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

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

How to Play GeoGeek AR

Last week I wrote a brief overview of a fun geography app called GeoGeek AR. The "AR" in the app's name stands for augmented reality. The use of AR makes it possible to put a digital globe right into your classroom or anywhere else that your students are standing when holding an iPad or Android tablet. Yesterday, a reader emailed me for an explanation of how to use the app. Like most things, it's easier to show it in a screencast than it is to write out directions. So I made this short demo video. Watch it to the end for a special guest appearance by one of my dogs. 



Applications for Education
As I wrote last week, GeoGeek AR doesn't require you to register in order to play. That can make it a good option for use on shared classroom iPads. Overall, it's a fun little game for practicing place identification. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

How to Create a Custom Map on an iPad

Yesterday morning I answered an email from a reader who wanted to know if it was possible to create Google Earth projects on an iPad. Unfortunately, the iPad version of Google Earth allows you to view existing projects, but doesn't allow you to create new projects. Fortunately, there are other ways to create custom maps on an iPad. One of those ways to is to use Google's My Maps tool in the Chrome web browser on an iPad. 

In this new video I demonstrate how you can create a custom map on an iPad by using Google's My Maps. 



Applications for Education
There are lots of possible uses for Google's My Maps in geography, history, and literature classes. In fact, I recently published ten fun things for students to map. You could also use My Maps in place of Google Earth to complete an Around the World With Google Earth activity.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Two Easy Ways to Make Your Own Mobile App

On Monday morning I answered a question from a reader of my newsletter who wanted to know if there was a way for someone who wasn't "techy" to create her own iPhone app. My immediate response was to say yes and suggest giving Glide Apps a try. I've been using Glide Apps for almost three years now and it just keeps getting better and easier to use to create mobile apps. 

Glide Apps enables anyone who can make a spreadsheet in Google Sheets to create his or her own mobile app. If that sounds simple, that's because it is just that simple. The headers that you put into your spreadsheet and the data that you enter into your spreadsheet is used by Glide to generate a mobile app for you that will work on Android and iOS devices.

In this new video I demonstrate two ways to use Glide Apps to create your own mobile app. The first method is to pick one of the Glide Apps templates and then modify the information within the template. The second method is to start from scratch with a blank Google Sheet. In my demonstration of the second method I explain and show how you can include maps and other multimedia elements.



Applications for Education
In the past I've written about a handful of ideas for using Glide Apps in school. Those ideas are listed below.

1. Create a mobile study guide: This was the first thing that I thought of when I discovered Glide. You or your students could create an app that lists each section or unit of your curriculum. In each section you can provide videos, podcasts, or simply link to additional documents for review.

2. Create a mobile version of school handbooks: When parents have a question about your school, their first instinct is probably to pick up their phones to search your school's website or to call the office. A mobile version of your school's handbook could make it easy for parents to quickly find the answers to frequently asked questions.

3. Create a guide to your community: Are you looking for a community service project for your middle school or high school students? If so, consider having them develop a guide to the highlights your community.

4. Develop a mobile reporting system: Do you have students or parents using Google Forms for logging information about multiple goals like independent reading, outdoor play, or behavior goals? If so, consider placing links to all of those forms in one convenient app. You'd do this by placing the links to your Forms in the columns in your spreadsheet before publishing it through Glide.

5. Room Use Schedule: For many years I worked in a school that had more teachers than classrooms so it was always kind of a guessing game as to who was using which room when. Having an app that made it easy to find out who was using which rooms at which times would have been amazing! With Glide you could create that kind of app.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Catchy Words - A Fun Augmented Reality App for Spelling Practice

My daughters recently became very interested in a PBS Kids show called Word World. In each episode of the show the characters build a new word. As I was watching Word World with them this morning I was reminded of a fun augmented reality app called Catchy Words AR.

Catchy Words AR is an augmented reality app that provides a fun and active way for students to practice their spelling skills. The app is available for iPad/ iPhone and it is available in an Android version. The app works the same way in both versions. 

