Santa Brought You An iPad, Now What?

Right before the holidays a teacher friend told me about an iPad she received through Donors Choose and now wants to know what apps to get for the classroom. Well here is my response (with my friend's blessing). Listed below are the iPads Apps I find most useful as a teacher. Please note these apps are general for teachers of any subject and/or grade. You will need to learn how to navigate the App Store if you want these or subject specific apps. Also, for those who found an Android tablet under the tree please consult Google Play for these or similar apps. Now on to the list (in alphabetical order):

Display Recorder: This app is a must for teachers interested in flipping the classroom or just recording lessons. It is easy to use and you can export movies to the Photo Roll for editing in other apps.

Dropbox: Most teachers I know create files across different platforms. Now that you have an iPad you will find yourself creating documents, presentations, movies, and other files you will want on your school computer. Dropbox allows you to store files in the cloud and on folders you place on every computer you wish to use. The files will then sync across all the devices. No more looking for that flash drive.

Edmodo: This is the social network for the classroom. Students and teachers can communicate and share files securely over this network. The iPad app closely resembles the website except the app allows access to your Camera Roll so you can post pictures and videos.

Educreations: This app is a whiteboard you can scribble on while you record your explanations and more. One creative teacher uses it to create presentations by adding photos and text.

Evernote: Probably the best note taking app hands down. You can review your notes across any platform and on the cloud. Other features are taking pictures, creating links to websites, and many apps and hardware import information into Evernote. This is one of the few apps I pay for annually.

Genius Scan+: For the times I need to go from hard copy to digital copy Genius Scan+ does what I want. I just snap a photo of the document and Genius Scan+ turns the document into a PDF file which I send to Dropbox.

Google Drive: If you have an Edmodo account then you need a Google account to create and share documents with your students easily. Photos and videos can also be added to Google Drive. This is a good compliment to Dropbox.

iBooks: One day iBooks may actually be useful for reading books but for now I mainly use it for storing PDF documents downloaded from the Internet.

iMovie: Whenever I need to create a quick and simple multimedia video iMovie is where I go. Just drop in your photos or videos, add titles and music then share it. Say good bye to Live Movie Maker's complicated process for making a movie.

Keynote: This is probably what all presentation should be, simple but elegant. Easy to use but there are powerful tools that will make your presentations come alive. One pleasant surprise was adding video to a presentation and have it play. Now Keynotes can be saved as PowerPoints straight from the iPad.

Lesson Plans: Need to submit or post lesson plans? This app creates detailed lesson plans easily which can be printed or emailed. The fields can be customized to whatever format you need (mine is set for GANAG with a couple of more fields). Also, lesson plans can be copied if you need to modify a plan for differentiation or other needs.

Pages: Another easy to use iWork app by Apple. This word processor can do just about anything you need on paper and now you can save files as Microsoft Word documents.

Skitch: There are times photos need to be marked up and Skitich allows you to do just that.

Snapseed: While iPhoto is a good app for editing photos, Snapseed does the same and more with photos for free.

Team Shake: Need to quickly create teams for group assignments? Add the names of your students then figure out how many teams you need then let Team Shake do the rest.

If you plan on showing any of your creations to your students on the projector then you will need to invest in a VGA adaptor for your iPad.

Let me know if there is an app you believe should be included in this list. I hope you enjoy using your new iPads or other tablets in the coming year.