Apps in My Backpack

By Alyssa Dees


I have really enjoyed the challenge of using new apps and tools for this class!  These are some of the most concrete things I will put in my backpack for future use. The district where I hope to one day teach has a one to one iPad initiate from Kindergarten through 12 th Grade plus a technical college, too.

iBooks – many classes in my district use iBooks instead of paper textbooks. For some classes, the teachers have written their own iBooks, like Dr. Perez did. Through this course, I’ve become familiar with iBooks, which I may use on a daily basis in my future classroom.

Canvas – I have taken line courses using Blackboard and Moodle, but Canv was also new to me.  I tried using the Canvas app rather than the web browser and found it lacked in communication and sped of downloading discussions.

Spark Video – This as one of my favorite new apps to learn!  I can already think of some awesome ways to use this for visual book reports, science projects, students explaining math concepts, autobiographical narrative, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

ThinkLink – ThingLink was easy to use and a fun way to make a graphic interactive.  By starting with a main graphic and adding touch points for more graphics, text boxes and even video links, an picture can really be worth a thousand words.  I can see this as being useful for an autobiographical narrative project, too.

Google Docs – GoogleDocs wasn’t completely new to me.  My family used Google Sheets to collaborate and organize addresses for our wedding (7 years ago).  However, this was the first time I used it to create academic papers that could be stored in “the cloud”

PicWall – I played with this one a bit after using ThingLink for the Historical project.  As you can see, I also used it for the top of this blog post.  This one is super easy as a way to make a picture collage for an extension of a story lesson, a science lesson, a project to share with the class on something that interests you (which is an idea I gleaned from my book circle book “Summerhill School”).  It would also be another tool that could be used for an autobiographical narrative.

iPad – I have used iPads before as a substitute teacher, and my two daughters have iPad Minis, but then I bought an iPad for this course and used it every day for almost 3 weeks now.  And I really love it!  I have enjoyed playing with other apps that I have on my iPhone on a bigger screen.  I’m usually a paper & pencil kind of person when it comes to sorting out my thoughts, so I was a little worried how this would work, but I have really enjoyed doing all my reading, communicating, and assignments on one device



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