In Catchy Words AR students will see letters "floating" on the screen. Students have to catch the letters by moving their tablets or phones. The movement often requires students to get up and move out of their seats. When they catch a letter students then have to bring it back to place it into one of a sequence of floating boxes. The object is to spell a word by catching the letters and putting them into the boxes. Take a look at my screenshot below to see how a completed word appears on a phone or tablet screen (please excuse my messy desk in the background). 


Applications for Education

Catchy Words AR can be a fun way for some students to practice their spelling skills while getting up and out of their seats. The app doesn't require any kind of registration or login which makes it good for classrooms in which students share iPads. The shortcoming of Catchy Words AR is that you can't assign a word list to your students nor can you see which words they've spelled unless you look at their tablets or phones while they're using the app.

More augmented reality and virtual reality apps and their classroom applications will be featured as part of the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp. Get an early bird discount when you register in the next ten days.

This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and TodayHeadline. Feature screenshot captured by Richard Byrne.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Loom - Create Screencasts on Your iPad

Loom is a good screencasting that I've written about a handful of times over the last couple of years. Amongst it's many features, Loom offers a Chrome extension that makes it easy to respond to an email with a video. Recently, Loom launched a new iPad app that you can use to create screencast videos.

Loom's free iPad app lets you create a screencast of anything that is on your iPad. You can even switch between apps while recording with the Loom iPad app. As you might expect, the app lets you record your voice while recording your iPad's screen. Your completed video is saved in your free Loom account.

Loom's new iPad app makes it easier than ever to create a screencast on your iPad. Previously, to create a good screencast to demonstrate apps on an iPad you would have to mirror your iPad to a computer then record the mirrored images. Tools like Air Server made that fairly easy, but it still required you to use two devices. Now you can create a good screencast video right on your iPad.

Applications for Education
Loom's new iPad app could be great for giving directions to students about how to use a particular app or series of apps on their iPads. For example, this could be great for showing students how to attach files to assignments in the Google Classroom iPad app.

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Time-saving Tip for Testing iPad and Android Apps

As you might expect, I test tons of apps every year. Some of those apps are brand new ones and others are older ones that people suggest that I try. And throughout the year I go back and look at some apps that I've previously reviewed to see if they've been update or are even still working as well as they once did. When I look at older apps the first thing that I do is look at the version history and "last updated" dates.

When looking at the listing for an iPad app or iPhone app I check the version history before I install it. If it hasn't been updated in a couple of years, there's probably a good chance that the app is no longer being actively supported by the developer. Likewise, when I look at the listing for an Android app I check the "last updated" date. Again, if it hasn't been updated in a couple of years the developer probably isn't actively supporting. In both cases I won't install an app that hasn't been updated in a couple of years.

Where to find the update history for an Android app. 

Where to find the update history for an iOS app. 


Time and Security
Not installing apps that haven't been updated in a couple of years not only saves you time, it can potentially save the security of your phone or table. Older apps that haven't been updated in a couple of years are more susceptible to security flaws than those that have been updated on a recent and regular basis.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A New Look for Google Drive on iOS and Android

The Google Drive iOS and Android apps are getting a new look! As announced by Google earlier this afternoon, the apps are going to have a "material design" interface that is similar to the one used in the web browser version of Google Drive.

The updated Google Drive iOS and Android apps will have a new home screen that will not show the "quick access" panel at the top of the screen. The new home screen will simply show your latest files at the top in a linear view. The home screen also has a tab for Team Drives for those users who are part of a Team Drive. The search bar on the new home screen will be larger and prominent.

Another change to the Google Drive iOS and Android apps is found in the account switching function. In the new version you can simply tap on your profile icon in the upper-right corner of the app to switch between Google accounts.

The updated version of the Google Drive iOS app began rolling out today. The updated Android app for Google Drive will start appearing on March 18th.

