As a future teacher, it’s going to be very handy having my iPad as a resource available to me. While a lot of the programs I’ll be using to keep myself sane have already been covered (for example, Dropbox to always be able to access important files, and Evernote to keep myself organized and collect things like lesson plans), the App Store does have great education apps. (I strongly suggest any parents go and check out the Education sections of the App Store, because a lot of them are aimed at wee ones, and they seriously look fantastic. I know I’ll be headed that direction when my home is blessed with the pitter-patter of tiny feet, but let’s not worry about such things until after the wedding, right?) They have lists for those headed to university, and lots of apps arranged by subject and age. Very cool!
9. Education: iTunes U, Learnist, eduTecher-Backpack
Okay, I don’t care if you’ve owned an iPad for years or you’re a newbie like me, you need to download iTunes U. Leading universities and schools around the world have come together to provide FREE courses for anyone to take. I cannot describe how cool that is. There are so many different subjects that there must be something to interest everyone! Personally, I downloaded a BUNCH of music courses – theory, history, music therapy, world music, etc. – and lots of literature courses, so I’ve got my favorites covered.
And, even better, they have lots of courses designed for the younger grades as well! I’ve downloaded units on Tuck Everlasting and The Indian in the Cupboard, as well as units on poetry, chemistry, and creative writing across various grades. While I may not use these courses as-is for my classroom, this resource is fantastic as a starting-point for lesson planning. The courses are super easy to use! The way they share course content varies, including video and audio. Some of the courses even come with a textbook that you can download and read in your iBooks app.
Another resource I plan to use for lesson planning is Learnist. Here, users create boards on subjects they are already knowledgeable about. In much the same way Wikipedia collects from lots of different people, everyone can create a Learnboard about something they know and love – yoga, cooking, algebra, teaching, the works. People can support their knowledge by pulling in YouTube videos, podcasts, eBooks, maps…lots of different multimedia that is collected and shared all on one Learnboard. Maybe one day I’ll have something I feel worthy of sharing, but for now, I’m just enjoying following lots of fun boards. When it comes time to do some lesson planning, I intend to use Learnist to inspire me and point me in the direction of some great resources! For example, let’s say I’m doing a lesson on earthquakes. I do a simple search and bam! At the very least, I now have a starting point for my planning. Beauty!
eduTecher – Backpack is an amazing resource for teachers! It collects tools from around the web and reviews those resources to point teachers towards valuable content that may assist in the effective teaching and learning of various subjects. While I still think I haven’t completely explored the full potential of this app, just browsing the available links and tools makes me excited! This looks like it will save lots of time when lesson planning, and also point me to creative web resources for unique and interactive learning! It even allows users to narrow and sort tools based on subject and grade level. Handy!
I hope you find these apps as useful as I do! Thanks for reading part 9 of my reviews of iPad apps. Check back in tomorrow – I’ll talk about cooking apps! Bye!
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