This simple timer is extremely easy to use and looks great on the large iPad screen (despite the banner ad at the bottom). Some might say that a timer app is a waste of such a robust device, but it’s a lot quicker than digging through your desk drawer looking for the old egg timer.
QR Reader (Scan)
I mentioned in my last post all of the possibilities QR codes bring to the classroom, and this is just the app for that! It’s free and quickly scans and recognizes QR codes.
Popplet is an easy-to-use mind mapping tool similar to proprietary software like Inspiration/Kidspiration/etc. It integrates with the iPad’s dual cameras and photos app so images can be quickly added to the popplet diagram.
I admit that this app is in need of some updates, but it’s still worth the download. GridPaper recognizes complex math problems, exponents, and even multi-step equations (kind of). It’s like a more organic version of a graphing calculator. The app still struggles with some finger gestures, but I suspect this will be one to keep an eye on in the future.
Atoms HD Lite
This is an excellent review tool for chemistry students looking to practice labeling neutrons, electrons, and protons of an atom.
MindMash is similar to Popplet but it focuses more on functionality rather than aesthetic appearance. Users can combine text, writing, and images to create mind maps, brainstorm, or take notes.
Url shorteners like bit.ly and tinyurl have become so popular that the shortened address is actually becoming quite long (at least by the 140 character Twitter standard). Rs.gs is not a pretty name, but it’s handy on the iPad and pumps out urls that are no more than 8 characters long!
ShowOfHands is a polling app. There are a continuous stream of general opinion questions and after voting, the app displays a ton of different percentages based on demographics (age, gender, and political party, etc.). It even shows poll winners by state. Aside from this app being strangely addictive, it could be used in a history/economics/political science class to get a snapshot of varying opinions across the country. Because of the math, this could also be used to generate some interesting data for percentage or graphing lessons.
The iPad is a natural fit when it comes to assistive technology. Take for example, the $190 alternative communication tool called Proloquo2Go. It essential takes the place of an augmentative speaking device that can cost into the thousands. Unfortunately, it's still $190 more than I'd like to spend for an app. Luckily, Verbally is there to fill the void.
Every teacher needs time for quiet reflection. Pocket Pond is surprisingly cathartic. Lazily drag your fingers across the screen and watch the water ripple and fish disperse. It’s like having a koi pond in your pocket (without the obvious problems that would ultimately arise with carrying fish in your pants).
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