Sunday, March 31, 2013

Energize Your Class With Seven Great Apps!

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I have an ipad and an iphone but I have been definitely underusing it.  This week I decided to go to an ipad class through my school and I am so inspired! Here are some terrific apps that I learned about and want to share with you.  They are all free downloads!

  • The first app to download is apps gone free.  This lists all the apps that are on sell for free!  I've already started collecting some great apps for my ipad just from this site.  
  • A great app that I immediately shared with all the teachers at my school is: classdojo  which is a classroom management system that you actually set up on your computer but then can access through an app on your iphone.  A middle school teacher sitting next to me in the class was so excited about this program that she immediately began loading all her class rosters into the program.  Setting up your class takes about 5 minutes and then another 5-10 to learn to navigate around the system.  There are cute monster icons that represent each student and through out the day you can reward the students for specific behavior such as working hard, finishing work etc.  There is also the possibility of negative rewards. There is the option of displaying the class on the promethean board and rewarding publicly or privately.  Parents can get a special code and check on their child's progress.  Since I referred all the Sixes teachers to this program so I'll let you know how they like it but it certainly seemed to have a lot of possibilities.
  • The third app that I would recommend is  Lots of teachers have already discovered it.  It allows a recording during which time you can teach a lesson by writing on a whiteboard while you talk or  you can even import photos or other images. You can also save your lesson so that others can log in and see it later or you can send it via email or facebook.  Here's an example of a lesson that I created:
  • A similar app without the recording feature is whiteboard.  This app is just a lot of fun.  You can create a picture or download a photo... draw on the picture using your finger and different colors, then send it to someone.  I have flooded my friends' emails with all my creations...
  • Do you love making lists and checking things off your list?  I am a compulsive list builder and I'm trying two apps now for creating lists.  The first one that I actually purchased for $1.99 is clear.  It is a simple list building app where you set up categories then add things to your list.  You can remove them once you've completed the task by sliding the item to the left.  A free app that I discovered that has a motivational aspect to it is carrot. I like the functionality of this app.  The list is easier to build and manuver.  However, I don't like the negative messages the app sends each time you open it.  "Hello lazy human" is one start-up.  To my way of thinking this app could have been so much better if it had more of  positive tone to it.  I will say though that once you start checking things off your list pretty regularly, it gives you more rewarding comments.  I do find that it is easier to use than the clear app where I often have trouble opening and closing my lists.  
  • Here's another app that is just fun but that I know would appeal to lots of students.  Download  the action movie app and you can record a scene, then pick a disaster and watch a disaster like an avalanche of snow cascade down on the scene you just recorded.  I know it sounds a little, well disastrous, but everyone I've shown it to thought it was amazing.
  • Finally, an app that would benefit counselors is the mood journal app.  It was a free app for the day and I'm trying it out now.  You are prompted at predetermined times that you set up, to record how you are feeling.  The choices range from insanely great to couldn't be worse.  Next you are prompted to type in a note about what is going on at the time.  The journal records and graphs the mood data so you can determine the highs and lows of your moods along with potentially the triggers for them.  I think this app has a lot of potential for children to track their own feelings and recognize not only the triggers for those feelings but to also to discuss the control that they have over their emotions.  

What a great time I've had playing with these apps.  My only regret is that it's taken me so long to contract the "app addiction"!  What about you?  What is your favorite app?  How do you use it?

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1 comment:

  1. Our music teachers uses Class Dojo and the kids LOVE it! Thanks for all of these great tips and leads; now I just need my iPad to finally arrive!

    Sending springtime smiles,