Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Hungry Fish allows the user to practice decomposition skills required for fluency with addition and subtraction. The fish has a target number that needs to be formed by adding bubbles together. Students can slide bubbles together to instantly add them. The target numbers get more difficult as students progress. Teachers or students can also adjust the difficulty level to allow for differentiation. This would make a great anticipatory set or closure.
Teachers could use this idea for in class practice by creating a handout to accompany the app. Teachers could take several screen shots at different levels to provide practice at appropriate levels for each student. The images could then be opened in an app such as neu.Annotate. The teacher could add directions at the top and have students write the number sentences that would match the bubbles they would put together to create the target number. Each student could share one of their number sentences on the board if desired.
Monday, January 30, 2012
This app is a powerful graphic calculator that shows mathematical equations in 2D or 3D. It is simple to use and easy to edit.
Pro: Easy to enter and/or edit equations and visualize those equations. For students in Algebra, it answers why they need to know or learn Algebra. Gives ideas of the future of their mathematical education. The images can be copied, emailed, or saved into the photo library. There can be up to 6 equations visualized simultaneously in both 2D and 3D.
Cons: Mainly for students in Algebra and above, therefore many elementary students will not have the need to use them. Now you must specify x, y, and z. Also, the dependent variable must be specified.
Using in Education: I think it would be a great tool to use in the classroom for math classes that use graphs. Helps the students to visualize the problems they are working through. Great for visual learners!
Cost: $0.99 (will sometimes be free)
CrossFingers is a great logic game for all ages. There are levels ranging from Baby (really easy) to Pro. This game would be useful in a math classroom especially when the students are learning about Geometric shapes. If the classroom is equipped with iPads, the students can work as a group to solve some of the puzzles or individually. There are some easy puzzles but at the same time they can be pretty challenging. Essentially it is another fun way to do a virtual tangram. This game is very addicting and really helps your mind to think logically.
Pros: I think this game has a lot to offer for all students because there are multiple levels and difficulties which is also good when there are different levels of learning in the classroom. Also, the students will learn to think logically while playing this fun game.
Cons: The problem is that this app is not always free so it would be important to be on the lookout for when it is free. Also, a problem I have noticed when playing is when using multiple fingers especially during the harder levels the screen will move which pauses the game. This could be frustrating towards some.
I have tried the app Tangram XL Free and it essentially works the same as CrossFingers but it does not have as many levels or difficulties. There are a limited number of templates to use and shapes that fit the templates. If you wish to have more templates, then you would need to buy them. I would recommend CrossFingers over Tangram XL because of the variety and challenge it brings to the student.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Planets is a free application that allows you to see 5 screens with information about astronomy and the planets, based on your location. The first screen, Sky 2D, displays a compass circle which shows the visible planets. The next screen, Sky 3D, shows a 3d sky view (as if you were looking up at a dome) with constellations. The user can rotate their point of orientation and see the placement of planets. Visibility is the screen I find most helpful. It shows you the times at which the planets are visible from Earth, including the sunrise and sunset. You can press on the individual planets and view several facts about them - from their type, radius, mass, and even a list of their moons. The globe is, as it implies, a rotating globe that the user can change to any of the main planets and move and zoom.
Pros: Planets definitely makes it easy to help the budding astronomer to have some fast facts in their hands to explore the night sky without being an overload of information or having an overly technical presentation. I could see this tool being very useful while using a telescope, learning how to identify constellations, or learn things about the other planets. It would be a neat activity to compare the different planets based on their appearance and facts using this app because the students are able to spin the globes right at their fingertips.
Cons: At times, this app will crash on me. The Sky 2D and 3D sections can be somewhat confusing and difficult to get a hang of. But overall, the cons are very minor for the purpose of this app.
Pros: This app is pretty cool! It's a 3D brain that allows the user to rotate it, zoom in, and be interactive with it. The user can select specific parts of the brain that they want to see and learn more about. It color codes the parts of the brain and also has a description of what that specific part of the brain and the functions of it. Because of the color coding, it allows the user to easily identify which parts are which.
Cons: This app could be used in lower grade levels, but the description and function explanations would be over the students head. Other than that, there are not any con's of this app that I could find!
Use in Education: This would be a great app to use in a middle school science classroom. Allowing students to be interactive on the iPad and rotate, zoom in, and learn about the functions of the brain. As a teacher, you could hook your personal iPad up to a projection screen and show the students the parts of the brain you are learning about, instead of using a plain textbook picture.
Similar Apps: Brain Tutor 3D - This app has much smaller pictures and does not have near the same information that 3D Brain has.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Cost: Lite version is free! Full version is $1.99
Pros: This app covers a wide range of different subject areas including math, reading, phonics, and music. The app has six different sections in it. 1.) Happy Animal Train - here students see a graphic of an animal, see the spelling, here it spelt out loud, and hear the noise the animal makes. The animals represented are not just basic animal, but more interesting ones like kangaroo, gezzel, etc. 2.) The Magical Aimal Kingdom - here students hear a little story and see a picture of the animal that the story is about. The picture is in black and white and the students are able to move a magic wand over the picture which then gives it color. 3.) Puzzle - students select a scene for their puzzle, then they are able to click on an animal to construct. The animal pieces meet to be put together, which students can do by sliding the pieces together. 4.) Happy Animal Math - the students are shown animals and have to say how many they see. There are also games on the full version where students can do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. 5.) Find the Hiding Animal - here there is an animal hidden in the trees and students need to locate the hiding animal. 6.) "If You're Happy and you Know it" - here the students can sing along to this fun children's song.
Cons: This is geared a lot towards younger students. I think that older students (maybe even 2nd grade and up) would get bored with this one. Also, there is not very much offered on the lite version. The full version has way more variations to the games.
