Differently and Different

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.

MindmappingPopplet – online brainstorming or note creation

Mathematical Manipulation and ExplorationSketch Explorer – The Geometer’s Sketchpad goes mobile!

Blogging – WordPress application – update your blog or stay in touch with comments on your iPad

Graphic Novel CreationStrip Design – a motivating way to publish your own comic strip or graphic novel

ScreenCastingScreenchomp – creating your own story based upon images that you might have on your iPad

News ReadingPulse 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 ReadingZite – Read news resources from places that you might never look and have it get smarter the more you use it.

QR CodesSmallQR – Access large amounts of information with just the scan of an image with your iPad, iPod Touch or Phone camera.

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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  1. Doug, thanks for this list! In the spirit of your post, I have recently found a great graphic novel/comic strip development app that students would have fun using called Comicbook. Great opportunity to turn the iPad into a creation tool!


  2. Great ideas here! Very important distinction between doing something differently and creating something new. For your last category, may I suggest noteflight.com – great area for students to compose their own music!


  3. Hi Doug,
    I’m enjoying being able to finally explore an ipad this summer – and you are right – I think it will be a game changer as I get it in the hands of kids! 🙂 I saw tweets about you sharing screenchomp at #catc11 – I can never remember how that is spelled – and intend to get using it.

    I had discovered zite and I love it! Especially since it gets me exploring some sites just for my own interest and reading some stuff just for fun. I tend to do too much work related reading since I love that too!

    Interesting to see that you and I both have ‘fashion’ as a section! Perhaps we should go for a makeover one day before the ecoo face-off! 😉


  4. Hi Doug. Have you used Flipboard? I think it is an amazing way to browse and read news on the iPad that is so different than what we are used to when reading articles online.


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