Thursday, June 23, 2011

iPad mega-update part 2: General apps for teaching

Edited 6/15/13: I see these posts are still getting a lot of traffic, two years later! Much of this info is outdated. However, I am working on updating my iPad app pages for 2013! I'll post to my blog as updates are completed, or you can check the page directly.


  • Edmodo: I have only just discovered Edmodo, a social network specifically designed for classroom use. It looks a lot like Facebook on the surface, but it is a completely safe, private network with full teacher control of her classroom sites. I plan to try out Edmodo with my Middle Schoolers next school year, and the iPad and iPhone apps are an easy way to access the site anywhere I go.

  • Keynote: Apple's presentation app, the third component of the iWork suite, really does put the "fun" in functional. I use it with the iPad projector adapter as a handy way to teach recorder and ukulele to a whole class. Like Pages and Numbers, you can sync your Keynote presentations to work on them on your desktop or iPhone.
A slide from my recorder Keynote presentation.
  • Planbook Touch: I use Jeff Hellman's Planbook software as my paperless lesson planning book. I love the desktop app, and the iPad version easily syncs through DropBox (free account required, see "DropBox" above). I find it very handy for accessing my lesson information on the go, but I don't recommend using it as a stand-alone app to replace your paper planbook until some more bugs and functionality issues are worked out.

  • Prezi: If you're a fan of the web-based presentation app Prezi, you must get the iPad app! Prezis look gorgeous on the iPad, and can of course be projected with the iPad projector adapter.

  • Remote Conductor: This is another app that I only discovered recently, but has become an invaluable part of my tech setup. Conductor basically turns my iPad into a wireless Magic Trackpad and keyboard for my laptop. If I'm using a Mac app with my projector, I can walk around the room controlling the computer remotely. Even better, I also set up my eBeam Edge interactive whiteboard, and the kids can go up to the board and interact with the "magic pen" while I use my iPad to input text or take over when necessary (sort of like those passenger-seat brakes in the driver's ed car).
  • Splashtop: Splashtop is a remote desktop app to use with your computer, Mac or PC. With Splashtop, your iPad mirrors your computer screen. In other words, it feels like you are running desktop applications on your iPad. I haven't had many situations where I've really needed this, but it has an extreme cool factor, and I could see using it to let kids use a desktop app such as Sibelius Groovy Music on an iPad.

Next up: General music apps!


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