Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Show Me


Show Me
Cost: free!
Pros: Show Me is an app specifically intended for educational purposes. It serves as a white board, you can write and draw and erase on it. You can also upload pictures to write and draw on them. The unique part is that you can record a video of your whiteboard, as you write, draw and add pictures. Basically you can redord a mini lesson. Once you have created a video, you can upload it and share with the Show Me community. If you would prefer, you can keep your video private. You can also access other people's videos that have been uploaded and search based on topics. Videos can be sent in a URL or accessed on the show me app.
Cons: This app is connected to the Internet, so in order for students to access the videos at home, they must have access to Internet. Many reviews request that they make an update that allows show me videos to be connected to Dropbox
In education: This would be a great app to use in the flipped classroom model. You could create a video for your students to view at home that details the content for the lesson. And then when the students arrive at school, already having viewed the content, they can ask questions, explore, and practice at their own pace and with the teacher's advising.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Prezi Viewer App 

Cost: Free!

Pros: This app allows the prep time for setting up your lesson super quick and fast. You can just click the app and select the Prezi you want to show. While using this app, you can zoom in and out on the parts you want to high light during your presentation. This app allows for great visuals in the classroom and note taking. You can add pictures and videos to creatively design for others to view.
Cons: For this app, you can't create a Prezi document. You would have to create your Prezi on the HTML Prezi website in order to create your document. Sometimes this app takes a little while to load. Another set back to this app is the fact that some links may not work properly. For example, sometimes YouTube videos will not work. Also, I've noticed that the Smartboard pens do not work off the Prezi.

Educational Use: This app is perfect for having your students take notes and visually see items. It's great for catching their eye and have them engaged in your lesson. You can use this app for any subject, anytime of the school day. Whether thats starting the day off with daily announcements, or for math notes, this app is perfect for any occasion. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Scribble Press

Cost: Free!

Pros: This app gives a variety of different stories for students to add their own touches to.  The main story is given to the students and they fill in the blanks.  It also allows students to draw their own illustrations or take pictures and use them as illustrations.  Students can also create a book all on their own by creating a "blank book".  There are also stickers that can be added to the illustrations.  They have a variety of markers and colors to chose from as well. If you create an account you can have order the books and have them printed.  The books can also be shared through e-mail. Students can also look through books created by other students. Creating an account is free.  The artwork from the book can be turned into a puzzle, notepad, or card.

Cons: The app its self is free but some the the features are not.  It gives you a limited selection of stickers and the rest of them need to be purchased.  It also gives your a selection of books but other ones can be purchased.  The majority of the costs are around $1.99.  In order to share or print the books you have to create an account. 

Education: I feel this is a great app for students starting to write stories and also students that have had practice with stories.  For beginners, I would have students create a story using the already created formats.  This way students only have to focus on the nouns and the illustrations.  For students that are more advanced, I would have them create their own book using the "blank books".  Students would be responsible for writing the whole story and also creating the illustrations.  Writing the story could be the end of a unit and then we could have students share their stories with the class.

Similar Apps: A similar app that I looked at is called "My Story-Book Maker for Kids".  This app is not free and it looks more like it has more of a scrapbook feel than a book.  Otherwise a lot of the features are similar.  I feel the free Scribble Press is just as good of an app!


Word Ball

 Word Ball


Price: $1.99

Pros:  This app is a fun and challenging word game that allows students aged 8 and up to think about words in an innovative way.  This game allows for young students to learn new words, spell them, and enhance their vocabulary while playing a fun fast paced game.  

Cons:  Word ball contains a lot of letters on the screen that you need to put together to create a word of any length.  I think a con to this game would be that it might get a little overwhelming.  With so many balls on the screen, it might be confusing trying to get a word together so quickly.  Also, the balls disappear if you are too slow in creating a word. 

Education:  I want to teach either grades 2, 3, or 4.  I think this game would be a great one to introduce to your students in English class.  Vocabulary is very important, and this app can make learning more fun.  I think I would specifically use this app as an extension for quick learners.  If someone would finish a vocabulary assignment quicker than others I would allow them to play this game to extend their knowledge.  

I have never seen an app like this, but I would be interested in seeing if there were  apps similar to it that I could use in my classroom.

Friday, September 21, 2012


iPhone Screenshot 1

App: SparkleFish

Price: Free

Pros: This app is a fun take on madlibs.  The students are able to choose their own story, and then following the directions are recording the story.  There are four different stories that you can choose from.  Once you have chosen a story, you record what you are prompted to say on the screen. ex: part of body- arm. If you are struggling with a word that is needed you can press where it says body part, and a whole list will pop up for you to choose from.  You are given plenty of time to decide what word you want to use, because you do not have to record the word until you are ready.   Once you have gone through each slide there is a narrator that reads the story back to you.  .You are able to save as many stories as you want, and are allowed to keep recording stories.  

