Just under two weeks ago tweeted out a call to vote for the Top Apps that Educators use. I was inundated with responses and as a result I have created a Top 5 list:
In 5th Place:
iMovie (the app) has transformed the ability of students and teachers to create professional looking and sounding content. Teachers can easily generate movies to inspire and explain, while students (especially younger ones) can create content that they were previously unable to make. This is a must have app for all educators no matter what side of the desk you sit on.
In 4th Place:
Twitter – (hootsuite/tweetdeck/echofon)
As someone who is passionately connected to twitter, I am glad to see this rating so highly. Although, given that I tweeted the call for help; it making this list it may not be too surprising. Twitter has awoken a world of collaboration that educators can benefit from and that flow goes directly to helping students learn.
There is always talk of which 3rd party app is best. I’m not going to dive into that, although I was recently recommended Echofon. It allows easy use of lists which other apps sometimes forget about.
In 3rd Place:
I’ve personally been using this for awhile now. It is great to see that the new updates are continuing to improve the product and make it more user friendly. How often do you update an app only to wish you had the older version. As a teacher I’ve used Book Creator to create units of work for students to go through in a number of different ways. You can also set up challenges and research tasks. Here students find information, process it and produce their own epub (ibook) as a product. You can easily link to other creations online. Book creator is the perfect ‘app smashing’ tool. Great for published work in the digital age.
In 2nd Place:
Drive is the central base for Google’s cloud tools. Many of Google tools (specifically those used for educational purposes are referred to as GAFE, Google Apps For Education. Drive lets the user (teacher or student) locate and interact with the tools that have been standard for many years. Those familiar with Microsoft Office products will look for Word, which is Docs. In fact there is now a cloud based standard for most of these old favs.
Here is a really useful link that I stumbled across last year when I was looking to get the most out of google Drive: 25 Drive Tips
In 1st Place:
I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that the app that you all voted as the Top App is one that I don’t really use. I do love some other Evernote apps but I don’t really have Explain Everything in my repertoire yet! I think that will have to change asap!!!
Here is the overview found on the Evernote site:
Explain Everything is an easy-to-use iPad design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and add audio narration to presentations, then automatically save them to your Evernote account. Create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, interactive whiteboards, and tutorials using photos, PDF, PowerPoint, Keynote, and Word documents from your Evernote account. Make changes and save them to your Evernote notebooks for easy organization, sharing, and collaboration.
If you are one of the teachers who voted for this app, I’d love to hear how you use it in the classroom.
With the onset of Report writing around the corner I asked School Report Writer if we could hear a little more about their free tool. They were really nice and sent this back. I hope it helps someone.
School Report Writer (.com) is a free online app that will save you hours, if not days when writing reports. You can pick from 10,000+ ready-made comments and then easily personalise them with the 1-click thesaurus. Gender is sorted out automatically and you can quickly insert your own favourite phrases. Your comments are stored online in your free personal account and can be exported and shared. The app is rated 4.5/5 from over 50 reviews and if the comments are anything to go by, teachers really do seem to love it e.g.
“This has got to be the most teacher friendly app/program out there. I have been looking for a quick and easy way to write report card comments for years and have finally found it. Wonderful!”.
Free report comment bank:
Home page (free registration):
Thanks once again for taking the time to read this blog. I hope there is something in there for those looking!