I’ve fallen in love with the iPod Touch and what it might be able to do for teaching and learning. And so, every few weeks, I’ll post a few of my favorite apps and some classroom uses.
One free app - Number Line and three paid apps – Lemonade Tycoon, Big Top Ten and GradePad.
Number Line is designed to help students learn about fractions, decimals and percentages. Students earn points by placing the provided fractions, decimals, and percentages in correct sequence on a number line. The application features multiple levels of increasing difficulty and points.
This seems like a natural for elementary and middle school kids struggling with converting these mathematical concepts. Plus it’s fun!
This free app would be great for teaching all sorts of economic concepts – supply and demand, incentives, opportunity costs, entrepreneurship, marketing, you name it. You start out with a simple cart and a couple of bucks in your pocket.
Your task? Create the perfect lemonade recipe and sell it to as many people as possible, charging as much as possible. Weather will affect demand (and thus your price) as will different marketing locations. Every day you’ll get weather reports and local news that may impact sales. As your profits grow, you have the option to purchase greater amounts of supplies, hire more staff and upgrade your stand.
Big Top Ten
What could be easier than counting to ten? I mean, what are your fingers for?
This cheap app has a very cool old-timey circus theme. You start with a grid of 25 numbers and your simple goal is drag your finger through the field of numbers to come up with a grand total of ten. Adding numbers together is the most obvious way to reach your mathematical goal, although the game does introduce negative numbers to offer alternate ways to ten. The more numbers you use to reach ten, the greater your bonus for that swipe.
Just some really handy problem-solving skills and basic math but I’ve already seen 4th and 5th grade kids use it and really get excited about math.
The most expensive of the four at $2.99, GradePad is a performance assessment tool for teachers. You can assess a wide variety of behavior and performance with individuals and groups using almost 50 different preset rubrics. The app allows you to track individuals and groups over time and send the data to your email account.
You can create an online account that allows you to import class lists, export grade data and create new rubrics. All pretty slick!
Give me a week or so and we’ll share a few more. In the meantime, what are your favorite apps?