Cons:   I have not found may cons with this app.  The one that I have found is that if you and your students are tired of doing the same stories it costs 99cents to buy a new story pack of four stories.

Educational Use:  I would use this application in my English classroom.  Since you are able to record so many stories, I would have my students use this one day in class.  It is having them think of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and different types of speech.  After the students have recorded their story they will be given the opportunity to listen, and see what they think.  I would use this as a small group activity where the students take turns saying words, while the other students are given time to work on an assignment.  I would also use this on a individual level and have one student come back and work with me on the story.

Butterfly HD App

Sprout Labs Butterfly HD iPad App 

Cost: $1.99

Rated on App Store: 5 Stars 

Pros: This app makes a science lesson come to life in the palm of students' hands. A huge plus to this app is that it was created to meet all of the Common Core State Standards for grades K-2 and to foster students of all learning styles. Butterfly HD is very easy to navigate and includes engaging lessons and games. This app is very versatile as it can be used within whole group instruction, small group learning and individualized work. Students will have the choice of many educational options that revolve around the central concept of the life of a butterfly. There are various quizzes available throughout the app to assess the student's learning. One of the great pro's to this app is that it is used on a mobile device which can be brought outside to allow the student's to learn in a butterfly's true environment!

Cons: A possible negative to this awesome app is that it is only geared towards grades K-2. Although the app is very cheap at a rate of $1.99, there are various apps that are free that may highlight the same content. 

Education Usage: This app would be most effective to use during a science unit related to the topic of the life of a butterfly. This unit usually takes place around the grades of K-2. The Butterfly HD app could be used to teach the entire unit because it covers all the information necessary for student learning as well as the state standards required. The app includes HD pictures, videos and easy to follow knowledge pertaining to the topic of butterfly stages and growth. Teachers have the ability to utilize this app in many ways by implementing whole group, small group or individual instruction. 

Overall, this app would be a great addition to any lower elementary grade level classroom that will ensure an engaging and exciting science unit on butterflies! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

AbiTalk Mobile Learning System Sentences Builder


Pros: There are different levels depending on where your students are at. This app is focused more towards Kindergarden and first grade, but can be extended through second grade. I really enjoyed how you can create your own sentences for students to put together. You could use it to reinforce different concepts or spelling words. You can record your own voice saying the sentences and while the students move around the words, they are able to hear the word being said. Once the student has the words put together in the correct order the whole sentence will be read. I would use this app to have students recognize sight words and correctly include them in a sentence. I have tried to use other sentence structuring apps, but I liked the layout of this one best. It is really easy to record your own sentences and have the sentences be applicable to the students. Being personal is better than learning from pre-made sentences!

Cons: Since this is the free version it only has a few sentences for each level. You can only make up to five personal sentences for kids. I would've liked to see the puncuation change as the level increased. Not all sentences are going to be statements.

Cost: Free

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Algebra Touch

Cost: $1.99

Pros:  There are a variety of positives for this app. First of all it makes an abstract topic, like algebra, interactive. It is more of a hands-on approach. Furthermore, it also provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete the different topics within algebra. The example the app uses is cancelling out numbers which you can do with the swipe of a finger or stylus. This is great for students who need to see the manipulations of equations. On top of that, the Algebra Touch also explains why rules are rules. This is great for the students whose question is, "When will I ever use this?"Furthermore, students can get immediate feedback on their solutions to problems. Good app for the beginning algebra learner.  

Cons:  There are a few negatives to Algebra Touch as well. For one, it only covers the basics of algebra. It only covers only to substitution. This is great for a teacher at the beginning of the year, but it does not last. Then the teacher either has to buy a new app or go with no app at all. In hard economic times for schools this is just not feasible. Another negative is that it does cost money. After reading several reviews on Algebra Touch it gets pretty high ratings, but it costs money. It could be a little more affordable because schools have to put this app on every single iPad that is required to use the app. This can get pricey. Hopefully, the price of Algebra Touch will decrease.     

How to use in education: There are several different ways that Algebra Touch could be used in the classroom. New to this app is a place where a student can make their own problems. This is great for doing algebra homework. If a student does not remember a concept, he or she can just go back to the lesson on the app. This is also a great app for the struggling student who may need that extra help other than the textbook. The teacher could even not use the textbook for the beginning of the year if he or she uses Algebra Touch. Another feature is that the text can be read. This is great for students who have trouble reading math equation or for student who have dysgraphia. Algebra touch is an app that can be used throughout many years.

