Wednesday, March 7, 2012
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
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!
Smithsonian Channel for iPad
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
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.