Anyone who’s been keeping their eyes open to great blog posts have seen posts like “Top 10 Word Processors for the iPad” or “Top 10 Utilities for the iPad”. They’re pretty much a summary of what all is available within a particular category.
That got me thinking…that would be great if I had a 64GB machine and could download all 10 and do a head to head comparison and then make a choice. Then, I thought of a couple of scenarios. Maybe I don’t have 64GB to play around with. After all, there are smaller units which are much more affordable. Couple that with the time that it takes to give an application a good shakedown and it gets a little scary.
The process is pretty subjective – many people will opt for free applications to get started and then upgrade to get the one with more features. Others will go for the gusto and pay for all 10 and then have buyer’s remorse!
To make things more difficult for the new iPad owner (grin) or perhaps you have a class set and are wondering what to load, I offer Doug’s Dozen. Taken from the experience of a guy who has nothing better to do that search for the best in class in any application, I took a look at the top applications that I use regularly and offer them below for your thoughts, criticisms, and one-up-ed-ness.
In making my choices, I looked at the applications that I use regularly. Functionality in the iPad environment was extremely important in my choice of applications. Above all, I looked at them from a teachers lens and put together this Popplet.
Twittelator - Hands down, I feel this is the best Twitter client on the iPad. I think it may well have been the first application that I purchased. At $4.99, it’s a real deal.
Popplet - I’m a big fan of graphic organizers to pull my thoughts together. I’ve linked to Popplet Lite but you may consider upgrading after you enjoy brainstorming with your fingers.
Zite - In a crowded world of online content readers, this is the first one that I open in the morning to get my daily fix of what’s going on. Free and configurable. You can’t beat that.
Pearltrees - This is a combination of graphic organizers, bookmark tool, theme creator. Tuck away those graphics and links into a single pearltree.
Google Chrome - In a crowded world of really good web browser for the iPad, this recently released browser has bubbled to the top for me. The ability to log in to my Google account and share recently browsing is but one of a big list of features.
Prompterous - If you do a lot of podcasting or need reference to notes, you own personal teleprompter can’t be beat.
Evernote - No list of “best of” applications is complete without Evernote. It’s a quick and efficient production environment with cloud storage and applications for all your computers. Never lose a document on another machine again.
Dropbox - In the category of always having access to files, Dropbox is one of the leaders. Even the image above taken from my iPad and brought into this editor on the computer made its way via Dropbox. If your iPad is going to be your everything machine, you will need a strategy for transferring files effectively.
ScreenChomp - I’ve always been a fan of Techsmith products for screen capture, editing, screen casting and ScreenChomp just continues the tradition. It’s a great way to create short instructional videos or to have students self-document a project they’re working on and share with you.
Office HD - I think I paid $10 for this originally but now see it’s priced at $7.99. If you’re looking for a way to edit word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation files on your iPad, you’ve got to have this.
Skitch - Screen captures and picture taking are easy with the iPad. How do you do a little post production like cropping, resizing, and editing? Skitch is your tool.
Gmail App - My email application of choice is Gmail. It can be accessed via the web but the Gmail App makes it so much handier. Plus, a recent upgrade lets you open links in Google Chrome rather than Safari. That’s worth a bundle and yet the app is free.
That was so hard to get things down to a dozen. Grudgingly, I had to leave some off the list to keep it to a dozen. But, you’ll need at least a good calculator, a good mapping program, a dictionary, and so much more. That’s just on the productivity side of the house. There’s so much more when you head off into curriculum land!
Got better choices that my list? Argue your choice!
- A First Look at the Chrome Browser for iOS (dougpete.wordpress.com)
- 7 Ways to Collect Student Work in an #iPad Classroom #staar (mguhlin.org)
- A High School English Teacher’s iPad Apps (eekbook.wordpress.com)
- A Free Complete Guide to Evernote (freetech4teachers.com)