Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Exploring Apps

          I have had a lot of fun learning to use the iPad and am glad I had a few weeks before school ended to try out some of the apps with my students. Motion Math and Coin Math were by far the favorite for my fourth graders. Needless to say, many of the other apps we have currently are for younger students. I have to admit that I am completely turned off by some of the graphics in the math  apps, such as Dino Math,, UnderSea Math, Piggy Math, Fish HD- granted these are very elementary but I maintain there could be higher graphic standards- I find the images and simplicity of the apps demeaning to even our youngest students. Montesorrium's Intro to Math is much more visually pleasing. I wish more app designers would consider aesthetics.
         All that aside, I think the Number Sense HD Mathomatix has some core value in the mathematical ideas it has its participants play with. BoosterBalls, Do the Dotty, Numberella, Fishoonka and Toot Toot Train are presented in a logical sequential order leading participants to play with counting, understanding numbers from lowest to highest, biggest to smallest, developing the concepts of less than and greater than, more than and less than, and the idea of equality and equal groups as well as pushing children to count on.
       After exploring the apps we had pre-loaded, I ordered a few other free apps and I found one I think would be good for third grade students. It is basically practice for mental addition practice for pairs of numbers adding to whatever number you want to set: e.g., I played it with pairs to 100. It is called Find Sums and is listed under educational apps at the Apple Store. There is also a multiple app and a fraction app, which I have explored.

       On a personal note, I have truly enjoyed StarWalk, Google Earth, Dictation and playing GarageBand! I am learning to use pages and still learning to type keeping my hands off the keys. I was so frustrated that I purchased a Zaggmate Keyboard, which works fairly well; although, it doesn't have a touch pad so I am still feeling rather inept selecting and highlighting text in order to copy and paste. I hope to meet with a colleague soon to go over some nagging details. The camera has been great fun. Here is a painting my brother did sitting by a pond in Wellfleet, Mass, where we were just together. He could not have done this using any of our "art" apps.

Now I just need to figure out why I can't simply rotate it! It must be because I am typing this on my laptop- not on my iPad- then I could!   Merry

No comments:

Post a Comment