing is your cup of tea then take a look at Today in History here. and let me know if you know of any other great History / Writing apps

Mathboard for iPad & iPhone

Featured in the recent iPad TV ad "Learn".

This is the best integer practice app or program I have found in 34 years of teaching math. - Tim Seiber, Math Teacher

MathBoard is a stunning app for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. The number of customization options available make this a brilliant app for making math fun for elementary school children. -www.androapple.com

MathBoard has charm without losing track of its fundamental purpose (Arithmetic drills). - MacWorld (4 out of 5 mice)

MathBoard is a fantastic math learning tool for your iPad. -- MathBoard is appropriate for all ages from kindergarten (with simple addition and subtraction problems) to elementary school where learning multiplication and division can be a challenge. You can control the range of numbers you want to work with, the amount of questions you want to answer and even assign a time limit per quiz. MathBoard will make learning math fun.

MathBoard features:
- Random problem generation (up to 250 questions per quiz).
- Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Squares, Cubes and Square Roots
- Number ranges are configurable from -9999 to 9999, including the ability to require certain numbers to be in each problem.
- Intelligent "wrong" answer generation makes guessing more difficult. Includes the ability to omit negative answers.
- A quiz can be timed, and timing can be set as a countdown timer or elapsed time.
- A quiz can be saved making it simple to replay a similar quiz or the same quiz at a later date.
- Wrong answers are reviewable with both the incorrect and correct answer visible (and equation displayed). You can even generate a quiz from just the wrong answers.
- Problem Solver for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division will explain the required steps to solve these types of problems.
- Quick reference math tables for Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication.
- LanSchool EdApp certified.
- Supports VGA/HDMI/AirPlay Output.

Access mathboard here.

21 Brilliant Productivity Tools Every College Student Must Use

If you ask a college student about productivity, he won't have much to say. And you really can't blame him.

The same goes for students online courses. They lead a dynamic life where academics and fun go hand in hand, with the latter becoming a more important activity most of the times.

However, with the advent of internet and web 2.0, a college student now has access to so many amazing tools that he could finish up his work as well as enjoy life to the fullest without the guilt. The following list mentions 21 such tools which could skyrocket the productivity of college students when it comes to doing research, communicating with fellow students and dealing with assignments. Also, look into all the opportunities there are in online programs and courses.

Research and Taking Notes

1.Questia

Questia is an excellent online research tool which features a huge web based library of magazines, books, journals, papers, articles and much more. They claim that it is the largest online collection of complete books and journals, all of which is searchable word by word.

Although you need to pay about $19.95 per month for its membership, you could save on books and magazines you buy if you subscribe to it. And of course if you are prone to missing classes, this tool could cover up for it. It is available in 9 languages including English. Check out this article - 10 Cool Things About Questia

2.Free Book Notes

Free Book Notes, as the name suggests is a collection of free book notes, summaries, study guides and similar material aggregated from the internet. If you are an English Literature student, you would benefit the most from it. It has a huge repository of novel guides, plot overviews, context summaries etc of almost any book you could think of.

3.Wikipedia

Wikipedia, internet's favorite encyclopedia is also a great research tool. Whether you are studying in high school or doing your PhD, you are sure to find things of your interest in this ocean of knowledge.

Although time and again, academicians have raised concerns over the authenticity of the content in Wikipedia and if it should be used by students as a study material, it remains a great tool for any college student who can't afford to pay for sites like Questia and needs to do his research online.

4.Notely

Now coming to online note-taking, lets talk about Notely. I'd say it's a superb tool especially for college students because they are the ones it focuses on. It is a seriously cool web productivity tool for students which combines note taking, to-do lists, calendar, file uploads, calculators and converters, dictionary and translator and much more in one single interface. Oh, and it works on the iPhone too.

Check this great video tour of the app if you aren't convinced yet.

5.Evernote

Evernote is my personal favorite and probably the most popular note taking tool available. It offers all the versions - web based, desktop and mobile and syncs your notes between all the 3 mediums effortlessly. A great tool with some extraordinary features, something you would know only when you start using it.

6.Google Docs

Unless you are into hardcore maths and statistics, I'd assume you don't do complex tasks like creating macros in Microsoft excel. If that's the case then you should strongly consider switching most of your note creating and spreadsheet tasks to Google Docs.

Not only does it transfer your work to the cloud which can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet, it also has some great sharing and collaboration features which you could make use of.

7. Google Reader

Google Reader is a great productivity tool for just about anyone looking to find and read great content on the web and that includes college students. It is the best RSS reader available and lets you read content from your favorite sources without the need to individually visit each of them.

8.Noodletools

Noodletools provides some creative online and software tools for both teachers and students which can help them in researching, organizing and recording things. Their main tool which is called NoodleBib is a bibliography composer combined with note taking.

Communication

9.Gmail

It's important that college students use Gmail as their email client. Gmail has got some amazing features which ensures that you are productive while handling your emails. Features like keyboard shortcuts, Gmail tasks and labs make it the ultimate email app.

10.Skype

Skype is a great communication tool, especially for college students as they are usually cash-strapped. It saves them money by reducing their cellphone usage and also saves them time because unlike with cellphone, using which you can talk anywhere and in any position (like while making food, lying on the bed), with skype you know you have to be in front of the computer and hence you'd avoid talking for prolonged intervals.

It also offers nice video conferencing and collaboration features.

Click here for the complete list.

New version of Kidpix hits the Mac App Store - Kidpix in 3D

Earlier this week Apple opened it's Mac Apps Store which is essentially the same as their iPhone and iPad app store for Macbooks and iMacs.  This seems to be the method of choice to buy software for the minute which has its pro's and cons. 

One negative is that heralds the possible end of the 'software suite' for Mac such as iLife and iWork but the upside of this is you can just buy the application you need at a far cheaper price online and be using it in seconds via download.  For instance iMovie 11 can be bought separately for $14.99 and Numbers is $19.99.

Software producers know that this market is an absolute goldmine at the minute and have produced some pretty impressive apps that would be of assistance to teachers and students and one of the best looking Mac apps is the latest version of KidPix

Kidpix 3D $49.99

This revolutionary new Kid Pix puts feature-film quality 3D storytelling into the hands of kids. Video narration lets them star in their own animated adventures, and easy path animations let 3D characters interact on screen. Eye-popping 3D backgrounds, and a hundred video backgrounds provide a Hollywood setting. For ages 4 and up. Includes two pairs of 3D glasses!

  • Create animated stories viewable with 3D glasses
  • Multilayered 3D backgrounds and 100 video backgrounds
  • Easy path animation tools let 3D characters interact
  • Video narration lets kids star in their own animated productions
I am not sure how you go about buying a site license for a school but I am sure time will tell. To find out more about KidPix click here.
Please let us know your thoughts about KidPix