The Frugal Teacher: Creation Apps for the One iPad Classroom



Every elementary school teacher in our district just received an iPad! What fun we have had learning how to use our new devices and finding new apps. Many of the teachers are uncertain about how they will utilze just one iPad in their classroom. They know it will be good for classroom management tasks such as attendance, email, lesson planning, etc…but how will the students benefit? 

As soon as I received my iPad, I treated myself to a $25.00 iTunes gift card and downloaded several apps that I have wanted to try. During our Daily 5 and Math rotations, I meet with students and use the iPad for different activities – mostly content creation. 

My goal is to have a digital portfolio for our class and each student that will showcase their learning throughout the year. To accomplish this, I have a class Edublog and student Kidblogs. Anything they create is permanently documented on their blog. For instance, when we do an exciting Skype session or a fun activity, I will write about it and post pictures on our class blog. The students will also do posts about the experience on their own blogs. 

In addition to writing, the students create content using iPad apps. In order to use the content they have created on their blog, the app needs to have the “save to camera roll” feature. Many apps will only allow you to upload to YouTube, Facebook, or their site. My preference is to be able to embed their work on their blog from the cameral roll. Here are some of my favorites along with examples:

30Hands
30Hands: Create and Show What You Know
FREE

We used this app together a few times, but then the students were able to use it independently. When they are done, they save to the camera roll and the upload it to their Kidblog. So far, my students have only used one slide for their presentations, but more slides can be added.

Here is an example:
Write About This

Write About This
FREE or $3.99
we used the free version of this app quite a bit, but I bought the upgraded version so they would have more options. There are picture prompts with questions and the student writes a response and then records their voice. The paid version gives more picture choices and allows the student to take their own picture. Here is an example of student work using the free version:
Here is an example using the paid version:
Tellagami
Tellagami 
FREE
Tellagami is a wonderful free app that allows the students to create an avatar, choose their appearance and background, and then record their voice. Since the avatars are adults, we used this app when we were studying African American Inventors. The students researched an inventor, wrote about them on their blog, and then created a “gami” for their inventor. 
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Sock Puppets

Sock Puppets Complete
$3.99
Sock Puppets Complete is an adorable app that has many uses. It allows up to 4 puppets and the students have many puppets to choose from, along with backgrounds and props. I used this when we were learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. The students worked in groups or pairs to research and write a script about why we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. I worked with each group to help them record. As each student speaks, you have to touch their puppet so the mouth moves. The free version of this app is good for the students to practice on, but it only records for 30 seconds and must be saved to YouTube or Facebook. The complete version gives an additional minute of recording time, more puppets, background, and prop choices, and it also allows you to save to the camera roll. 
Puppet Pals 2: All Access
Puppet Pals 2: All Access
$4.99
This is a great app that gives the students lots of choice for characters, settings, and music. The All Access version offers a lot of flexibility. We used this for our Martin Luther King scripts also. I also helped the students record their presentations because, just like Sock Puppets, you have to touch the puppet so the mouth will move. You can also move them around. Our first attempts could use some improvement, but it was really fun going through the creative process with the students. The students are already coming up with ideas for new productions! 

PicCollage
PicCollage
FREE
This is an easy, fun way to make collages out of photos. We used PicCollage to create collections of patterns we found in the school. 
There are so many more great apps out there that I can’t wait to try. I will keep you updated! 

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