iPods and Droids in the Classroom: Strategies and Teaching Ideas
There are all sorts of apps and they all have a specific function in the classroom with iPhones/iPods/iPads/Droids. The apps listed below are compatible with iPhones/iPods and most of them have apps for Droids. Please share other apps and projects associated with them with us to expand our library!
Fun ways to assess and complete assignments- using activities like these inspire originality and spark a creative passion, long missing in education.
ComicTouch Lite: An app that allows students to use a picture from the Camera Roll or import a picture and then add a dialogue bubble to the picture. This app can be used for assessment purposes: “show your understanding of the quote or reading by creating a dialogue between the main characters.” While ComicTouch Lite only allows one frame at one time, students can create more than one frame, save it to the Camera Roll and then use another app like PicStitch to combine the frames into one image.
SCVNGR: Teachers or students can create a quest for other students to go on. The author will create a list of tasks that can include pictures at a certain spot, create a math problem, solve a task, etc. As an English teacher, it could be fun for the students to take a pilgrimage like those of the Canterbury pilgrims.
Story Maker: What a fun tool. This free app allowed the students to create characters, import them to the camera roll and create an iMovie out of them. If you don’t have iMovie, you can use PicStitch (see below under “Art Apps”) to put the characters into a comic strip set-up and still create a story.
iMovie: Students who have never used iMovie before were able to create a movie, edit it, and upload it to Dropbox in less than two days. This is helpful for all types of instruction. I used it for the introductory material to Macbeth- students were asked to recreate the Pendle Witch Event and the Gunpowder Plot. The products were very amusing to watch as we shared popcorn for a viewing day.
VoiceThread: I’m finding more and more uses for this app. I originally began using it in my flipped classroom for at-home lectures that I embedded into my class website. My students are now using it for a audio-photo-essay of their Digital Saturation Papers (they are using photos and recording audio directly from the essay). It is web-based and is also a free app- your account syncs seemlessly between the two.
How do you get the project once students have created it? What is the best way for students to organize their notes in the digital age?
Evernote: This is my favorite app for the English classroom. are online folder sharing services. It’s like saving a document to a folder on your computer but have access to it anywhere- even on a mobile device. Evernote allows a user to create public notebooks or folders that can be shared with others. Teachers can use these folders to put articles, photos, assignments, etc in for students to peruse and print. In addition, students can drop pictures and video projects into a public notebook or folder and the teacher can access them to grade or retrieve them for presentations. It is easy to access the projects from iMovie or iPhoto to combine all of the projects together. I use it quite a bit for saving articles, photos, videos, or resources from websites. Students can get their own Evernote accounts and use them to store unfinished projects and work on them from home. Evernote does have some pros and cons.
Getting quick information
Shakespeare: Plays and Concordance in the free version. Pictures, glossary, quotes, facts in the paid version. Rather than lugging thick textbooks, small books, or making copies, students can take their mobile device and reenact parts of plays easily. My Macbeth unit exam asked students to put 14 quotes in order in 20 minutes using anything (but not anyone). The purpose of the exam was to test accessing info quickly- something that is sometimes difficult. The students who learned how to use apps like this did very well.
SAS flashcards: There are a number of flashcard apps out there. Students spend a very small amount of time creating them and the flashcards are with them whenever needed.
Classic Books: A free app that has 80 classic books! It has a search function within each book that allows the user to search for a word or quote.
I-nigma: A free QR code reader. You can post the code and the students can go straight to the site/document/project without any navigation- it saves precious minutes.
RSS Feeders like Pulse: I’ve turned SSR time into RRS time with feeders. I’ve allowed students to add any feed they are interested in and read for 10 minutes every 2-3 days. You can hear a pin-drop. This idea come from The Digital Writing Workshop by Troy Hicks.
Useful apps for practically everything.
PicStitch: Import multiple pictures from the Camera Roll and combine them into a tidy collage. PicStitch has options for 1-5 pictures per collage.
Doodle Buddy: This app allows the user to create images with his/her fingers or stylus. Additional options within the app are: stamps, backgrounds, text, and colors. The user can save to the Camera Roll or email the project to an account.
New ways to get students to pay attention during class.
TweetDeck using Twitter: Make tweet accounts for Romeo and Juliet. As you read in class, have students tweet possible thoughts Romeo or Juliet is thinking. Tweetdeck allows the viewer to see multiple tweets easier. I’ve found it’s better to use it with groups rather than individuals if you have classes with more than 30 students. See mypost about my first experience with Twitter in the classroom.
Dictation: Have students record themselves discussing during group presentations. Dictation will “listen” to what they say and write down the text version of it.
Socratic: Create quizzes and in-class polls and get immediate feedback on your device and in an excel spreadsheet.