Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Price: $2.99 for iPad, $.99 for iPod
Grade Recommendation: 3rd and up
Subject: Science
Specific Skill: Physics
Levels: 200
Players: 1
For iPad, iPod, or Both: Both

This app is actually a pretty cool and interesting game. Students use one or more gears to 'power' a blue gear already on the screen. With 200 levels, it obviously gets more difficult as the game progresses. Visual-spatial learners will especially enjoy this app.

While it's a worthwhile app to have installed, skip it if the price tag seems too steep for your needs.

The Presidents

Price: $3.99
Grade Recommendation: 2nd and up
Subject: Social Studies
Specific Skill: U. S. History
Levels: N/A
Players: N/A
For iPad, iPod, or Both: iPad

This app is a must-have for any classroom that studies even a small portion of United States history! An aesthetically-pleasing timeline runs across the bottom of the app when you open it. The timeline begins in 1789 with The American Constitution and ends with the presidency of Barack Obama (listed as 2009 - 2013).

The title is quite misleading. It certainly covers all 44 U. S. Presidents. But it also covers many major events in our country's and the world's history - from the ratification of the Bill of Rights to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The app also includes relevant territory maps (Thirteen Colonies, Civil War, etc.) and documents (Declaration of Independence, U. S. Constitution, and speeches by Presidents).

Students can also take quizzes on the 5 major time periods - Early Republic, Secession, Gilded Age, Early Twentieth, and Late Twentieth.

Some events are simply listed on the timeline while others link to a pageful of information and sometimes even outside links. Perhaps this app's developers will continue to add information about each and every event listed. But even now, this app is worth the price tag.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Screen Chomp

Price: Free!
Grade Recommendation: All
Subject: Any
Specific Skill: N/A
Levels: N/A
Players: N/A
For iPad, iPod, or Both: iPad

This is one of my favorite apps! I'm glad it's free, but I'd definitely pay money for it!

Simply put, it's a way to capture both an audio and visual account of what students do within the app.

The background initially appears as a plain white screen. But you can also import any image you already have saved in the native 'Photos' app. Once you have the background set, students can hit the 'record' button and draw and/or write on the screen. They may also choose to talk about their work. Screen Chomp is recording both the audio and the visual aspects. Students will then need to press the 'stop' or 'pause' button.

Once 'stop' is pressed, the screen capture immediately starts to play back. You can then delete the capture or send it to Screen Chomp's website. I recommend then copying and pasting the URL into a note-taking app (or into Pages). You can then email it to yourself so you'll have access to the URL where the capture is housed.

This app has endless possibilities! I can see students using it as 'Ticket Out the Door' to show and explain their learning. I'm incredibly impressed with this app and can't imagine why you wouldn't choose to include it on the iPad(s) in your classroom!