Thursday, March 1, 2012

iPad Apps for School Administrators


The iPad can be an incredible tool for the busy School Administrator.  Below you will find a list of time tested applications for the iPad.   I am in no way compensated by the app developers for the recommendations below, just sharing the good word.

Enjoy, share, add your own recommendations in the comments.  Special thanks to @ldnoggle for her input on this list.

* Denotes that the app also has an online/software counterpart that can be accessed using the same username and password.

General

(Update) Sending an email with an attachment - This is concept is often overlooked and can cause some frustration for the new iPad user.  On a PC you compose an email and then add the attachment from the email program.  You have done this probably thousands of times.   On the iPad that process in reversed.  You start with the file you wish to attach to the email (picture, pdf...) and "share" that file via email.  The link above is to a very well written article on the subject by the iPad Academy. 












*Appshopper.com - You may be able to count on Apple releasing an updated iPad each spring, but you can’t count on the price of its apps to stay the same.  Apps fluctuate in price. Large developers typically hold app sales around the holidays, but many times, price drops are random and only last a day or two.  To take full advantage of these price fluctuations I use Appshopper.  Simply create a free account and tell Appshopper which apps you “want.” When the price drops, you will be alerted by email of the price change.

Google sync for iPad Calendars - By default the iPad will only sync your default Google Calendar to your iPad.  If you have multiple calendars you would like to view on your iPad, you will need to use Google Sync.  Be sure you are logged into your Google account and then click the link.  From the link, check the calendars you want to be viewable on your iPad and Save.

Add bookmark to the homescreen - You may find that you use the same website a lot (ex. an observation walkthrough you use daily in Google Forms).  Add that bookmark to your home screen and launch it like any other app.



Apps

*These apps also have an online/software counterpart that can be accessed using the same username and password.
File Storage
*Dropbox - A very popular online file storage service.  The desktop version automatically saves and synchronizes files saved to the special Dropbox folder on your computer to your online Dropbox account.  These files can be accessed online or from your iPad using the app.  Installing this app on your iPad also gives you the option to save files (pictures, pdfs, etc.) from your iPad to your Dropbox account directly.   Dropbox files in all three places (computer, iPad, and online) are completely synchronized.  (Free)

*box.net - Similar to Dropbox, minus the desktop synchronization, plus more free storage.  Upload and share files online or from your iPad.  (Free)


News/Content Curation
Flipboard - Named Apple's "App of the Year" for good reason.  Any website with a feed can be subscribed through Flipboard.  Flipboard turns these feeds into a magazine like reading experience.  Not using Twitter?  Use Flipboard to subscribe to the following feeds: #edadmin, #edtech, #education.  For what it’s worth, this is my all time favorite app. (Free)

Zite - Apposed to telling Zite specific sites to pull from like you do in Flipboard; Zite in true semantic fashion uses a system of “likes” and “dislikes” (think Pandora) to learn your interests and then delivers you a personalized “newspaper” based on those finding.  A little creepy? Yes.  Cool? Definitely.  (Free)


Communication
Google Translate - Type or speak into the iPad’s microphone and this app will do a darn good job translating it to a number of different languages.  Translations are produced in both text and audible versions.  Could you use this app to have a basic conversation with a limited English speaking student or parent?  Maybe. (Free)

*Skype for iPad - Skype just works.  It is a very reliable instant messaging and video conferencing tool.  With the inclusion of the front facing camera on the iPad 2, using your iPad to video conference with other Skype users could not be easier. (Free)


Note taking and organization
*Evernote - An extremely popular web service made even better in app form.  Store notes, photos, to-do lists, and voice reminders, all one safe (searchable) location.  See some innovative ways Principals can use Evernote (Free)

PaperPort Notes (formerly Noterize) Type, hand write, or speak (voice memo or voice to text) your notes into creation. You can also annotate outside documents like.pdf files then export them directly to Evernote, email, Dropbox, and more. (Free)

Dragon Dictation  Voice to text recognition from the makers of Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® Good for note taking, email dictation, or updating social networks. (Free)

Skitch for iPad  Annotate pictures, screenshots, maps, and WebPages with shapes, arrows and digital ink/.  Share these markups via email.  (Free)

Pages, Keynote, Numbers  Apple’s answer to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel respectively.  Open, edit, or create Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files directly in the app. Files can be exported via email so you will have no problems with compatibility. Seamless integration with other apps like Evernote, Dropbox, Box, and more are also a plus. ($9.99 Each)



Efficiency
Weather Channel for iPad A very useful weather app.  What school administrator doesn’t need to be a part-time weather man? Between weather related school closings and delays, student drivers, athletics, and planning outside events, you may find this to be indispensable. (Free)

Splashtop Remote Desktop - One of the only pay apps on the list.  This one is pure genius.  Install the app on your iPad and then download a small program to your computer from the developer’s website.  Run the program on your pc and use this app to view and control your pc from anywhere on your schools network!   A username and password on the pc side keeps the connection secure.   ($.99 - $4.99)

 
Common Core Standards: This app puts the K-12 Language Arts and Math Common Core Standards at your fingertips. Great for walkthroughs, meetings, etc...(Free)

Google Search. Instant access to all your Google Apps, as well as Internet search. You can also use this one as a QR code scanner or to search the web using the integrated camera (point the camera at an object and Google searches for it on the web). (Free)

App Shopper - The app version of the very useful website describe in detail at the top. (Free)

Qrafter - A dedicated QR code scanner and writer for the iPad.  (Free)









Networking
*Edmodo This insanely popular web service is now available in iPad form.  Network with your teachers and other administrators.  Join the conversation by contributing to classroom discussions at your school. (Free)

*Hootsuite  Dozens of these twitter management tools exist in the marketplace, but Hootsuite for iPad has a number of features that set it apart.  From scheduling your tweets, to “tracking columns,” this app has it all for the professional interested in networking. (Free)


EBook/.pdf Readers

*Kindle Amazon is a leader in the digital distribution of books, textbooks, magazines, and newspapers.  Do not have a kindle? You do not need to miss out.  Typically, Kindle books cost less than their paper counterparts. You can also “borrow” Kindle books from your local library.  All this and the ability to email .pdf files to your kindle account, make the Kindle app for iPad an ideal digital reading platform. (Free)

iBooks- Apples official answer to the eBook, digital textbook, magazine and newspaper market.  Purchasing books is simple, using your iTunes account. Open and save .pdf files from email attachments in the .pdf library section of this app for on the fly reference (Free)
Note: Depending on the iOS version on your device, your iPad may have come preloaded with this app.  If not, it is just a download away. (Free)





photo credit: la legra negra via photopin cc

1 comment:

Dan W said...

Check out the Classroom Walk-Through app. Quick, professional, and customizable app for walk-throughs.

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