Window (no pun intended) shopping the App Store these days can be a very dangerous game… Sure, it’s got a nice icon, a slick animated video of people ‘loving’ the app, and even a clever catch phrase that you swear you’ve heard before. But is it any good? Who can you ask?
Well hopefully, it’s someone like you? Someone who is looking for what you are looking for. Someone who is trying to solve the same problems you are trying to solve. Someone who you trust… Even look up to. Well, here are seven educators that many teachers around the world look up to. And seven teachers who know their apps.
1. Pocket (iOS and Android)
The ultimate app for anyone that reads a LOT, Pocket ‘the app’ works much like pocket ‘the trouser accessory’. Put stuff in it that you want to use later. Pocket lets you save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite so that you can view the content when it suits you.
I am a huge, huge fan of this app. Whenever you are reading a blog or come across a webpage that you just don’t have time to check out or don’t want to save it to your booksmarks before you have a chance to look at it, you can Pocket. – Steven W. Anderson – Quick List Of Mobile Apps For Administrators
2. CamScanner (iOS and Android)
I noticed recently that I now take photos of all sorts of things on my phone where I used to jot it all down on paper. It’s quicker, easier to store and I can share it later on if I need to. This is the premise behind CamScanner – Turn your phone and tablet into a scanner.
The CamScanner App is used from my iPad or iPhone to scan any documents students create on paper. CamScanner uses the camera to photograph the document and convert it to a searchable PDF. Once the document is scanned, I upload it from Evernote directly to the student’s notebook and give it a tag. – Corinne Campbell – Paperless Admin for Teachers
3. ColAR Mix (iOS and Android)
I could try and explain ColAR Mix in words… But I just would not do the app justice. Take a look at the below video and you will get the (awesome) idea pretty quickly:
The stories that emerged were worthy of a celebration! I couldn’t believe the imagination and creativity of the stories that were written! We invited the parents, administration, and other classes to come hear and see our work. Little did they know what was in store for them with the app! – Joli Barker – Fearless Writing
4. Mailbox (iOS and Android)
Everyone has their own technique for managing the deluge of daily mail. Mailbox (owned by Dropbox) offers a very clean and ‘productivity’ focused interface to manage your mail. Syncing with Gmail or iCloud it’s well worth a quick try as you will soon wonder how you functioned without it.
The thing I love about Mailbox is how you can set it to come back to you this evening, tomorrow, next week – or- make lists of the items. While I don’t use the list feature, this one app has helped me get to Inbox Zero every day for the past 3 weeks. It clears my mind and helps me be productive. – Vicki Davis – The best Mail app for the iPad or iPhone
5. Notability (iOS)
Whether you are jotting down ideas, annotating papers, writing a blog or recording conversations, you need a place to store and organise it all. With a lot of note-app options it’s worth trying one that just keeps getting recommended.
I love this app as well as do my students. I have tried every note taking app out there, and I keep coming back to this one. Being left handed, this app seems to work the best for me. My students like it because of the ease of typing and drawing. I use it to take notes of my special education observations. – Ann Francis – 5 Apps I am Using to ‘Tweak’ My Lessons
6. Scribble Press (iOS)
Scribble Press is a book creation app that allows your kids to create and share their own stories with hundreds of great drawing and writing tools. Hugely popular, the app has been awarded the winner of Parent’s Choice Award and the Time Top 25 Apps for Kids.
The app for the iPad is amazing! It is absolutely perfect for my little grade one class. You can create stories on your own, or use a template provided. You add in your own pictures, and then publish! You are done! You can send it off via email, twitter, facebook, etc. You can even have it printed through the website! – Marcie Martel – New Favourite App
7. TinyTap (iOS)
TinyTap is neat game creation app that lets you easily build and play thousands of games created by teachers, authors and kids worldwide. Simply add photos or images, record questions, trace the answers and you’re ready to play.
We tried it out this morning with children first making their own quizzes (no instructions from me necessary for Year 4s) with a topic of their choice, then moving on to make grammar quizzes for Year 5 to play next week. My TAs immediately saw potential for very quick and easy resource creation for their intervention groups too. – Carol Newton – App Review: TinyTap
What is the single app that you could not live without? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Janitors.