These updates to the Google Drive mobile apps don't impact any of the functionality of Google Drive on iOS or Android. The updates should hopefully just make it easier to find and access the files that you need.

Screenshots courtesy of Google's outreach team.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

How to Use Flipgrid on an iPad

Last week I published a detailed tutorial on how to get started using Flipgrid in your classroom. In that tutorial I focused on using Flipgrid in the web browser on Mac, Windows, and Chrome OS computers. Students can also use Flipgrid on iPads. The Flipgrid iPad app is intended for student use not for teacher use. The app lets students respond to topics that you have posted for them. Just like in the web browser, students can use the Flipgrid iPad app to record videos and add stickers to those videos.

Watch my short video to learn how your students can use Flipgrid on their iPads.


On a related note, if you're in the market for a new iPad, Amazon has current generation iPads on sale for just $229 right now!

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.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

TinyTap Introduces a New "Houdini" Mode for Educational Games

TinyTap is a great tool for creating your own educational games for students to play on their iPads or on their Android tablets. Earlier this year they added an option to create games that have voice response features. For the new school year TinyTap has added another new feature. The new feature is called Houdini mode and it lets you create games in which students can make an image or part of an image appear or disappear based on how they answer a quiz question.

See TinyTap's Houdini mode in action in the video embedded below.


Watch the videos in the TinyTap handbook to learn how to start creating your own iPad and Android games.

Friday, February 24, 2017

TinyTap Handbook - Tutorials for Making Interactive iPad Activities

TinyTap is a great tool for creating interactive, educational activities that your students can play on their iPads, on their Android tablets, or on their laptops. I have recommended TinyTap to at least five people in the last week. If you're looking for a way to create iPad games, TinyTap is the first tool that I'd try. To get started, take a look at the videos in the TinyTap handbook to learn all of the formats in which you can create activities for your students. The TinyTap handbook playlist is embedded below.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pass the Past - A Review App for History Students

Pass the Past is a free iPad app designed to help students review U.S. and World History. The app was designed for students preparing for Virginia's Standards of Learning exams, but it can be used by any student reviewing for a test on U.S. or World history. Pass the Past offers a large selection of multiple choice quizzes. Each quiz contains 25 questions that include visual prompts. There is a hint button that students can tap if they get stuck on a question. After completing each quiz, students can see their scores and see the correct answers to each question.

Applications for Education
Pass the Past isn't the slickest app that your students will install, but it does provide them with clear set of activities to review a variety of subjects common to high school history courses.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Free World and U.S. Map Puzzles for iPads & Android Tablets

Digital Gene offers a variety of educational apps for iPads and for Android tablets. Two of the Digital Gene apps that could be useful for elementary school geography review are Enjoy Learning World Map Puzzle and Enjoy Learning U.S. Map Puzzle. Both of these free iPad apps have the same basic types of puzzle activities.

In Enjoy Learning U.S. Map students have to drag and drop the states into their proper places on the map. The app has three levels of difficulty beginning with state names and borders drawn out for students and progressing to a blank map that doesn’t have any border or state name hints. The map in Enjoy Learning U.S. Map places Hawaii and Alaska in their geographically correct locations instead of off the coast of Mexico.

Enjoy Learning World Map uses the same drag and drop puzzle concept as Enjoy Learning U.S. Map. Enjoy Learning World Map allows students to study the regions of the world one at a time or the whole world at once.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Math Vocabulary Cards in English and Spanish

One of the challenges that some students face in learning math is just understanding the vocabulary used in mathematics. Math Vocabulary Cards can help students overcome that challenge. Math Vocabulary Cards is a free iPad app designed for elementary school students. The app offers exactly what its name implies, a series of flashcards of mathematics vocabulary terms. Each card contains a term, a diagram, and a definition. By default the term is hidden and students have to guess the term based on the definition and diagram. Students can also use the cards with the definitions hidden and the terms revealed.

