Technology Tips For Teachers  

September 21, 2012

Back to School Apps

School is in full swing, and many classrooms have access to mobile devices this year for students. I will share a collection of apps that cover a wide range of subjects and grade levels that can make an impact in the classroom.

Science360 is the iPad app (free) companion to The National Science Foundation's Science 360 website. The app has the same collection of videos found on the Science360 website, but is visually stunning and fun to simply investigate the content. The screen becomes filled with a wall of images and videos that you touch to view. It is easy to lose track of time as you explore the content. Another aspect I like is the ability to share via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

King of Math by Oddrobo Software AB (free with in-app purchase of $0.99 for full game) is a great game to sharpen your math skills. You start as a farmer and level up to become a "King of Math." The game is played in books with nine chapters in each book. The free version has three books: Addition, Subtraction, and Mixed 1. The paid option has nine more books that cover skills like statistics and geometry.

Shake-a-Phrase by Artgig Studio ($1.99) is a fun app for any Language Arts classroom. The basic concept is built around generating fun phrases that change when you shake the iPad. The idea is simple, but the app has some great activities connected with the phrases. There are three activities; Story Starter, Quiz Me, and Shake It. The Shake It activity allows the student to learn the definitions of the words in the sentence by touching the word. The Quiz Me activity will ask the student to identify the type of words in the phrase. There are some customizing features that make this app cool. The phrases can be customized by theme: Animals, Fairytales, Monsters, and Sports. The quiz allows you to choose which parts of speech to review for.

gFlash+ by gWhiz, LLC (Free with multiple in-app purchases) is a simple flash card app but has some unique features that make this a great app for the classroom. The best part of this app is the connection to Google Docs. You can create a set of vocabulary terms with your Google spreadsheet and download it to this app to have a set of flashcards. Place the terms in Column A and the definitions in Column B. In the app, simply log on to your Google account and download the spreadsheet. Students can make their own set of terms, or a teacher can share the spreadsheet with the class and allow them to download the terms onto the app.gWhiz has a growing catalog of free and paid sets (click here) on their website to use for the classroom.

Marble Math by Artgig Studio ($1.99).


by Jamey Boelhower, Remote Learning Specialist