Educational iPad Apps

In honor of the new iPad 3, this seems like a good time to provide information on educational iPad apps. Some of these apps may also have iPhone or other versions, so do check into other available versions if the app seems useful to you but you don’t have an iPad.

Here is a pretty comprehensive list of general iPad apps for education. A bonus? All the ones on this list are free! This is another list addressing apps for organizing schoolwork; though they are pretty inexpensive, not all the apps on this list are free.

EmergingEdTech recommends a few free digital whiteboard apps. And, if you’re using a compatible Epson projector, iProjection is a neat, free app that will allow you to project images and files from your device wirelessly.

ProfHacker weighs in on the best apps for annotation and note-taking, complete with a helpful comparison chart. Depending upon your needs (and your wallet), iAnnotate PDF ($10) is very popular and  does give you an impressive amount of functionality, but it is limited to PDFs (although there is a built-in way to convert Word docs into PDFs). Additionally, I’ve also heard great things about Penultimate, which now syncs with Dropbox and Evernote. Penultimate’s purpose is handwriting capture, so you’ll need a stylus with which to do your iPad writing. If you’re feeling a little more DIY, you might try making your own iPad stylus (remember, we present almost everything, but endorse nothing – so you’re on your own here!).

This is a list of iPad apps for MBA students. There are short descriptions of 47 apps, and some of them seem quite useful for the non-MBAs among us. Fair warning: this list also includes a few pricey apps.

For language and music learners, this is a nice overview of SpeedUpTV, an app that allows you to speed up, slow down, or loop video playback without any loss of video or sound quality. It costs $2.99, but may be very helpful learning tool, if it allows your students to expand the variety of materials they can enjoy.

What are your favorite (general or subject-specific) iPad apps?

International Students and the Online Environment

Given the far-flung nature of students in online courses, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of where everyone is and whether the location is a temporary place or truly home. For those international students that are accommodating to new course content, the online learning environment, and new teacher-student relationship norms, things can be tricky. The article Teaching International Students in an Online Environment and its focus on cross-cultural communication offers some great tips for instructors:

  • Be slow to react and even slower in being offended by communications from students in your online courses.
  • If you are not already doing so, set up an introduction area in discussion board or create a wiki/blog and require students to introduce themselves prior to the start of class. Give them specific questions they must answer so you can get to know them better. Then, make sure you read the students’ posts so you understand their point of reference.
  • Be prepared that students not residing in or native to Westernized cultures will have unique learning needs. If they are English Language Learners (ELL) this adds another dimension that could prove difficult.
  • Working with a foreign student in the online environment may take a great deal of time and effort from the instructor. Be patient and compassionate, exercising as much flexibility as appropriate.

How do you attempt to meet the needs of culturally and geographically diverse learners?