Monday, November 5, 2012

#Made4Math Monday: iPad apps

A couple of years ago the principal at my school decided that she wanted to get a test group of teachers to try out the iPad in the classroom.  (I blogged about it here and here.) After some issues with the first one I was given (issues being that I dropped a bowl on it) I was given another new one last spring.

At that time I wasn't quite sure what to do with it but have since discovered a few uses in the classroom as a teacher-organizational tool.

1.  Three Ring (yes, I used it as a #Made4Math earlier this year)

I love this app as a way to keep track of my SWHHW slips for kids who don't do an assignment. What's even better is that since then they've added parent access.  You enter the parent's email address and they receive notifications when I add something to their child's account.  It's not just picture-taking, either. You can also take a video or add an audio file.

2.  GoodNotes
I've been grading 2 - 3 problems from the Precalc assignments on an almost-daily basis this year. My problem is that when a kid turns in a homework late I'm not sure which ones I graded. I just bought this app ($4.99 in the iTunes store) this weekend and plan to use it to keep track of what I'm grading for each section. I can set up notebooks for each class and within each notebook have a notebook for each chapter.  Here's what it looks like so far:

This is my precalc shelf with an example picture (because you can take pictures of things to pull in your notebook... or import a pic already on your iPad) and my Chapter 4 notebook.  (They have cute designs for the front of the notebooks!)
Within each notebook you can set up pages. You can either write or insert text, highlight, move stuff around, etc. The dark part at the bottom is a movable "hand guard" that gives you a place to rest your hand while writing.  So far I'm pretty pleased with it!

3.  Explain Everything
I've made some "talk throughs" this year for my Algebra 1 and Precalc classes right before a test or quiz. They request certain problems (from a review, usually) that I make a screencast for and work out for them.  The last time I did these I found this app called Explain Everything ($2.99) that was very easy to use.  It's pretty similar to Educreations but what I liked most is that you can record yourself talking through individual slides, then the app will save them all together as one file.  So if you mess up one little thing (not that I would ever do that!) it saves you from re-recording the whole talk. This is one that I made for my Algebra 1 kids who can't add or subtract a fraction to save their lives.

I also recently discovered the finger swipes on the iPad (this is an iPad 3, I think) to scroll between apps without having to go to the home screen first. Awesome.

And this isn't so much school related, but I'm in a couple of fantasy football leagues so I also have both the Yahoo and ESPN app for those. :)  It's all about your priorities, people.

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