Thursday, November 4, 2010

Beyond the Obvious

For me, the "obvious" when working on an iPad is utilizing apps that can be acquired at the App Store. They are slick, shiny, easy, and interactive. I was immediately impressed with the vast array of educational apps, I could spend hours perusing, and if a budget was not an issue, I could spend ALOT! But I have been very conservative in purchasing apps. Of couse the free apps are always my first preference, and some of them are excellent! I have acquired a few "lite" versions of apps(they are also free). The difference between a lite app and the full price app, is the lite version is scaled back. In the case of an alphabet activity, the lite version would only give you the option of working with the first five or six letters of the alphabet rather than all 26 letters. This gives you a great idea whether or not you feel like the app is 'buy worthy'. I have also found that the more apps you look at the more consumer savvy you become. Certainly some apps have more bells and whistles, but as I have become more familiar with what is available for my kindergarten kids, I can come to a pretty quick assessment as to whether or not it will accomplish the educational goals that I have. I am sure there are a plethora of game-like apps. Right now I am not interested in any of those. I do wish there was a way a segregating the apps that are collecting on my screen. It is possible to move the order that they appear around on the screen, but they can't be scooted to the next page(at least I have not figured out that possiblity). I have thought about how I can go about directing individual students to work in particular apps and not in others, without me intervening or policing their usage. The one thing I have come up with is to take a screen shot of the page and then email the image and eventually print a hard copy. From there I can give each child a menu of the apps that I want them to work on, by looking at the hard copy they can activate those particular apps.
But beyond the obvious.....besides using apps, my next few posts will begin to explore the other uses of the iPad that I have discovered in my class.