New iPad or iPhone? You need these applications!

January 3, 2013  |  Teaching

iPad is my homeboy.

So all our teacher friends came to work today sporting shiny new iPads. I don’t mean to sound like some kind of Apple fanboy or anything, (I’m not… Everyone knows that my MacBook is Bootcamped to run Windows. More on that soon…) but the iPad has been the single most important tool for my teaching since chalk. For real. I have not dealt in paper since 2010. I use it to do EVERYTHING.

Here are the apps that I find most useful. Prepare to have your socks rocked. Seriously.

Dropbox – Dont ask any questions. Just get this app. Sign up for the service. Your life will be transformed. For the uninitiated, Dropbox is the most versatile cloud-based storage solution out there. You can store your files on the internet, so that they are available to you wherever there is an internet connection. Say goodbye to flash drives, Mr. Flintstone. This app is available for phones too. Get it so you can check your curriculum maps instead of playing angry birds. You promised yourself that you would be more productive this year, remember.

CloudOn – This app manages any cloud services that you might use. Including Dropbox. Computer users who have come to the tablet darkside will be happy to know that this app uses a Microsoft Office interface. It’s a little slow, but it gets the job done.

Evernote – Another AMAZING app. It’s a digital notepad that you can sync to all of your devices. The notes you take on your iPad show up on your computer. Look ma, no wires. I use this to house and share all of the notes from my conferences and small groups with students.

Keynote – At $10, this is one of the most expensive applications on my device, but it is worth. every. cent. If you do any public speaking (a lesson is public speaking, folks) or give presentations regularly, this is a must-buy. It is basically an Apple-branded PowerPoint to go.

Pages – The second $10 app on my iPad. It’s the best Microsoft Word alternative on the device. Anything that you can do on a laptop, you can do here. Instant purchase.

Google Drive – The best thing on the internet, now on your iPad. You have access to all of your google documents in real time on this app.

Kindle – All those books you bought for your kindle, you can see and read them here. Perfect. I’ve been reading lots of Junot Diaz. Word.

Twitter – If you are an educator, and you are not on Twitter, shame on you. Join. Now. Follow us. (@MisterMinor and @MsKass1)

Penultimate – For those, who love handwriting, you can buy a stylus and write in this virtual notebook. I don’t really use this, but some people swear by it. Noteshelf is another great alternative. Better still is the genius app, Paper.

Find iPhone – This app scares me a lot, but it has saved my life on two separate occasions. It uses GPS technology to track your iPad. If you lose your iPad, you can go to any computer, and the app will locate your iPad and send a nice/nasty message to whoever found/stole it. Once I left my iPad in a cab, I was able to contact the driver through this app. Safe!

ShowMe – a really fun virtual whiteboard that is awesome to teach with… It allows you to record your writing, and you can play lessons back for kids that miss class… Yum.

ThreeRing – @Kris10_SEA put me on to this app a few days ago, and it seems cool. It allows you to photograph student work with your device’s camera and organize the work online. Yup. No more paper.

So those are my favorite few… There are so many more that I can talk about, but if you’ve got these, you are off to a good start!

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