The books begin with an overview of the app in question before detailing possible activities. These are divided into three age bands – 5 to 11 year olds, 12 to 14 year olds and 14 to 18 year olds. The activities cover a range of subject areas including literacy, mathematics, science, geography, history and foreign languages.
The books are well laid out and contain a number of interactive elements, eg videos and slideshows. These elements really help to clarify how the activities are designed to work. So whatever subject you teach take a look at the Apps in the Classroom eBooks. You are sure to be able to find something that you can put into practice with the children you teach. There are five books in the series covering the following apps: Explain Everything, Hopscotch, Sketchbook Express, Stop Motion Studio and Puppet Pals HD.
1. Explain Everything
Explain Everything is an easy-to-use screencasting tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. Teachers can use it to create interactive lessons, assessments, and tutorials. Explain Everything can also be used as an interactive whiteboard by connecting your tablet to a data projector.
Hopscotch was inspired by MIT’s Scratch, and aims to teach programming skills using the same drag and drop approach. It lets users create their own characters, eg animals and monsters. Through customised commands, they can then make these characters move and perform a variety of actions. The characters can be controlled by shaking, tilting, or even shouting at the iPad.
3. Sketchbook Express
SketchBook Express for iPad is the free version of the popular desktop drawing application SketchBook Pro. It is designed to allow users to create doodles, quick sketches or artwork on-the-go. The user interface is intuitive and it makes full use of the tablet’s multi touch interface. There are a range of brushes and other tools available. Fifteen of these are included with the app, but the others have to be bought through in-app purchases.
4. Stop Motion Studio
Stop Motion Studio is a free app for making animated movies. It is very easy to use and contains a number of excellent features. For example, there is an overlay mode to show users the differences between frames and a grid mode to help them position objects more easily. Stop Motion Studio also includes an integrated movie editor where users can add music and audio. Extra effects are available via in-app purchases. For example, the background of the scene can be changed using the green screen feature. There is also a special effects feature and one that allows you to add movie titles and credits.
5. Puppet Pals HD
Puppet Pals HD is an app that is designed to create simple but fun animated stories. It works by recording all the movements on screen. At the same time, it records your voice and then compiles all this into a movie file which you can watch directly from your device or save to your camera roll to share with your family and friends. Users are able to select a range of characters and backdrops to include in their play. It is also possible to create actors using photos.
Have you used these apps as part of your work? Share your experiences below.