iPad App Reviews

Here are some apps that I've found valuable in my classroom:

As a math teacher, I agree very much with this post by Jennie Magiera on the value of creation apps.  I have seen how using creation apps really stretches my students to higher level thinking and creativity.
As a middle school intervention teacher, I also have searched for apps that help with number sense and basic skills while providing a fun and challenging game-like atmosphere.



Educreations, FREE
Educreations is my favorite whiteboard app right now!  It is a free app which presents students with a whiteboard with recordable audio.  There are 10 different colors to notate with, the ability to notate on multiple pages (especially helpful in math), as well as the ability to notate on pictures or pdf files (I've had my students upload graph paper).
I've used this app in a variety of ways, from having students solve individual problems, present group work, jigsawing problems, and do test corrections.
From a management standpoint, I've found it easiest to have all of my student ipads logged into my teacher account.  This way, once a student has created a screencast, it automatically uploads onto my teacher page at Educreations, and is very easy for me to view/assess.  See my earlier post for more information and some student examples.


ScreenChomp, FREE
Another creation app is ScreenChomp.  It is a free app that allows students to create a screencast complete with a whiteboard and recordable audio.  I especially appreciate how students can scroll down by using the "two finger scroll" to get additional space on the board (very helpful for longer algebra problems).
Once students have created a screencast, they can share it several ways (emailing a web link or sharing over twitter).  I've had students email me their web link by accessing their school gmail directly from moodle on the ipad.  See my earlier post for a sample of some of my student samples.



Explain Everything, $2.99

Explain Everything is a creation app that allows the user to create screencasts with recordable audio and a full featured whiteboard.  This app provides a whole lot more features than ScreenChomp or ShowMe, and exports easily to YouTube, Dropbox, or Evernote.  I love the laser pointer feature and the zoom in and zoom out feature--with a little pre-planning, you can create a lower-tech presentation with a "Prezi" feel.  While I probably wouldn't spend the $$ to put these on my student iPad's, this is my app of choice to create teacher screencasts from my iPad.



Math Motion HD, $1.99

Math Motion is an app that utilizes the gyroscope in the ipad2 and gives great practice on fractions, decimals, and percents.  The game has a number line on the bottom of the screen and users have to bounce a ball on the given fraction, decimal, or percent by tilting the ipad appropriately.
This could be a very useful number sense app and can help students to make connections between fractions, decimals, and percents, as well as providing some basic fraction knowledge.




TicTacAlgebra, $4.99

TicTacAlgebra is an app that can be played as a one player or two player game and is a classice tic tac toe game where students have to solve math problems in order to get their X or O.  There are 4 different types of games to play (liner, quadratic, exponential, and systems) with 3 different difficulty levels.
My students have enjoyed this app, and like the workspace that is given when solving problems.  You can hide the keyboard and use your finger or stylus to use the ipad screen as workspace.  At $4.99, it is one of the more expensive apps that I have, but is a fun one!  The same company also makes TicTacFraction and TicTacMath for more basic operations.


Factor Samurai, FREE

Factor Samurai is a free app that is very similar to the popular fruit ninja game.  Students have to "chop" composite numbers until they are reduced to their prime factors.  Numbers fly at them and they can only chop the composite numbers without being penalized.
This is a fun and engaging app that is great for prime/composite work as well as knowing your multiplication facts!






Multi Touch Math, $.99

Multi Touch Math is a $.99 app that presents students with a math problem as well as 4 different circles (1, 2, 5, 10).  Students must "touch" the answer and use as many fingers as possible using the 4 different number combinations, and hold the answer for a second or two for it to register.
This app not only gives students practice in arithmetic, but makes them think about how to create their answers using combinations of 1's, 2's, 5's, and/or 10's.



Hungry Fish, FREE
Hungry Fish is a game which has students "feed" their fish by doing arithmetic.  The arithmetic ranges from the basic four functions, but also allows for the use of negative numbers, and has 18 different difficulty levels.
Hungry Fish is created by Motion Math and certainly lives up to their high quality.  There are additional paid levels you can purchase (totaling about $8) within the app.  While the cost is somewhat high, I've found this app to be worth the cost--it is very interactive, and quite challenging at the higher difficulty levels.  Students can also name and personalize the colors of their fish--my students have enjoyed this aspect!



Super 7, $.99
Super 7 is a game which challenges students to create the number 7 by pushing together (adding) different floating number tiles.  The game starts out with simple numbers, but progresses to more difficult combinations and even infuses negative numbers.  For a $.99 app, this is very interactive and challenging!





Math Mago, $.99
Math Mago is a fast paced math game where students start with an 8x8 grid of numbers.  The must pick numbers to solve given problems as quickly as possible, and use only the numbers remaining on their grid.  The app does a nice job of mixing in all four operations and is a good app to challenge students of all levels (as there is a speed component to the score) as they work on their basic number sense.








Lobster Diver, FREE
Lobster Diver is a free app created by New Mexico State University that centers around a number line.  Students control a diver who must dive at given values in search of lobsters.  The number line starts out easy, but quickly advances into more difficult intervals and more challenging numbers.  The students also must navigate around the electric eel as they make their dives.  My students have really enjoyed Lobster Diver (they also have created a similar app called Pearl Diver)!

1 comment:

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