I love seeing so many school starting to adopt technology and recognising that the use of technology can be motivating and engaging, especially in light of the “More ladders,fewer snakes” report from the independent think tank the New Zealand institute - http://www.nzinstitute.org/
What is critical is that the presence of technology by itself is not a panacea or the ills of engagement or more accurately student disengagement. Rather the technology is a tool or perhaps a medium for motivating and focusing our students learning. Our use of technology in the classroom must be DELIBERATE and PURPOSEFUL. Then and only then will the improvement make meaningful impact on teaching and learning.
If I was to recommend a list of products for use on ipads in Junior or middle school I would recommend the following:
- iWorks pages, numbers and keynote – while these are reduced versions of the core applications for the mac, they tools will suit the average needs of the average user for word processing and simple desktop publishing, data processing and as a presentation medium.
- iThoughts HD – this is a simple to use yet powerful mind mapping tool
- Garageband – a nice and flexible music creation tool
- imovie – video production tool – this is great as the back camera of the ipad 2 gives nice clean footage.
- Adobe Photoshop express – simple image editor and free. You already have Photo Booth as a standard tool on the ipad 2
- Mathboard and Spellboard – great easy to use learning tools for mathematics and spelling
- Comic Life – this is the ipad version of Plasq’s winning tool. An absolute must from my perspective
- PuppetPals HD – this is a great animation tool, its well worth purchasing the master pack of resources which makes the product come to life. The kids love this and it will produce great videos that can be exported.
- eClicker Host and eclicker client – this is a student response system that will cost you a tiny amount. Also accessible from the web interface, this is great and so cost efficient. (well once you have purchased your idevices to run the clickers on)
- Google earth – while not as powerful as the PC or mac based Google Earth Client, this is still a useful and powerful learning tool. the students enjoy using this and can easily and intuitively manipulate the tool.
- Puffin web browser – this browser supports FLASH (YAY!!!), so mathletics is easily accessible from the ipad (you need to use the menu to access the keyboard to type in numeral/text answers).
- BrainPOP – my kids love this, its quirky slightly off beat, but it has great resources and they enjoy it. Video and interactive media resources.
- Dictionary.com – this is a great dictionary tool. Useful, I wished more of my students used a dictionary.
- Sentence Builder – this is a useful tool for english and language arts. recommended by an amazing classroom practitioner – thanks Harry.
- Play2Learn – this is a language vocabulary tool. Its fun, visual and covers a range of languages. Well worth considering for schools that have a foreign language program. I have to put in my personal bias here ALL primary schools should be teaching ATLEAST 2 languages to their students and the younger the better.
There are more but this is just a start.
What would you add to this list and why?