Showing posts with label elementary school ipad apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elementary school ipad apps. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rivet - A Reading App from Google

Rivet is a reading app from Area 120 (a Google property). The free app offers more than 2,000 books for students to read independently. The books are appropriate for students in Kindergarten through second grade (5-8 years old). All of the books provide audio support to students in the form of an option to tap on a word and hear it read aloud. When students tap on a word they will hear it read aloud and can then read a definition of the word. Students also have the option to practice saying the word aloud. When students say a word aloud they get instant feedback on their pronunciation of that that word.

All of the books in Rivet have the audio support functions described above. Some of the books have even more audio support in the form of story dictation. There are some books that display a little audio icon in the bottom, left corner of their pages. When students tap on that audio icon they can hear the entire page read aloud to them.

Rivet offers more than just books for students to read. The app will track how long a student spends reading in the app. Students can earn badges for time spent reading and consecutive days of using the app.


Rivet is available for iPads, iPhones, Android phones, Android tablets, and Chromebooks that support the use of Android apps.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Eat & Move-o-Matic Encourages Healthy Eating and Exercise

Eat & Move-o-Matic by the Learning Labs Game at New Mexico State University is a free iPad app intended to help teachers and students get a better understanding of the impact of their food choices.

Eat & Move-o-Matic is based on a simple premise. That simple premise is calories in, calories out. The does this by showing students how many calories are in their favorite foods and how many minutes of an activity they need to do to burn those calories. The app shows students common activities like riding bikes, jumping on a trampoline, and doing homework. Students can scroll through the food menus and activity menus until they find their favorites in each category. The app provides tips nutrition tips about each food including how to make a snack a little bit healthier.

Applications for Education
Eat & Move-o-Matic could be a good app for increasing students’ awareness of the healthiness of their favorite snacks. Likewise, it is good for showing students the benefit of regular exercise.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Wiggle & Stomp - A Fun App for Learning About Animals

Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp is an educational game produced by the Smithsonian. The purpose of the game is to help children recognize the movements of animals. In the game children move through a virtual zoo with a zoo keeper. As they go through the virtual zoo the zoo keeper will ask students to take pictures of animals who are demonstrating running, jumping, stomping, and other movements. Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be played online, as a free iPad app, and as a free Android app.

Applications for Education
Shutterbugs Wiggle and Stomp can be a fun little game for pre-K and Kindergarten students. The game reads the commands displayed on the screen to help students learn to read the words they're seeing. At the conclusion of the game students can print out coloring pages of animals they took pictures of during the game.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Kids World Atlas - An iPad App for Learning About Animals Around the World

Last week I wrote a review of the Kids U.S. Atlas iPad app. That app offers an interactive map of the United States that kids can tap on to learn about 25 animals that are indigenous to the United States. Kids World Atlas is the companion app to the Kids U.S. Atlas. Kids World Atlas uses the same format as Kids U.S. Atlas.

Kids World Atlas features a map of the world that students can tap on to learn about forty animals around the world. Students simply tap an animal on the map and new window pops-up with a picture of that animal and brief text passage about it. The app has videos about some of the animals on the map. Unfortunately, unlike Kids U.S. Atlas, Kids World Atlas doesn't offer narration of the text passages.

Like the Kids US Atlas app, the Kids World Atlas app is a freemium app. The animal map is free. There are other maps available through in-app purchases at $1.99 a piece.

Applications for Education
Just like the Kids US Atlas app the Kids World Atlas iPad app to learn some basic facts about animals. A follow-up activity to students exploring the app would be to have them chose a favorite animal on the map and then research the characteristics of that animal that make it suited to its habitat.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Kids US Atlas - Learn About Animals of the United States

Kids US Atlas is an iPad app that features an interactive map of the United States. On the interactive map you will find twenty-five animals that are indigenous to the United States. Tap on the animals to read about them, to hear about them, and to watch videos about them. The text passages about the animals are accompanied by a picture and a narrator who reads the text aloud. The videos show the animals in their natural habitats. Each video is roughly thirty to ninety seconds long.


Kids US Atlas is a freemium app. The map that features animals of the United States is completely free to use. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are some interactive maps in the app that are only available through in-app purchase.

Applications for Education
Kids US Atlas provides a nice way for elementary school students to learn about animals indigenous to the United States. A follow-up activity to students exploring the app would be to have them create their own maps of other places in the United States that their favorite animals live. For example, if a student chooses the Moose that is depicted as being in Maine he or she could then make a map that shows the other states in which Moose are regularly found.

On a related note, if you have been thinking about updating your iPad, Amazon still has brand new, current generation iPads on sale for only $249!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Fun App for Learning About Money

Money Math Duel is an iPad app and Android app designed to help students learn to count currency. The app is unique in that it allows two students to use it at the same time. Students place the iPad between them and each has his or her own end of the screen to use. Students "compete" head-to-head to count money quickly and accurately. The app gives students different amounts to count so that they can't copy each other's work. The app also lets students adjust individual settings to change colors and default currency denominations. As David Kapuler wrote in his blog post about it, this makes it "fair" for students of different abilities to play the same game.


