Introducing, my core apps for education, a list of what I believe are some of the best tools out there to enhance learning in the classroom. These are useful not only as a teacher, but also for learners. Meaning whether you have only one device in your classroom, or you have a 1:1 classroom, these apps all have something to offer. In addition, none of these apps are necessarily subject specific, so there is something for everyone. I will keep this list updated as I discover different applications by either adding or replacing apps as necessary.
In my practice, I try and use these core apps as much as possible. This will enable users to become more familiar with apps as they use them, reducing the amount of time spent learning how to use new apps and will also encourage users to be more organised when using digital technology. Furthermore, I would also highly recommend the collection of Apps by Apple, however they are not included on this list because they are usually bundled with new iOS devices.
To download any of the apps on this list, simply select the price tag and you will be taken to the apps page on the App Store:
Aurasma by Aurasma – Free – industry leading augmented reality app which changes the way users interact with materials. For example, users can link target images to video which will play when scanned. A great way to bring old analogue textbooks to life with increased interactivity. Requires signing up for a free account before use.
Find out more about how I’ve been using Aurasma here.
Book Creator Free by Red Jumper Limited – Free/Book Creator for iPad by Red Jumper Limited – £3.99 – the simple way to create beautiful iBooks, right on your device. Users can add text (including hyperlinks) and images as well as embed video and audio files right into their book. In the free version, the user is limited to creating only one book.
Find out more about how I’ve been using Book Creator here.
[Added: 10/01/2015] Evernote Scannable by Evernote – Free – converts your iOS device into a mobile scanner. Perfect for scanning paper resources or even students work, delivering a much higher quality image than the standard Camera app. Similar apps are available which function as well as this, but they are rarely free.
Explain Everything ™ by MorrisCooke – £1.99 – design, screen casting and interactive whiteboard tool that allows users to annotate, animate and narrate almost anything. For example, a user could be drawing an image whilst recording a voice over or annotating a piece of work whilst recording both written and spoken feedback. A great tool for both teachers and learners.
Foldr by Minnow IT – Free – turns existing network servers into a cloud storage facility, allowing users access to files on a network from their digital device. Requires the Foldr appliance to be running on your network before you can access files.
Find out more about how I’ve been using Foldr here.
i-nigma QR Code, Data Matrix and 1D barcode reader by 3GVision – Free – turns your camera into a sophisticated barcode reader, ideal for scanning QR codes. This is the best I found at doing its job: it can detect QR codes displayed on my projector from the back of my room and the speed in which it does this is incredible!
[Added: 07/02/2015] Paper by FiftyThree by FiftyThree, Inc. – Free – a digital pad of paper where you can sketch, scribble notes or plan an idea in a very intuitive way. What makes Paper so great, is that the user doesn’t necessarily need to have exceptional drawing skills to use it: it’s more about just being creative and acting as a canvas to capture ideas. And now the fantastic tools are FREE too!
Showbie for iPad by Showbie Inc. – Free – allows learners to quickly access, submit and store work from their device. Serves one purpose: assessment. The use of voice notes to provide oral feedback is superb and enables me to give very detailed feedback with far greater ease. Requires signing up for a free account before use.
Find out more about how I’ve been using Showbie here.
SimpleMind+ (mind mapping) by xpt Software & Consulting B.V. – Free – mind mapping tool that turns your device into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring canvas. Also available as a paid version with a range of enhanced features.
Find out more about how I’ve been using SimpleMind+ here.
Skitch – Snap. Mark Up. Send. by Evernote – Free – mark up images with simple tools which can be shared in an instant. A very simple yet effective tool!
Find out more about how I’ve been using Skitch here.
Socrative Teacher by Socrative – Free – enables the teacher to quickly assess the learning taking place through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tools and space races. Produces a report once a task is complete enabling the user to quickly and easily identify areas which require further instruction. Students respond using Socrative Student by Socrative which is also free.
Find out more about how I’ve been using Socrative here.
ThingLink by Thinglink – Free – make your images come alive with video, notes or even music from YouTube by simply adding tags to an image and link it to the desired content. Highly effective as both a teacher and student led tool. Requires signing up for a free account before use.
*all prices and links correct at the time of publication and are subject to change