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I have been teaching with iPads since the beginning. I broke out the credit card for the iPad 1 and lined up to purchase the day it came out, did you really think I could pay cash on a teacher's salary, and started using it with students on Monday. Think about it, the iPad ONE...this stunning tablet had no camera, and if you wanted to project it, you stuck it under your document camera.
Luckily, we had been using a shared cart of iPods for about a year. That prepared us for the inevitable question that I have been answering for years now:
"What is the best app for ___________?" - Fill whatever subject or learning concept you like in the blank
We just want a quick solution or place to go to get started. The problem is there are so many different scenarios for this question.
- What is the learning goal?
- Do you want the students to have choice?
- Do you want them to be creative?
- Do you want them to collaborate?
Not to mention the workflow side of things.
- Is it a shared cart?
- Do you have a system so students can use the same iPads over the course of a few days?
- Do you have access to put on your own apps?
- Do you want to share their work?
- How do you plan to share it?
- Is your district locking down and blocking sites you should have access to?
So when your district asks you to create an app list there are so many ways you can go. The iPad isn't built to be a one size fits all kind of item. There isn't an app list that can cover a K-12 school district, in my humble opinion. When we previously tried to create one for just elementary the people I worked with wanted to put over 90+ apps on the recommended list. That is absurd! Teachers do not have time for that. How does a student feel looking down at a home screen with all those apps? Overwhelmed is the first adjective that pops in to my mind.