Applications for Education
Money Math Duel could be a good app to use in an elementary school math lesson on addition and subtraction of money.

The iPad version of Money Math Duel is currently free to download. The Android version is not free. I've used other apps from this developer in which the pricing was reversed and the iPad version was paid and the Android version was free. Perhaps in the future we'll see that switch again. In the meantime, grab the free iPad app Money Math Duel.

Thanks again to David Kapuler for sharing this app. Check out his blog for other good app recommendations. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Three Types of Elementary School Video Projects to Complete on iPads

On Monday I shared free five apps that I recommend for making videos on iPads in elementary school classrooms. You might have looked at the list and wondered which one(s) you should try. If so, here's my basic break-down of how these apps can be used by students and the ages that they are appropriate for.

One Frame Videos
These are these are the type of videos that I recommend making with K-2 students to get started. Like the name implies, these videos will feature just one picture or drawing and a student's voice. Draw and Tell is a great app for this because kids can draw a picture and then record themselves talking about the picture. A simple way to introduce this app is to have students draw pictures of their families and then talk about the people in the picture. Chatter Pix Kids is a simple app but in this app students take a picture with their iPads and then draw a mouth on the picture before recording themselves talking. You can see a great example of Chatter Pix Kids being used by Kindergarten students (with a little help from their teacher) in A Health Meal hosted on Next Vista for Learning.

Audio Slideshow
This is a step above making one frame videos, but the basic concept behind it is the same. Students assemble a series of images and record themselves talking about the images. Shadow Puppet Edu is a good app for making this kind of video in elementary school classrooms because the app contains an integrated image search tool the will provide students with pictures from high quality services like NASA, NOAA, and the Library of Congress. I have personally used this app with students as young as second grade.

Animated Stories
This moves students beyond simply making or selecting pictures and talking over them as in the first two project types. In this project students will write a story and then animate it before possibly adding their own voices to it. Toontastic 3D is my go-to iPad app for doing this with students in third through sixth grade. Students can choose from a huge library of pre-drawn characters and backgrounds to use in their videos or draw their own characters and scenes to use in their videos.

Monday, September 10, 2018

5 Free iPad Apps for Making Videos in Elementary School

In the next weeks I'll be spending quite a bit of time working in elementary school classrooms that are equipped with iPads. One of the things that I'll be doing is helping teachers help their students make short videos. These are some of the apps that we'll be using. Teachers will try them with me and then decide which one they want to have their students. (The criteria for selection will be discussed in a future blog post here on Free Technology for Teachers).

Draw and Tell is a free iPad app that students can use to draw scenes on blank pages or to color coloring pages provided in the app. After creating their drawings or coloring a page, students can then record themselves talking about the drawings. That's an easy way for kids to tell a short story and save it in video form.

ChatterPix Kids comes from the same developers as Draw and Tell. ChatterPix Kids is a free iPad app that students can use to turn pictures into talking pictures. To create a talking picture just snap a picture with your iPad or import a picture from your iPad’s camera roll. After taking the picture just draw in a face and tap the record button to make your picture talk. Your recording can be up to thirty seconds in length. Before publishing your talking picture you can add fun stickers, text, and frames to your picture. Using ChatterPix Kids can be a great way to get students to bring simple stories to life.

Shadow Puppet Edu has been one of my go-to apps since its launch nearly five years ago. The free iPad app can be used by students to create audio slideshow videos. The app offers an integrated search tool for finding pictures from the Library of Congress, to search for images from NASA, and to find Creative Commons licensed images from Flickr. You can also import pictures and videos from the camera roll on your iPad. After selecting a set of images students you can arrange them into any sequence by simply dragging and dropping them into order. Then to create a story press the record button and talk while flipping through your images. Like the previous two apps listed in this post, Shadow Puppet Edu does not require students to create accounts or have a log-in ID.

Toontastic 3D is an app for making animated videos. The app provides students with three basic templates to follow and then customize each scene within their chosen templates. Their options are "short story" (a three part story), "classic" (a five part story), or "science report." Once they have selected a story type they will be prompted to craft each part of their stories in order. A short description of what each part of the story should do is included before students start each section. Students can pick from a variety of story setting templates or they can create their own within Toontastic 3D. Once they have established a background setting students then select cartoon characters to use in their stories. Students can choose from a wide array of customizable cartoon characters or they can create their own from scratch. After the characters are placed into the story scenes students can begin recording themselves talking while moving the characters around in each scene. Students can swap characters between scenes, change the appearance of characters between scenes, and move characters from one scene to the next.

Adobe Spark Edu is a relatively new version of Adobe Spark. The education version enables school districts to create accounts and grant students access to Adobe Spark's tools. It is because of the education version that I can recommend Adobe Spark Video for some elementary school classes. Adobe Spark Video is a good app for making audio slideshow style videos. Students assemble a series of pictures then record themselves talking about each slide. The pictures that students use can imported from their iPads or selected from the integrated image search results within the app. Students can also write on each slide. When writing on a slide, the font is automatically adjusted to fit in the space available. This is the app that I often recommend for making things like short history videos or a "highlights" video.