Thursday, March 18, 2010

Top 10 Teacher Apps for the iPod Touch

Searching for iPod Touch apps for teachers in Google results in close to a million hits, so what’s the harm in adding one more? Here is my list (some scholarly, some not so much) of apps that I couldn't do without.

1. Dropbox – This handy app compliments the file storage website. The service is an excellent alternative to uploading and sending files to your own email. The Dropbox app also allows for offline use, which is where it comes in most handy. It also has a built-in media player. If I’m in a hurry and need a media file but don’t want to wait interminably for iTunes to load, and then have to go through the laborious task of finding my iPod usb connector, this is an effortless alternative.

2. NoteBrainer – This is a must have app for any music student struggling to learn how to read both treble and bass clef. The app displays or (optionally) sounds the note, and then asks you to correctly identify it. It’s simple, but addictive (and much more interesting than rote memorization!). I've been learning how to play piano since August, and this app is great practice.

3. Pandora – Pandora is an Internet radio station that plays songs based on your previous song preferences. This is a must have for any English Language Arts teacher who is teaching a book/unit that takes place in a specific era. For example, if I was teaching S.E. Hinton’s That was then, This is now and I wanted to give my students a taste of music from the time period, all I would have to do is create a Pandora station based on the search term “60s rock.”
4. Stanza – This free e-book reader is not only intuitive, but effortless to use. The app contains a searchable database using e-book sites like Project Gutenberg, and downloads automatically so that they can be read offline. The latest version also features capabilities to highlight and annotate.

5. Instapaper – This app takes any website and converts it to “digital paper” that can be stored on the iPod and then read offline. This is particularly useful to me because many of the news sites that I enjoy reading are blocked by my school’s filter. With a little bit of foresight, I can convert the page at home, and then read at my own leisure during my lunch break!

6. Free RSS – This app is exactly what it sounds like. Again, similar to instapaper, I appreciate that this app stores posts from a blog’s RSS feed so I can read them when I am not connected to a wifi signal.

7. Office2 Plus – I wrote about using Zoho on the iPod Touch as a portable word processor, but this is only possible when within range of an Internet signal. Office2 Plus is a suitable alternative. Files are saved in .doc format and can be emailed to a desktop computer for further editing and printing.

8. Paper Toss – Fine, maybe this isn’t very educational, but if I am making a list of my favorite apps, this has to be on it. Paper toss is a game that challenges you to do exactly that – toss balls of paper into a trashcan. It sounds lame, but it is dangerously addictive!

9. Wink – If you have an iPhone with a built-in camera, then this app is especially useful. Wink allows you to take pictures stored on your iPhone, or from Flickr, Facebook, or Shutterfly and organize them into a photo strip. Then, for $2.50, that strip can be printed and sent via snail mail. This could be a great way to creatively document field trips or in-class activities.

10. Wikipedia – Maybe it’s a bit of a cop-out to put this on an app list, but there’s no denying how important Wikipedia has become. In fact, a recent study has shown that more than 80% of college students turn to the source when beginning research. Of all the apps on this list, this one offers the greatest potential simply because of the extraordinary amount of information that it contains.

Save to delicious Saved by 0 users
Digg Technorati StumbleUpon Reddit BlinkList Furl Mixx Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo
ma.gnolia squidoo newsvine live netscape tailrank mister-wong blogmarks slashdot spurl

0 Responses: