I love tools that turn your tablet into a content creation tool. Thinglink is a fantastic example of an app that lets users become creators. With this app teachers and students can layer information on top of any image that they like. They might find a primary source document and add questions for students to answer, or ask students to snap a picture of a text and add text, video, and links to bring a sentence to life.
Start off by choosing the picture you want to use. Then add targets to any spot on the image. Connect these targets to multimedia (text, links, video). Share the link. It’s that simple. Thinglinks can be created on iOS and Android devices or on the web. It’s a great app for BYOD (bring your own device) environments or for students to use outside of the classroom.
Add a comment with a link to a Thinglink you’ve created or tweet it to share it with your PLN!
I’ve shared some of my favorite online resources for informational text and current events and here is another website to check out. Smithsonian Tween Tribune has a collection of articles perfect for elementary and middle school students. You can easily access sports stories, national news, and more on their site. With a free login teachers can find Lexile levels for each articles in addition to lesson plans and quiz questions for students.
Learn more by visiting their website!
There are some great brainstorming and planning apps for iPads (sticky notes, GRID, Popplet) and a new app from the makers of Post-it Notes combines the traditional tool with a digital platform. Post-it Plus is a super cool app that lets users snap a picture of their post-it notes and the app will recognize each individual sticky. You can then move them around your screen and organize them into groups. It’s a great way for kids to collect their stop-and-jots in one place whether they are using post-it notes in Reader’s Workshop or when conducting research for a writing project.
See this app in action by watching their short video or download the free app right away!
PS This works with any kind of sticky note so if you use the dollar store brand you won’t be left out :)
There are a handful of screencasting apps that I absolutely love (Educreations, ScreenChomp, Doceri) and here is another free app you’ll want to check out. ShowMe is an easy to use screencasting tool that lets users record their voice as they write on the screen. It’s a great way for teachers to create tutorials to share with their students or for kids to demonstrate their understanding.
ShowMe lets users draw diagrams, import images, and upload their creations for free. You might want to share the link of a tutorial by turning it into a QR code that can be attached to a bulletin board or placed on an activity sheet!
You may have seen Caribu featured in the most recent Apple keynote event showing off the new iPad Air 2. This very cool app connects two readers from down street or across the world so they can explore a picture book together. Users will be able to see each other’s picture just like FaceTime as they turn the pages of a book on their screen.
This is a great app for reading buddies young and old. It can be used in a school environment to connect readers to partners in a neighboring school or to students in another time zone. Caribu is also a great recommendation for parents looking to motivate reluctant readers at home.
Caribu comes with a couple free books and the rest are downloaded through in-app purchases.