Mobile Learning | Feature

The Best Education Apps at FETC

Mobile learning was a cornerstone of the FETC conference in Orlando last month, and the buzz culminated with the conference's closing session: An App Shootout where ed-tech pros Gail Lovely, Hall Davidson, and Jenna Linskens shared some of their favorite apps for Apple devices.

Start finding education apps by browsing the selection below, then try searching on your own, suggests Linskens, an assistant professor in education technology at Marian University in Wisconsin. To find the most relevant apps, she suggests searching the term "school" instead of "education." "It will give you 3,000 apps, but it will give you a cleaner list," she says.

Linskens also recommends browsing the iTunes store's top apps. "When you go into the app store, the page is broken up into the top three and the top eight education apps," she says. "Filter those out and then look at those to see what other people are currently purchasing."

For more information, see the complete list of apps shared at the shootout at its wiki page.

Apps shared by Jenna Linskens:

An app that lets users handwrite notes, record audio, and annotate PDFs.
Ginger Labs
$0.99; iPad.

For creating and sharing notes, capturing photos, creating to-do lists, and recording voice reminders.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Provides a split screen for writing and document creation while browsing the web.
Rumble Apps
$1.99; iPad.

The app version of the popular cloud storage service allows users to access and share files and connect to
Free; iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

The VoiceThread iOS app allows users to virtually collaborate via mobile devices by sharing pictures, videos, presentations, and documents that can be overlaid and synched with audio notes.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Allows users to create, store, and study flashcards. The app also connects to
Jeff Holliday Software
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard
Turns an iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Users can draw and add photos and a voiceover recording.
Free; iPad.
Share screens and text other users for real-time collaboration.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Smarty Pants School
An app with games and activities designed to test pre-K through early primary school students on early reading skills; also provides supporting activities.
Smarty Pants School
$1.99; iPad.

Science Fair
Another app for early learners, this one offers videos and games from PBS Kids featuring Sid the Science Kid.
PBS Kids
$2.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Science 360
Offers news, videos, images, and information on science-related topics.
National Science Foundation
Free; iPad.

Tour Wrist
Features virtual tours of locations around the world. Users can navigate simply by moving their device.
Spark Labs
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Apps shared by Gail Lovely, education technology author, consultant, and speaker:

Pairing web browsing with a notepad, this app allows users to share notes, add annotations, and drag and drop pictures and text from websites.
$2.99; iPad.

neu.Annotate PDF
Annotates PDFs with drawings, photos, highlighting, and text and allows sharing via e-mail and iTunes.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Explain Everything
An app that serves as a design tool that lets users annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. Imports audio and other files to create interactive lessons.
$2.99; iPad.

Create simple, instant websites with pictures, text, and links.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

QR Code Reader for iPhone
Simple-to-use QR code scanner.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad 2.

Website that generates QR codes and embeds text-to-speech. Scan the code to hear the text-to-speech playback.

Strange and Wonderful World of Ants
An e-book with multiple, adjustable reading levels.
Amos Latteier
$1.99; iPad.

Creative story writing app that lets students create their own cartoons with images and audio files.
Launchpad Toys
Free; iPad.

Book Creator
Create storybooks with images, text, voice, and more.
Red Jumper Studio
$4.99; iPad.

Sock Puppets
Design lip-synched videos of sock puppets to create stories and projects with a variety of backgrounds and props.
Smith Micro Software
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Apps shared by Hall Davidson,director of global learning initiatives at Discovery Education:

Kindle Reader
Lets users read Kindle books and other media on iOS devices.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Wiki Offline
Download a condensed text-only version of Wikipedia for offline browsing. The English version is about 3.5 GB in size.
Avocado Hills
$5.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Solar System
An iPad e-book about the solar system featuring brilliant photographs, 3D objects, and animations.
Touch Press
$13.99; iPad.

Rover is a Flash-reading browser for iOS that filters content and is designed for education.
Free; iPad.

Lets users log into their desktops remotely via their mobile devices.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Boycott SOPA
Provides information on products supporting the Stop Online Privacy Act legislation.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, iPad.

Comic Touch Lite
Add captions and thought and speech balloons to photos and share them with others.
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Leaf Snap
An electronic field guide that lets users upload images of leaves to identify plants, and provides related information.
Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Puppet Pals
Create live, animated stories--almost like mini-movies--using real photos or included animations.
Polished Play
Free; iPad.

Reel Director
Edit video clips and add transitions and titles.
$1.99; iPad.

Green Screen Movie FX
Allows users to select specific colors in videos to replace with alternate backgrounds--a technology known as chromakey.
$1.99; iPhone; iPod touch, iPad.

Coach's Eye
Capture video and annotate it like a sports coach. Slow down video, mark it up, and share it.
$4.99; iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Mad Pad
Create interactive, video "Concentration"-style games. Remix recorded sounds from everyday life and share them.
$2.99; iPad.

Action Movie
Add music and explosive special effects to video.
Bad Robot Interactive
Free; iPhone, iPod touch, iPad.