Mobile Technology Resources for Teachers
By Guest Blogger
Dr. Paul Krivonos
ACE Board Member, Secretary
Emeritus Professor, Communication Studies, California State University, Northridge
Like most of us these days, I am on several listservs, including a number that focus on technology and education. Also, like many of us, I still receive and enjoy reading hard-copy journals, again many of which have a similar focus. Recently, I have come across a number of iPad apps, primarily from the California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET), the March/April 2012 issue of Learning & Leading with Technology, the journal of the International Society for Technology in Education (ITSE), the Summer issue of On Cue (also available as an app), the journal of Computer-Using Educators (CUE) that might be of interest to teachers and students, and a variety of websites.
I realize that with the budget cuts and austerity programs in education these days, teachers often have to put their own hands into their pockets to pay for educational materials for their classes. Therefore, while there are many excellent apps that are reasonably priced, I will include only those that are free.
Along that line, before I explore some of these resources, let me make high school teachers aware of a free summer opportunity to take place in Millbrae: Summer Institutes to Design Model Courses Integrating Career Technical Education with Academic Subjects (Contact: Deborah McCaskey, University of California (UC) Curriculum Integration Institutes Communications Coordinator: URL: http://www.ucop.edu/ucci).
Here is another opportunity—this one for the students of elementary school teachers:
DimensionU, an online educational gaming company, will host “DU the MATH,” a free national tournament (which includes five one-week competitions starting April 9 and ending May 13) to encourage math competence through game play among students in grades 3-9. Students can compete as individuals or in teams against other students across the country for $40,000 in scholarship prizes. For more information, visit http://corp.dimensionu.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/DUtheMATH-Consumer-Release-FINAL-April5th.pdf (to register, visit http://duthemath.com).
Here, then, are some of the free iPad apps that caught my attention:
iPad apps for elementary teachers:
Mad Libs: helps broaden vocabulary. Even has a hints function.
iBooks: while many books do cost, there are a large number of classics that are free.
Overdrive: for those of you with a Peninsula Library System card this will give you access to their ebook collection
Shake and Spell: word game that can help with spelling and vocabulary
Frosty Welcome: like magnetic letters that can be moved around on the screen
iPad apps for high school teachers:
Constitution for the iPad: an image of the original, searchable by article or amendment
Declaration of Independence for the iPad: an image of the original
SAT Vocab Cards: not fancy, but includes flashcards and quizes
Poem Flow: includes 20 poems (can add 100 more for 99 cents) that flow across the screen
iTranslate: provides the ability to translate English into more than 50 other languages or those languages into English; some languages include a text-to-speech function (can upgrade to a deluxe version for around $4)
Free Books: free books from the public domain organized into categories
Shakespeare: complete works, which are searchable
Goodreads: a social networking site for readers
Makers: a living library containing stories from exceptional women who have made contributions to the world in which we live
iPad apps for any teacher:
Sdmithsonian Channel for iPad: explores the history, life, and culture of our planet
USA Today: free online version of the newspaper
Nearpod: enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students’ iPads
Edcucreations: turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard
These are just a very few of the myriad mobile technology resources available to teachers. Perhaps the ACE website can provide a place where teachers from ACE partner schools can share their own favorite iPad teaching resource apps.