Math Vocabulary Cards can be used in Spanish or English. Simply select a language at the bottom of each card. Students can browse through the entire gallery of flashcards or choose a specific category of terms to study.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Fun App for Learning to Add Fractions

This post originally appeared on one of my other blogs, iPadApps4School.com.

Fraction Mash is a free iPad app that provides a fun way for students to learn about fractions. The app lets students insert two pictures then divide those pictures into grids, columns, pie slices, triangles, or rows. Once their pictures have been divided students select the portions of one picture that they want to combine with the other picture. Students' selections of image portions must equal 1 when the two images are combined. Fraction Mash lets students choose how many pieces each picture is divided into.

When students have completed their image-based fractions problems they can save them to the camera rolls on their iPads. From there they can share them with you in a variety of ways including through Google Classroom. But there is more that your students can do with the fractions mash-ups they make in Fraction Mash. Fraction Mash includes an option for students to write reports about their fraction mashes. The reports templates let students insert the images and the fraction problems they created into their reports. They can then write about the fractions problems that they created and solved. Those reports can be saved and shared with you.

Fraction Mash does offer advertise an online classroom space, but it wasn't working when I tried it. You'll probably do just as well to have your students share their work with you through Google Classroom or another LMS client that is installed on your students' iPads.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Add Text Labels to Drawings & Pictures in SeeSaw Portfolios

In the two years since its initial launch SeeSaw has become one of my most frequently recommended digital portfolio tools. The team at SeeSaw is continuously developing new features to make it a better tool for students and teachers. The latest enhancement to SeeSaw comes in the form of a new labeling option in the SeeSaw iPad app.

SeeSaw now lets you apply text labels to the pictures and drawings that you or your students add to digital portfolios. This is in addition to the existing feature for drawing on top of images that you add to your portfolio. Watch the video below to see how the new text labeling feature works. Then check out SeeSaw's list of ten ways to use the labels.


Currently, the text labeling option is only available in the iOS version of SeeSaw. The feature will be available in the Android and web apps soon.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Three Ways That Students Can Create Talking Pictures

A couple of days ago on Twitter someone asked me for suggestions for tools that work like Blabberize to let  people create talking pictures. Blabberize is a site on which you can upload a picture and record audio to turn it into a talking picture. To do this on Blabberize you first upload a picture then draw or select a mouth on the people or animals in it. Then you record yourself talking. The mouth moves while you talk. It's a fun way to add some life to a still image.

On an iPad students can use ChatterPix Kids to create talking pictures. ChatterPix Kids is a free iPad app. 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. Finished Chatter Pix projects are saved to your camera roll and from there you can export it to a number of services including YouTube. ChatterPix Kids doesn’t require students to create an account in order to use the service. Using the app can be a great way to get students to bring simple stories to life. Check out the video below that was made, in part, by using ChatterPix.




On the Android platform Face Changer Video lets you create talking pictures in the same manner as Blabberize and ChatterPix Kids.

Applications for Education
In addition to the example above, another way that you might use this style of talking picture is to have students record short audio biographies of famous people. For example, students could create talking versions of pictures of George Washington in which they share short bits of information about Washington in the first-person.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Draw and Tell: Create Animated Screencasts with Elementary Students

This is a guest post from Tom Daccord (@thomasdaccord) of EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

Thanks to a recent partnership with Khan Academy, Duck Duck Moose has made its terrific Draw and Tell iOS app completely FREE. With Draw and Tell, young students can easily create an animated screencast complete with voice, drawings, images, and objects. As a result, it's simple for emerging learners to create digital stories or presentations on any number of topics.

With Draw and Tell, students can draw, color, and insert stickers or stencils onto a scene. They can do so on a blank scene, or a formatted coloring scene, and have a wide variety of colors, objects, and backgrounds from which to choose. Students can even record themselves while they move objects on the screen and the end result is an animated screencast. Once complete, students can save their screencast as a video file to the iPad’s Camera Roll. From here, the video can now be “app smashed” (inserted into another app) into Book Creator, iMovie, or any number of apps.

