I Pad Apps
Here you will find our Top 10 list of iPad apps we use most often and highly recommend. Many are free and most even link to DropBox for easy storage and reference. We, the authors of this wiki page, have not been paid nor receive any benefit for our endorsements. We recommend these because we have used them with great success.
Additionally, we support the use of electronic tablets (like iPads), especially in Basic Writing classes where access may be limited, as more affordable devices than mainstream laptops or full-sized personal computers. Tablets are typically a fraction of the cost of laptops and applications tend to be far less expensive than normal software. Similarly, they offer more versatility and mobility than most laptops. Where cost may be a prohibitive factor, iPads and other tablets may offer a viable alternative.
(Note: all prices listed were current in December 2012.)
*Best Prompter ($0.99)
For students who may be shy or hesitant to speak in front of the class, this app is great for aiding in the speed, flow, and organization of a text - especially when spoken or read aloud. This is also a great tool for students (or anyone else) who likes to record longer podcasts or voice messages. For those instructors who like to script their lectures, this app comes highly recommended. It features an in-app editing tool, timers, and the ability to control how fast the lecture speech moves. A “must have” for Basic Writing Instructors who incorporate speaking or reading aloud!
*Blackboard Mobile (Free)
While Bb Mobile isn’t completely instructor-friendly yet, it does allow students and instructors to stay connected to the class and provide anywhere-access to class materials. Bb Mobile offers limited availability for instructors to add new files or edit their sites; likewise, students can’t submit assignments via this app either. However, the team at Blackboard always welcomes suggestions and is working diligently to constantly improve this app. (Links to DropBox)
DropBox is a versatile mobile/cloud storage application offering 2 gigabytes of free space that is accessible from any computer online. Since it is accessible anywhere, it is great for students with limited access to technology. It also links to many external applications (many noted here) and even features an app or two of its own. With DropBox also installed on your home computer, any file added or updated on DropBox is automatically synced with each device connected to your account. One particular feature we like best is the DropItToMe application. This feature provides a link for you to place on Blackboard or other course sites that students access to submit their assignments digitally, allowing them to drop their assignments right into YOUR DropBox without having to give them permission to access your account. It even time and date stamps it, too!
Nook (Barnes & Noble)
Play Books (Google)
Everyone with an iPad should have an eReader. iBooks comes standard with the iPad. Each of these apps features the ability to highlight text, bookmark pages, make notes on the margins, and even carry around your entire digital library. For Basic Writers who struggle with reading, some apps offer features that will give the definitions or pronunciations of difficult words and can alter the layout and view of text to enhance readability. Leave that bulky bag of books at home, in the office, or - better yet - in the library.
Much like Audacity, this app turns your Mac into a recording studio. Many people use it for recording music and demos but GarageBand can also be a great app for recording podcasts by students or mp3 messages for your class. Garageband features all of the same recording tools as Audacity like background music and sounds, multi-layer tracks, and fading techniques.
*Gradebook Pro ($9.99)
Keep track of all of class rosters, attendance sheets, assignments, grades, student information, and anything else that affects student status in class. Simply upload a CSV file (via DropBox of course) of your class each semester, set up assignments, and relax. There are a couple of methods to choose from to score student progress: email individual students or the whole class, and email students their individual grade reports. Gradebook Pro also allows for keeping detailed notes and attendance records, generating student statistic reports, and backing up the whole lot to DropBox.
What more can we say here that we didn’t say on the other page? This app is fantastic! (And it syncs with DropBox!)
*iAWriter (iPad version: $0.99 - Mac Version: $4.99)
This is the best app we have found for invention and writing. When you want to encourage Basic Writers to simply write without worrying about spelling, structure,or grammar, this is THE app. It is a no-frills writing application that strips typing down to just that - typing. There is no grammar check, spell check, or formatting of any kind. iAWriter literally lets you write uninterrupted and undistracted. A particular feature we like is that it highlights only the three most recent lines written - all others are greyed out to keep your eyes from wandering back over them. This is a free-writer’s dream app! (It also syncs with DropBox.)
Like to mind-map? This app is a great clustering tool. Use it in your Basic Writing classes to teach idea development, brainstorming, or for outlining writings. Save the bubble maps and send them to yourself or students and use them elsewhere. (Yup, it syncs with DropBox.)
*Outline Pro ($9.99)
When you want to teach Basic Writers how to organize and outline their essays, this app is the one to use. It offers several different built-in templates and the ability to build your own. Choose from a variety of bullet styles, fonts, and editing features. And just to make sure you don’t lose your files, it syncs to DropBox.