Dispatches from the K-8 Universe: Apps at CES and SHB

I got a great message last week from Krista Inchausti, one of our school’s Educational Innovation Coordinators. Krista’s role is to help teachers and students in our elementary schools to find creative, innovative educational tools and solutions for their classrooms. This sometimes means offering tips on great technology for the classroom. Here’s a list of killer apps that she recommends for younger students. Many thanks to Krista for sharing her insights!

Inspiration Maps is a helpful visual organizer. We have been unable to print the full concept maps but the maps can be transposed into outlines which print easily.

Notability is useful, primarily because there is no spell check in the iPad version of Google Docs. [edit from PMK: there is now but may not have been before. Anyway, Notability is still amazing.] This has presented a big problem for many of the girls but when they copy and paste their work into Notability they are able to check their spelling without moving to a laptop.

Dragon is improving their speech to text capabilities on the iPad (this app still works better on laptops). HOWEVER, newer iPads have Siri as a part of the keyboard, allowing for quick dictations in any iPad app.

Spell Better is a writing app that provides spelling suggestions to students as they type and will read their writing back to them aloud. We have only experimented with the free version.

Zapreader.com (website that works on iPads) is a speed reading tool, but breaks down text and presents it one word at a time. Speed is adjustable and there are pause and play buttons – just copy & paste text. Some students have found this helpful for getting through dense text.

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