Favorite Apps for the New Year

Around this time, for the past couple years, I’ve resolved to write more posts. This usually goes well for about a week or two until classes get into full swing and I end up with a lot less time on my hands. I’ve got some more teaching duties this semester, so it’s folly for me to say I’ll be posting more, but here are some things I’ve been using lately and hope to use more with my students this semester (individual posts to follow).

1. Drop.io – I’m in the process of overhauling the movies page on mrmansour.com and drop.io is the backbone of it. With drop.io you get an online storage space where you can ‘drop’ any file and then view, download, or embed it from anywhere. There is nothing especially amazing about this concept, it’s just really easy to use. I also like it because I can host any movie I want and won’t lose the sound on it. Some movies I upload to youtube get the sound cut out due to their strict interpretation of fair use – this isn’t a problem with drop.io.

2. Weebly and Yola – Both of these web apps allow users to create super easy websites.  I’ve been using weebly for some presentations my students and I have done lately because it’s very easy to set up accounts so the audience can participate and create as we present.  My 6th graders will be completing their Green Monkey Business website when we return from break using Yola and Glogster (see below).

3. Glogster EDU – Before break, and before our invention unit, the 6th graders built glogs about environmentally friendly practices for businesses.  They embedded the glogs onto a Yola site and can now update the site without having to go to Yola.  They just have to update their glogs.  This is nice because you can’t access a Yola site from multiple accounts, but embedding glogs allows you to do so.

4. iPod Touch Apps – During our invention unit, the 6th graders had to design an app for the iPod touch.  As part of the project, they had to investigate apps similar to theirs on the iTunes app store. (See partial student sample below – it doesn’t have the screenshots which they had to hand draw). Some of the students did their research on my iTouch and one student brought in his own.  I’m hoping to acquire some more of these to use for projects in the future.  The students are naturals and I’ve been experimenting with some free educational apps (Math Drills Lite is an excellent one) that we could use.  I’ve also started reading my first book on the iTouch using the Kindle App.  At first I couldn’t imagine reading a whole book on the iTouch, but it’s actually quite enjoyable.

One thought on “Favorite Apps for the New Year

  1. We have used Weebly a lot in my classroom. Also check out http://www.wix.com for another great website creation site (I am still trying to convince them to create edu accounts like Weebly did!).

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