Pie Chart Free-Megan Frisque

The name of the app I reviewed is Pie Chart Free (http://iphone.orpi.pl/). This app is free to the user. Some of the Pros: The user can quickly and easily use this app to create an accurate pie chart, the slices can be named and color coordinated, and one can easily remove pie slices that are not needed.  Some of the Cons: The app does not have a home page, there are no instructions within the app, you must read all directions on the app store before downloading, and it is hard to figure out the simple steps of adding or deleting a pie slice the first time you do it. This app would be great in teaching students percentages of a whole. You could ask a question such as, "What is your favorite breakfast item?" The class could then create categories from the answers and tally up the number of students in each category. The students could then use the app to create the number of slices to match the number off categories and enter each number of students for each category. The pie chart app would then create an accurate pie chart. The students could then answer questions about what percentages of students liked certain things.

Monday, September 17, 2012

App name: Jungle Fractions

Pros: Multiple languages, jungle theme, many levels of problems, many problems to do, you can name, compare, add and multiply the fractions, improper and mixed numbers are also visually shown to work with, wide variety of ages 4-12 depending on level

Cons: It lacks the dividing and subtraction aspects that most students struggle with, it can be a little to kid looking for older students

How to use it in class: depending on the level of the students can depend on the level of the problem that they will solve. Students can have a good review from this app to further do harder problems. It is also a great app for advanced learners to figure things out. They can be working on something harder than just naming a fraction like the rest of the class. It can be used to review a lesson or for further practice. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Study Blue

Application: StudyBlue

Download Here Cost: Free

Pros: This app allows students to create their very own flash cards. Flash cards can be created for several classes and organized by topic. They can also include visuals, recording, or simple writing and definitions. This app tracks student progress and organizes the cards in order of ones that need more practice. Students can also share flash cards with other members of their class.

Cons: In the time that I have spent trying to work with the app, I have found it slightly difficult to relocate the cards once you have reviewed them. It would also be quite time consuming to create them ( although quicker than hand making)

How I would use it: Teachers could create flash cards and share them with the class or simply use this app to study in class. Also, students could sent their progess to the teacher if necessary. While reviewing for tests or quizzes student could and assigned to create appropriate flash cards to share with their classmates

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Guardian Eyewitness

Download Here

Name of Application: The Guardian Eyewitness

Cost: Free

Pros: The guardian eyewitness application is a great application that provides extraordinary pictures each day of an event that is happening around the world. The application not only shows the picture but a description of what and where something is happening. One of the main benefits of this application is the fact that it is free but I find that the pictures that you look at make you wonder a little bit more about what is happening and sparks the want to learn.

Cons: The application uploads one new picture each day. However, if want to see more than one new picture a day you have to pay for the application. Also, the description about what is happening in the picture is brief and doesn't go into much detail. If you wanted to learn more about the event you would have to research it on your own.

How to use in education: I would use this application daily with my students to allow for some creative writing. I would put the picture up on my SmartBoard and then students would journal about what they think is happening in the picture, what the person in the picture might be thinking, where they think the event might be happening, etc.. Once the students are done writing about the picture we would talk about what is actually happening in the picture and have a mini discussion about it. I like the fact that there are so many different types of pictures and therefore students are not only writing but learning about social studies, science, or even math. The pictures will allow students to become more cultured and aware of what is happening in the world they live in.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

KWHL Chart

Download Here
The KWHL Chart app is a great tool to use for a classroom activity.  KWHL charts are typically used to help children understand the new information presented in class.  K stands for "What I know," W stands for "What I want to know," H stands for "How I will find the info," and L stands for "What I learned."  This chart is not only helpful for the students but also for the teachers.  From reading a student’s KWHL chart the teacher becomes aware of what the student still does not understand and the teacher can compare that with what the student learned that day.

This app is an easy-to-use worksheet that can be emailed to the teacher.  The KWHL charts can also be saved on the app. In addition to that the work is autosaved every thirty seconds, so students do not have to worry about losing their work.  Lastly, it is a free app!

