Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Thing 18 Education

Even before blogging, I emailed a number of these apps to teachers (especially in languages, sciences, math, and FACS) in the hopes that they would begin using them--or passing them along to students--for the potential benefits they might offer for either in-class use or homework helpers. There's a tremendous amount of material under this category, and it begs for return trips--even if they're not officially cataloged in this blog. My link to Education apps

3-D Brain: An excellent app for a biology or anatomy class, 3-D Brain takes an enormously complicated structure off the 2-D page and makes it comprehensible; seeing the parts in relation to each other; using the sidebar "Structures" to isolate in on a single region; reading the content and seeing the x-ray views--all of these features enormously enhance the study of the brain. The Research reviews and the supplemental links offer a useful starting point for anyone who wants to do further research on the brain, its functions, and its disorders. Deceptively simple, this is the kind of app that can really engage students.

Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus: Now this is the kind of app that can be useful in the library, especially when helping students learn words, spell words, or use the right terms in their searches. (I have never been a big fan of using a thesaurus based on the assumption that a person needs to understand the connotations of words before attempting to find alternatives; when students attempt to use a thesaurus, they often use wildly inappropriate substitutions just for the sake of sounding like they have larger vocabularies.)

When I tried looking up "abashed," I found an extremely short definition, not sufficient to be useful for the advanced user, and the Wordnet feature, which found antonyms, similar words, was really abbreviated. I was somewhat disconcerted by the usefulness of this app, although I did like how the app used the term in various quotes to give the reader a sense of how it might be used. Beyond that, I was not quite sure why this app would have a camera feature--maybe to snap a photo of a word in a poster to look up later?

artCircles: Just plain fun, this app allows a person to use thematic circles of words, colors, nature, art movements, inspiring insiders, or textures to go on art tours, or slide shows with extensive examples. It also has galleries for viewing. I could spend hours on this app. One thing is for sure about it: Just spending a few minutes on it is like getting a primer on a wide world of art. It's impressive. And it could certainly supplement an art class's lessons--with detailed information about each piece of art, an opportunity to build your own gallery of favorites, or ways of sharing your favorites through social media.

A quick note: Although time does not allow further blogging on this post, I also downloaded and explored the following apps: Google Earth, iTranslate, Khan Academy, Life for iPad, and Today's Document. If I could summarize what they all have in common, I would say that for the right class each one has a useful application, and I will continue to send more apps along to teachers who are likely to benefit from incorporating them into their classes. My personal favorite and probably one of the largest free cross-curricular multimedia collections is Khan Academy.

No comments:

Post a Comment