Use in Education: I think this app would be a fun way for students to review a few different concepts, especially letters and math facts. It may be a good one for them to do as a privilege. I think that younger kids especially would look forward to being able to use the ap becuase it is fun, and they would also be learning too :)
Similar Apps: The company that put this app out has a lot more fun, educational apps as well. There was a music one where kids can play the drums, xylophone, etc. There was an alphabet one. There was one that was all math facts. Again, I think these apps would all be great tools for students to use for practice.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
This app is appropriate for all ages and it would be a good math learning tool in the classroom. This app is basically a variety of addition quizzes for students to take and practice addition. The problems are displayed in a multiple choice outline and there is a chalkboard to pull up that the student can do their work on while solving the problem. They are timed quizzes but this app allows you to control the time limit, amount of questions on each quiz, and the range of numbers you want to work with. It shows if the answer is correct or incorrect and then proceeds to give the option of seeing how to correctly solve the problem.
Pros: Pros to this app is that it is a good tool for practicing addition. Having timed quizzes can be a pro because it could help the student by thinking a little faster and practicing fast addition; also it prepares students for future tests that they will have a time limit. I like that this app includes a variety of options such as controlling the time limit and giving solutions to the problems that are answered both correctly and incorrectly. You can control the difficulty of the problems and challenge the students appropriately.
Cons: This app only includes addition problems, I am not positive on the price but you will have to pay for the full version that includes subtraction, multiplication, and division which is obviously much nicer because it includes more. The timer can be a con because the student could feel rushed while solving the problems and not be able to focus on solving the problem correctly.
I would use this app in education to practice and review addition problems with the students. This is a good tool for students who struggle with addition, they are given a variety of problems to solve, the difficulty can be increased for their benefit, and they are able to review the problems they solve each time. I think this would be a good app to have as an anticipatory set of the lesson plan, to refresh the students skills and knowledge.
The following is a link to the website: http://istudentpro.com/
There are many positives to this application. One pro that I have found is that it is very user friendly. I tried using the application myhomework before this application, but found it very difficult to do what I wanted to do. With iStudiez Pro it is very easy to edit, create, and delete an array of things. Another feature that I found to be amazing is that the application will automatically sync with the MAC calendar. This way any important events that have already been created will be in the planner. This makes this application not only an agenda for classes, but it also serves as a planner of events. Finally, the one of the most important pros that I found deals with the agenda part of the application. When looking at an individual day iStudiez Pro will also offer a full view of the months calendar. With this it also bolds the next day that an assignment is due. This is very helpful for students who seemed overwhelmed and might forget when something is due. Since I have only been using this application for a couple days I have not found many if any negatives about it. What I have found to be quite annoying is that the application continually reminds you how many homework assignments are left. Now this is not bad as the semester goes on, but when starting the semester it does not help to calm the nerves at all.
This application can be used in a classroom in a variety of ways. In special education this application would serve as an awesome tool for students. Students who need a daily calendar would benefit from this greatly. They can see what is coming next, what they have to do and be able to interact with the application. The problem that I see is what if something unexpected comes up during the day that is not on the calendar because you forgot to put it on. Now with assemblies and such if put in the calendar then it will appear in the application and not have to be programmed in. An added bonus is that if the teacher plans ahead they can program the homework in for the week or day before in the application. This way students will not have to remember or write down what they have due, but be able to concentrate on what is going on and then be able to do the homework efficiently.
Pros: Some of the pros are that Skype is a way a class can collaborate on educational projects with teachers and other classes all over the world. Though not accessible on the Ipad app, Skype also has a database on their website where teachers can find guest speakers, connections with other teachers in the education community, and project ideas and lesson plans.
Cons: Some of the cons for Skype are that you need to have high-speed internet connection and listening/ speaking devices will be required when using this application in the classroom. The last negative I would like to bring up about Skype is the lag time and background noise that occurs during video conference call. But overall those are the only negatives I have found with this application.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Pros: It's free and it allows the student to move at their own pace. There is no rush to move on, when the student is able to move on the game will do it for them by gradually giving them harder questions to answer. This way there is no "wrong" pace to move at. Each student will feel the feeling of success because for all they know, they are moving at a good pace and do not feel rushed to keep up with other students. In the link, on the left side you can see that there are extensions on the app for different grade levels so it is not limited to one grade.
Cons: There are quite a few "breaks" in the game playing which may be cause for distraction or loss of concentration. It may also seem to take awhile before the students questions change from easy to medium to hard because the game follows the student and determines when to start making the questions harder.
Education: It advances as the student does. Each student feels success after playing this game and it has different questions for the students to answer, it's not the same question over but re-worded. This app also grows with the child not only in where they are in math, but where they are in grade levels. If the teaching staff starts using this app in first grade, it can follow the students all the way to fourth grade.
Instapaper is an app lauded for its streamlined user interface and readability on the iPad. It was a hit on the iPhone, but in my opinion has found its true home on the iPad. This application allows you to save any web page for later viewing both online and offline. A nifty bookmark tab on your browser titled “read later” will record any web page for later reading.
Pros: Easy to navigate interface. Convenient way to save articles without downloading them. Can be read even without access to the Internet. Store unlimited amount of articles on your Internet browser (500 articles at one time on iPad). Saves only text, leaving the article to be read distraction free of ads and photos. Suggests interesting articles.
Cons: It costs 4.99. Though the articles wirelessly sync, you will need the Internet to add articles.
This is the app you need for those awkward times you spend waiting in between classes or give you something to do while waiting on others. It is best used with Longform.org or a whole host of other sites the Instapaper app itself will suggest.
CONS: Students may get distracted with the photo and artwork components which may detract from the Biblical teachings.