As I’ve gotten more and more requests for our managed iPad cart, along with it have come requests to add more and more apps. One of our Special Education Math teachers was looking for a fun game that would allow students to compete against each other in a way, but also against themselves but still be fun, engaging, and always different. Enter Alge-Bingo!
Alge-Bingo is a pretty straightforward bingo game, but instead of simply having the computer call out numbers to dot, the students need to solve simple algebraic equations to find their number. Some of the questions they might encounter are x + 3 = 5 or 8 = 16 – 4x, for example. Students solve the equation and then look for the number to dot. Once they have a Bingo they win!
Alge-Bingo allows for a good deal of diversity in the game itself to keep it new and interesting each time. In addition to having different equations and locations for solutions on the bingo card, students can choose which pattern they would like to solve to get their bingo. They can choose from nine options including traditional lines, corners, Z-shape, L-shape, or to get the most out of their practice a blackout game where they have to solve for all the numbers on the grid.
Alge-Bingo is available in the App Store for a small cost of $0.99 per unit, but it is well worth investigating for your iPads, or to suggest to students who might be in need of some extra help and would benefit from having it in the form of a fun game.
Alge-Bingo for Android Devices
Tags: algebra, apps, enrichment, games, math, practice, reinforcement, teacher tools, tech integration, technology
If you are looking for a nice, simple app for biographies, you might want to check out People HD. There is nothing flashy about this app, but it does provide short and simply written biographies of over 100 key figures from world history. Personalities as diverse as Joseph Stalin and John Lennon or Stephen Hawking and Confucius are included and all time periods and careers are included as well.
People HD allows students to select an individual and read a short one page biography, see a timeline of their life, and read select quotes from the individual. While this is not a treasure trove of information by any stretch, People HD would serve as a great introduction to some of these personalities, as a lesson supplement, or as a way for students to narrow choices for research topics, or for reading more in-depth biographies of these individuals.
The developers of People HD are always looking including more biographies, so keep an eye out for more updates!
Also of interest:
Portraits HD – From the same developer, this app includes more detailed portraits of the individuals included in the People HD app.
Tags: apps, biography, history, interactive, multimedia, reference, research, teacher tools, tech integration, writing
I stumbled upon this app one day in the App Store and haven’t been able to stop playing with is since. Essential Skeleton is a fantastic app for students studying human anatomy, especially the skeletal system, or any student interested in how the human body functions.
Using Essential Skeleton is very easy and a short tutorial at each open will guide students through the proper finger gestures to manipulate their skeleton. Students can zoom in or out on a full human skeleton, as well as rotate it 360° to view she skeletal system from any angle.
When a student selects a bone to view in Essential Skeleton, it will highlight green and an information bubble will appear giving the common and Latin names of the bone with an option to have those read for proper pronunciation. Students can also hide or fade the bone (or those surrounding it) for different views. Clicking on the blue “i” in the bubble opens a more detailed view with information on the function and purpose of the bone as well as 6 more close-up views.
Essential Skeleton is part of a larger series by the company 3D4Medical whose other apps include the muscular and nervous systems as well as more detailed apps for the heart, brain, and even teeth.
Also of interest: Check out 3D4Medical’s Images app for great photos and scans of all anatomical systems.
Tags: 3D, anatomy, apps, biology, interactive, philosophy, science, teacher tools, tech integration, technology
Another in a great line of creation and creativity apps, iBrainstorm allows students to collaborate on projects through their iPads. It is essentially a free form drawing and writing app that can allow students to set up flow charts and graphical designs, storyboard their creative writing, or even create notes or comics.
iBrainstorm allows multiple users to create place their ideas on the board as well as add annotations, suggestions and notes through a sticky-pad feature. This is ideal for group collaborative projects and allowing students who might need the added help to map out their thoughts and ideas.
A sister app, iBrainstorm Companion is also available for the iPhone or iPod and allows up to 4 students to work on the same document at once. They can add or create notes and pieces on their iPhone or iPod then “flick” them to the connected iPad to produce their final product.
iBrainstorm would be ideally used in a collaborative, project-based learning environment where students are comfortable with, and responsible enough, to use their own technology independently to produce great content.
Tags: apps, collaboration, creation, creativity, edtech, education, interactive, PBL, productivity, teacher tools, tech integration, tech skills, web 2.0
This is my new favorite app! The MyScript Calculator is a unique tool that allows students to handwrite complex equations and formulas into their iPad or iPhone and obtain instant results. Not only can this be used to perform simple arithmetic operations, but the MyScript Calculator can also handle more complex operations, including trigonometric functions, logarithms, and certain constant expressions.
From the developer, the full list of supported operators includes:
Basic operations: +, -, x, ÷, +/‒, 1/x
Misc. Operations: %, √, x!, |x|
Powers/Exponentials: ℯx, xy , x2
Brackets: ( )
Trigonometry: cos, sin, tan
Inverse trigonometry: acos, asin, atan
Logarithms: ln , log
Constants: π, ℯ, Phi.
One of the only drawbacks of the MyScript Calculator is that while the technology is intuitive, it is not perfect as assessing what students intend as they write. Therefore, it is important that they try to do so neatly in the app. Also, variables are not written as they would in a common algebraic expression. For example, MyScript reads “x” as multiplication instead of a variable. Simple single variable expressions can be solved but students need to use “?” as that variable, as opposed to letters.
The applications and advantages of this app are enormous, however. Students who are unable (or unwilling) to use a basic calculator can try MyScript for a more tactile math experience. This would also be a help to those students who need to solve more complex calculations that would be difficult with pen, paper, and a traditional calculator. While MyScript will not, and should not, replace more traditional methods of computation and equation solving it is a fantastic tool to have in your belt.
