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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

iPad apps for Teachers



News and Current Events is a Top Use of the iPad
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A new study about reading habits on the ipad which surveyed more than 1,600 people was released by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the University of Missouri. who found that "keeping up with news and current events is the most popular use of the Apple iPad." (press release sent to me via email.

Their findings:
"Of the more than 1,600 survey participants:
  • Three-quarters of respondents spent at least 30 minutes a day consuming news on their iPad, nearly half said they spend an hour or more.
  • iPad users are predominantly well-educated, affluent men between the ages of 35 and 64 who tend to be early adopters.
  • A positive iPad reading experience is influenced by age and traditional media habits.
  • Overall satisfaction and time spent with the iPad is very high."
What are the Essential Apps for Teachers on the iPad?
Craig Nansen
My "go to guy" for iPads in schools in terms of deployment is Craig Nansen from North Dakota. (There are lots of other experts as well Scott Meech, and Kevin Hunnicutt to name a few.)

Recently, a colleague of mine who teaches literature received an ipad for Christmas and I reached out to Craig to ask what she should get. I got such a great answer that I asked Craig if he'd blog it but lately he hasn't had time to update his blog. So, I got permission to share his advice here so many of you who have just received iPads for Christmas can benefit.  Alas, I do not yet have an iPad (it was that or a TV for my family -- the family got the TV ;-) but I do have a new iTouch which also rocks.

Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments:

Craig Nansen's response to "What should a literature teacher have on her ipad?"
iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Google eBooks for sure. I get everything I possibly can through iBooks, but often get a better deal or find books that Apple doesn't have through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Google eBooks has the best selection of free ePub books, most of them being the classics that are out of copyright and can be found on Guttenburg (Project Gutenberg) and other sites.

I confirmed with Barnes and Noble that we can LEGALLY purchase one book under an account and install it on up to six different iOS devices. We set up six different accounts with Barnes & Noble to purchase books for an professional development project we have going on next week with Bernajean Porter. (It will be featured in a Spotlight Presentation at ISTE!)

Hopefully she has access to a Macintosh running the most recent version of Pages. Last July I was at the Apple Distinguished Educators Summer Institute and took a 1/2 day session on how to make our own ePub books and get them onto the iPad into iBooks. With Pages, I can show them how to do this in five minutes!

Evernote, GoodReader, Instapaper, Google (with a Google Docs account) and Reeder are Apps that I suggest to anyone who wants to use the iPad to consume information. Any information that  is in text format (e-mail, web site, Twitter, Blogs, etc.) that I want to keep I simply copy and paste into Evernote - and have immediate access to in on my iPad. Any other documents I want on my iPad (or my home computer) I put into DropBox and access it on the iPad from GoodReader. 
I have a ScanSnap scanner by my computer (scans both sides of a sheet in one pass) that I scan articles that I want to read and again put them into Dropbox and read them with GoodReader. When I run across an new article or blog that I want to read on my iPad, I use Instapaper to mark it "Read Later" in my browser and read it with Instapaper on the iPad - without the ads. Reeder is the best RSS reader I have found on the iPad, and it reads the feeds that I have set up on my Google Reader.

Does she know about Readability? How about Google Lit Trips?

Here are some of my resource links on Diigo


Director of Technology
Minot Public Schools
Minot, ND 58701
Apple Distinguished Educator
Google Certified Teacher
Star Discovery Educator"
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