iPad has huge potential for the classroom. Look all over the internet and you’ll find lists of people’s favourite iPad applications. In fact, I have my own on my PD Wiki here. The frustrating thing can be, at times, when you meet another user and they indicate that they’ve found a better app than what you’re using! After all, with the thousands and thousands that are available, it should come as no surprise that you’ve stumbled upon an application or two that others haven’t used or found.
When all is said and done, I think that applications can be divided into two big categories. One category includes applications that let you do things differently.
Doing things differently. This big category includes enablers that let you slide something that you might normally do with pen and paper or traditional computer to the tablet platform. I hate to use the word “simply” but it’s the one that comes to mind immediately. You simply take a task that you would do in other ways and simply use it on iPad.
Mindmapping – Popplet – online brainstorming or note creation
Mathematical Manipulation and Exploration – Sketch Explorer – The Geometer’s Sketchpad goes mobile!
Blogging – WordPress application – update your blog or stay in touch with comments on your iPad
Graphic Novel Creation – Strip Design – a motivating way to publish your own comic strip or graphic novel
ScreenCasting – Screenchomp – creating your own story based upon images that you might have on your iPad
News Reading – Pulse News – news reading, RSS feeds, and online feed content
Wonderful applications, to be sure. However, there are some applications that I believe belong in another class. These applications let you do different things. This has always been the promise of technology – not just a transfer of an activity but the ability to do things that were previously either too difficult or just plain impossible. In some cases, iPad may well just be the final place of a project.
News Reading – Zite – Read news resources from places that you might never look and have it get smarter the more you use it.
Create your own application – I use iwebkit to create “web applications”. I like the concept of creating something from nothing and making it your own. Even with the thousands that are on the app store, you can still find your own niche.
The second category is considerably tougher to come by. It requires thinking about brand new uses for your technology. What’s your favourite application and are you doing things differently with it or are you doing different things?
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