Apps in the Classroom – Duolingo

So, you are a foreign language teacher with a dozen different classes of elementary, middle, or high school students struggling to learn Spanish, or French, or whatever. You are actually pretty lucky when it comes to utilizing the iPads. Very few subjects benefit from this technology as much as a foreign language class. You can do research on foreign countries, look up photos of different cultures, find recipes for ethnic foods, use translation and dictionary apps, check out video lessons on pronunciation or watch episodes of foreign TV shows, and find a huge wealth of language-learning apps to help your students practice inside and outside of class. And out of all the language-learning apps available, Duolingo is one of the most impressive I have encountered thus far (and it's free).

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Apps in the Classroom – Toontastic

Today’s app is a fun way of teaching your students about setting, plot, climax, resolution, and other important literary terms. Toontastic is an app that lets students create their own cartoons and animations. It is a heftier investment than many apps we cover on this blog at $19.99 (although there is a free version available for you to use to test it out), but if you want a well-made and fun app for your students to use to create some really interesting and unique projects/presentations, then it is worth the money.

Let me run you through how it works. Continue reading

Apps in the Classroom – Book Creator

Book Creator ($4.99) is one of the most well-known and popular classroom apps utilized in schools with both 1-to-1 iPad distribution and grade level mobile iPad carts. It allows students to create their own books which can then be opened in iBooks and shared via email as an iBook or PDF file. So allow me to add my thumbs up to the already considerable pile of endorsements for this app.
 
Here are some ideas on how to use it…

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Apps in the Classroom – iBooks and Class Sets of Novels

Sometimes the most obvious uses for an iPad are the ones that get overlooked. If you ask teachers about one of the potential benefits of having iPads in the classroom, most will mention textbooks. How great would it be to have all of a student's textbooks on the iPad? The books will always be with them and they won't break their back carrying them everywhere.

Well this post isn't about textbooks. I'm saving that until after my school actually finalizes their textbook plans for next year, so keep an eye out for that as we approach the end of the school year. Instead, I want to focus on another thing you can use iBooks for: free class sets of novels.

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Apps in the Classroom – Running a Class Blog with WordPress

Since you are sitting there reading this WordPress blog, I am going to assume you are at least partially familiar with WordPress as a site and blogging in general. For English teachers, having a class blog is a good way to give your students some extra writing practice in a low-stakes environment. If your students have iPads, there are a few apps that can make blogging really easy and even exciting for students.

Here is how I set up and utilize a class blog with my fifth grade students. Obviously this can work for any higher grade levels, as well:

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Apps in the Classroom – neu.Annotate+

I mentioned neu.Annotate+ ($1.99) briefly in my post about Dropbox, but I wanted to give it a little more attention all by itself. It is one of the most frequently used apps in my fifth grade classroom and probably throughout our entire middle school.

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