MyScript for Android Devices
Tags: apps, arithmetic, calculation, calculator, edtech, education, engineering, geometry, math, physics, science, teacher tools, tech integration, technology, trigonometry
Free Photo Editing Apps
Lots of our students want to create presentations and projects, or just fun things with their iPads, iPhones, or iPods while in class. Sometimes they need a little help with this, especially if they need to touchup, crop, or edit photos they’ve taken in anyway. Today, two free apps that can let them do just that!
This app is a very simple one for editing photos quickly. Aviary has a very similar interface and feels very much like Instagram. Students can choose from an Enhance menu where they can adjust the color and lighting in the photo, Effects where they can choose different tones and blurs, frames, stickers, and text. Aviary also supports basic photo editing like red-eye reduction, whitening, blemish removal, brightness, saturation, and sharpness adjustments, as well as simple cropping. Aviary is available for both the iPhone and iPad.
Similar to the full version, Adobe Photoshop Express offers hundreds of photo enhancement, effects, and adjustments options for students. From a simple auto adjustment by clicking on a want icon to choosing from the hundreds of effects and borders Photoshop Express offers a great deal of choice in adjusting photos. Also included are the basic editing tools, including brightness and contrast, hue and saturation, tint, sharpening tools, noise reduction, and red-eye reduction. The interface is not as graphically appealing as some other editors, as Photoshop Express chooses to allow the photograph to maximize the real estate on the screen, rather than its menus. Photoshop Express is available for both iPhone and iPad.
Tags: apps, creativity, education, multimedia, PBL, photo editing, photos, teacher tools, tech integration, tech skills, tech tips, technology, web 2.0
With the inevitable demise of Google Reader, I, and many others I’m sure, have been scrambling to find a new feed reader to have access to all our blog subscriptions. After a little searching, I have settled on my choice: Feedly.
Like many others already, I was impressed by the look and feel of Feedly, which is very graphic oriented, giving options to preview blog posts as if through a newsfeed as well as providing an easy to use archive interface to catch up on back posts. What most impressed me about Feedly, however, was the ease of transition away from Google Reader. A simple add-on install in both Firefox and Chrome were able to integrate Feedly into my browser, so I can receive new post alerts, and one click completely synched my feeds from Google Reader – including read and saved blogs! Feedly is also available as a free app for iPhones and iPads, as well as Android devices.
I’m not sure how many readers access the content of this blog, be it through e-mails, direct links, or a feed reader. If you are using Google Reader though, I’d advise you to pick up Feedly today, and save yourself the trouble or lost and missing posts from this, or any blog, come July.
Tags: apps, blogs, education, feed readers, general, Google Reader, multimedia, news, rss, teacher tools, tech integration, technology
This week I began my most recent foray into the world of losing more weight and a friend turned me onto the Lose It! App to help me keep track of my caloric intake and exercise. I thought this would be great for students dealing with nutritional issues, or as a study of their intake as well for discussions and projects for a health or PE class. Not only does it allow you to enter your meals and count calories, but you can track weight loss (or gain if you need to) and also keep tabs on a variety of exercises. Use this as a way to help students understand the benefits of a balanced diet or to see just how much they may be taking in through snacking and idle eating.
I love this app (and family of apps) too, and have used the MapMyFitness set for a long time. No matter what exercise you want to so, be it a run, walk, bike ride, or general fitness, this app will keep track of the route you have taken, time taken to complete the route, splits for mileage, and calories burned during your workout. This would be a fantastic way to have students in a gym class track their pace and personal times on the track running or walking the mile, or even as a homework assignment for physical education where they need to complete a short walk or jog at home. The GPS tracker in MapMyFitness is free, and students can complete the same routes over and over again, making it an excellent way to track progress.
Tags: apps, education, fitness, health, interactive, physical education, teacher tools, tech integration
Pocket Zoo HD is a cute app that is designed visually for younger students but has a great deal of information for older students as well. Pocket Zoo HD creates a virtual zoo and by clicking on an animal in the zoo facts about the animal, including, size, habitat, and diet are provided. Pocket Zoo HD also includes hundreds of photos and videos for all the different animals as well.
One of the more exciting and ever changing features of Pocket Zoo HD is that with some of the animals (unfortunately not all) live streaming webcams are available. Students can connect to these streams at any time to watch as the animals go about their lives, and because it’s a live feed, it will always be new content.
There is a moderate cost for Pocket Zoo HD ($2.99 in the Apple App Store at the time of this post), but it should be well worth it, especially for our nature loving students!
Tags: animals, apps, biology, education, interactive, multimedia, nature, reference, teacher tools, tech integration, technology, zoo
Math vs. Zombies is a very fun math game for the iPad that pits students’ math skills against swarms of the undead. To defeat the approaching masses of zombies, students must correctly answer simple arithmetic problems that increase in difficulty as they progress through the levels. You can choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication or division for the problems, and set initial difficulty levels in Math vs. Zombies to help reinforce skills or challenge students.
Because of some cartoon violence (it’s really cheesy), some scary audio (groaning Zombies) and mild horror, Apple has rated Math vs. Zombies as appropriate for ages 9+. Please take this into consideration if you are planning on using this with your students. Any student in a higher elementary grade, or even a struggling high school student, would love Math vs. Zombies as a fun game activity or as reinforcement without making it seem like work!
Tags: apps, education, games, math, teacher tools, tech integration, technology