I am not aware of any problems with this app because it is very basic and easy to use.  The only issue I foresee is not being able to use this app if every student does not have an iPad.  This is more of an individual activity, so if every student isn’t able to do it at the same time, the teacher will have to think of a way to work around that.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Visual Encyclopedia of Percussion Musical Instruments

Cost: $1.99


I think this app is really, really cool.  I feel that it is important to mention though that I am a music minor and a percussionist so that could add to my awe of this app.  The Visual Encyclopedia of Percussion Musical Instruments offers a detailed look at more than one hundred percussion instruments from around the world.  The encyclopedia is very easy to operate as well.  Simply touch an instrument you wish you learn more about:

The instrument will direct you to its screen.  At this screen you have several options.  You can hear one beat or one rhythm patter of the instrument.  A 360 degree view of the instrument is also available.  My favorite option is to click on the "i."  This icon directs you to information such as the instrument's origin and how to play it.

I would use this app in the classroom by having students find percussion instruments that originate from the same country.  This could help map out a musical instrument map.  I also think that students will enjoy playing all the different percussion instruments, and the students might be inspired to create their own. 

Pros:  This app contains so much knowledge for percussion instruments.  I have already used it in class and found it extrememly effective; especially for only $1.99.  This app is also very interactive, which is something I appreciate.

Cons:  Well, the app is not free.  Furthermore, the background music on the homescreen threw me off a couple of times.  Also, I do not know how relevant this app is to teachers who are not interested in teaching music. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Backyard Tracks and Scat

Cost: FREE!
Link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/backyard-scat-tracks/id353499165?mt=8

This application has many positives other than that it is free! Once you get into the application there are 15 different well know North American animals. When you click on one of the animals, they application has a ton of information on each animal. (overview, large picture of their track, what their trail looks like, what their scat looks like, what a typical habitat is like, similar species to it, and other signs like rubbings to help identify them)

Unfortunately, their are only 15 animals I wish there were more! I also could not get the region portion of the application to load. If this would work, it would be cool to see where in North America they are more prevalent.

How I would use it in my classroom:
This is a great application to use in a science lesson! Josh and I will be using it with our students at Stormonth Elementary while teaching the students about winter wildlife and tracks!

Erin Hengst

Math 7

Math 7



One pro of this application is that this game really engages the student. When I was playing this game I found
myself screaming and cheering as my avatar moved across the screen. I also really liked how this application teaches the individual compute both accurately and with speed. Overall I believe this is a GREAT application that I can see myself using in a center or at the beginning of the lesson to teach my students how to do mental
math and get them ready for the lesson.

Though I could see myself using this application is my classroom I do see a few cons. The biggest con to this application is the amount of numbers that are used in each level. While I was playing this game I felt like most of the numbers repeated several times. Another issue I found with this application is the way it is set up. Due to the set up, students will not be able to share an IPad, because each level is individualized for each player. Besides that I believe this GREAT application to engage the students in their learning.

How would I use Math 7:
I would use this application in either a center or the beginning of my lesson to engage my students in their learning. Ideally this application would be used during negative number units to increase students’ understanding of negative numbers. I also believe this application would be best suited for middle school students because of the speed the screen moves and the difficulty of the problems.     

Smithsonian Channel

Smithsonian Channel for iPad
Free Application
Pros:  This application has a very good amount of educational videos on it.  They seem to load faster than a YouTube video would load which is another huge plus in a classroom with anxious students.  The videos are updated every time you go into the application so you are constantly shown new videos.  From what I have seen, there is no charge for anything in the application.  The application is very easy to navigate and you can even create a whole channel of videos to watch like a playlist.  The audio on the videos can be played through both the headset as well as the iPad speaker which is better than some other documentary applications I have used.

Cons:   The videos are not necessarily made for a classroom of students viewing pleasure so every video should be previewed before showing the class.  I am also not sure how often videos are bumped off for new videos but that could put a damper on your lesson if you were expecting to have a video and it was taken off. 
Educational:   If there is a lesson plan that needs something extra to get the students really excited about it, this is an app to use.  The videos are amazing quality speaking from both a resolution and an educational viewpoint.  There is lots of information in these 2 to 3 minute videos with amazing video of the content.  If you have the time and want to show a more extensive show, this application has 45 minute shows you can view.  This can even be used by an educator to get some extra background knowledge on their content.  
Review written by Gary Hickey

Coop Fractions

Chicken Coop Fractions helps students to look at fractions in terms of a 0 to 1 number line. It also makes the connection between decimal representations and conventional fraction representations. There are multiple difficulty levels and options to work with proper, improper, and mixed fractions.

It is a timed game in which a fraction of some sorta is shown on the screen, and the player must click on the 0 to 1 number line the fraction equivalent. This is a race against the clock to achieve the most points.

I saw this game played by a third grader, but i feel it could be used up to 5th or 6th grade because of the options to make the fractions more difficult.

Pros: Students enjoyed the game. It is a free application.

Cons: Gets repetitive. Not much variety in the game, just a change in fractions.