As shown in the adjacent image, students can choose stickers, stencils, a pencil, a coloring brush, or coloring pens from menu items in the right column. The sticker option provides a range of cartoon animals, vehicles, clothing, foods, household items, buttons, and cutouts, as well as numbers and letters, that appear at the bottom of the scene. Simply tap on a sticker and then tap on the scene to make that sticker appear. Once in place, an object can be moved, resized or deleted (by swiping it off the scene).

At the top of the scene, a microphone is available for students to record themselves.  If students record as they move an object on the scene, they could, for instance, show and describe the movement of a truck, bird, or ship. Or, they could simply explain how and why they created a particular scene. For example, students might draw their favorite animals and then record their explanation of what they are and why they drew them. They might describe a pattern they see in a series of objects, such as a color pattern or geometric pattern. Students might draw a poster, an avatar, a costume, or any number of objects. They might describe a procedure, such as cleaning leaves in their yard, or they might draw their home, neighborhood, or family and explain what each means to them. Each of these activities can help teachers better understand what students know, think, feel, and understand about a particular topic.

Very young students might simply color. Draw and Tell provides dozens of templates, and children can draw to their heart’s content.  Students can choose from different coloring pens and crayons not only to draw figures but also to color a background or fill in a particular space on a template. The templates also serve as prompts to encourage students to develop a story.

Though screencasts are limited to one scene, it’s possible to combines scenes to create an extended story. Simply drag your created scenes to reorder them or drag one on top of another to create a group. In this way, students could create an extended story about, say, what they did over the summer or their favorite superhero’s activities.

At its heart, Draw and Tell is self-directed storytelling and exploration tool, so it doesn’t come with a user guide. Personally, I certainly could have used help getting the pencil tool to work, but I figure the 7-year old me would have figured that out sooner.

It would also be helpful if Draw and Tell provided ready access to the Camera Roll to insert video into animations. Yet, despite a few limitations, Draw and Tell is an engaging and intuitive app that helps prompts students to think, imagine, and nurture their creative spirit and energies. It’s well worth the exploration.

Get More Creative iPad Ideas from Tom Daccord at the November 3-4, EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Develop Mathematics Skills With Sushi Monster

Sushi Monster is a free iPad game from Scholastic that helps kids practice their addition and multiplication skills. This is the premise of Sushi Monster; students feed their Sushi Monsters by correctly choosing two numbers that when added or multiplied result in the number that the monster wants to eat. When the monster has been fully fed students move on to feeding a new monster. The video below provides a good demonstration of Sushi Monster in action.


Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free iPad app that your elementary school students can use to practice their addition and multiplication skills, Sushi Monster is definitely an app to add to list.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What's New in WhatsDue

WhatsDue is a free service (available for Android and iOS) that enables teachers to create and send due date reminders to their students. Students receive the reminders as push notifications on their iOS and or Android devices. During the last year I've found that teachers appreciate that WhatsDue is a simple platform that does its job well. Recently, WhatsDue pushed a couple of convenient updates.

Now in WhatsDue you can see when your students mark an assignment as completed. This should give you an indication of how many students completed assignments and when they completed them.

The other recent update to WhatsDue allows you to preview what an assignment reminder will look like to students and parents. This is a nice way to make sure that what you intend to send is actually what students will see.

How it works:
Here's how WhatsDue works. First, the teacher registers for a free account on the WhatsDue website and creates a class or classes. Each class is assigned its own unique join code. Teachers then invite students and parents to join the class through the join code. Once students have joined the class they will begin receiving due date reminders on their mobile devices.

What makes it different from similar services:
If you have been leery of using other reminder systems because of privacy concerns with phone numbers or two-way communication, WhatsDue might be for you. It doesn't require phone numbers and it doesn't have two-way communication. It also allows students to be reminded of assignments on a schedule that works for them. For example, they can set the app to remind them of assignments a day before or a couple of hours before an assignment is due.