Leaping onto iPads: Which apps? Why?

We are planning to purchase a large number of iPads to replace the laptops which are currently on lease at school. Essentially, ease of use is the main benefit, especially for our Junior Primary students. The quick start-up is a great feature. Also, we can see great value in the different tools available through the many different apps which could support the learning of the students.

The question being asked is what apps do we want to suggest for downloading onto these iPads? There is much to consider and there are a plethora of lists available online promoting the virtues of different apps. They are great because they give us a starting point to try different ones out. However, they can be a trap if we don’t ask why?

Schools need to ask this question to help us make wise choices. Getting great apps on our iPad isn’t going to make great learning happen. Thinking about why we want certain apps and how they are going to be used by the students to promote learning is going to make it more likely they will be beneficial.

Consume, collaborate and create are the three things we need to be looking at to help us with this question. Edudemic has a very good list of apps which fit into these categories with some tips on how to use them.

  • By consumption I am thinking apps such as ‘Mathsblaster’ which is a game based app which children can use to practise their mathematics. I am also thinking of books that may be downloaded for reading or apps that access information from the internet.
  • For collaboration, mindmapping apps, Google Docs, Evernote and Edmodo are examples which come to mind as they allow people to work together online. Social networking can also enable collaboration via Twitter or through blogs.
  • Finally, creation  can take place through apps such as iMovie, Camera and Audioboo. Making something new is what we are looking to achieve.

This link has some great guidelines on how to set up iPads for classroom use. Click here.

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