Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So Many Apps? How Do I Choose?

Creation apps can be divided into categories with many options in each one.  How do you choose the best tool for the task?  Many factors go into deciding which app is your personal favorite in each category.  Some things I think about when I learn about a new app are:
  1. Do I already have/know an app that addresses this same need? If yes, are there features I wish it had that it doesn’t?  Maybe the new one has additional features to improve the final product.  If not, stick with the one you already know and love!
  2. Does it require a login?  Any app that does NOT require a login will be easier to deal with.  There won’t be worries about terms of use and student privacy for our students under the age of 13.
  3. How can the work be shared OFF the iPad?  Any app that allows the final product to be saved to the camera roll via a picture or video is going to go to the top of my list.  Camera roll pictures can easily be used in other apps (like iMovie) to create cumulative products from many different apps. This is known as “App Layering” or “App Smashing”
  4. Is it easy to use?  If it takes too long to figure out the app, you have to weigh the amount of time invested in learning the app vs. the benefit of the final product.  Can the same result be achieved more easily with another app?
  5. Does the free version accomplish everything I need it to?  Some free versions only allow for a specific number of products to be created or only have limited options.


Our GCISD Training Wiki is a great place to find apps for a particular product.  Each of our recommended apps has its own page with a description, link to the app store, tips, tricks and ideas for using it in the classroom.


The iTunes store also has a great section called Education Collections for finding specific education related apps.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing the app categories that we regularly use in GCISD and my favorite free apps in each one.

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