Mobile Monday: Two apps that can help students in an individualized math classroom

March 18, 2013

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

App info: Khan Academy for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad / Cost: Free (No official Android version, but many 3rd party equivalents exist)

App info: Wolfram Alpha for the iPhone, iPod and iPad / Cost: 4.99$ (Android version available too)

Kkhanhan Academy: If you haven’t heard about Khan Academy, please read my earlier blog post. Khan Academy now has an iPad app that students can use to view hundreds of math related videos recorded by Salman Khan. The benefit of the iPad app (compared to simply watching his videos on YouTube) is that the majority of the videos are broken down into small “one sentence chapters” which allows students to skip back and forth to any part in the explanations. This app could work well in an individualized classroom when you may not have enough time to re-explain a concept to one particular student, he may benefit from another explanation, and/or learns better at his own pace. While they are lots of sites that have math tutorial videos, these videos are all recorded by the same person (i.e. – consistent) and Salman Khan’s explanations are considered by many teachers and students to be top notch. Definitely worth checking out.. Free!

wolfWolfram Alpha: While I covered Wolfram Alpha in an earlier blog post, this amazing iPad app can bring a whole new dimension to problem solving in a math classroom. In a nutshell, Wolfram Alpha is a very advanced calculator, which you can see in these examples. Not only does the app allow you play with a plethora of real world statistics but it also allows you to solve algebraic math problems too. If you notice that a student made a mistake on a traditional paper worksheet, you can ask him to plug the math problem into the app and then use the “step-by-step” problem solver. With the assistance of the tool, the student may be able to figure out on his own (or with your help) at what step he made the mistake on paper. You can then sit down and work on the problem area together. (Thanks to Cathy Hortop for exploring these two apps with me at New Horizons, ETSB)

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Mobile Monday: The Explain Everything app allows you to illustrate a video lesson with your iPad

May 21, 2012

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:

Info: Explain Everything for the iPad.

Cost: 2.99$

Quick overview: Explain Everything is a screen recorder app that allows you to annotate as you write words or move images around the screen. Your voice is recorded with the iPad’s built-in microphone. Great for Flipping the Classroom!

How can this be used in the classroom? This a very handy tool if you’d like to explain a concept before or after a lesson. As a math teacher, you could use a stylus to write out a math problem and explain as you solve it. If you are biology or science teacher, you can import an image (anatomy, cell structure) and use the app to highlight or move different parts of the image as you narrate. Last but not least, this app works great if you’d like to start producing materials for “flipping your classroom” regardless of what subject you teach. Videos are exported to MP4 format which can be played back or further edited on a computer.      

Benefits and limitations: While I’ve covered other iPad apps that allow you to create a screen recording, you’re forced to do the entire lesson in one take. The great thing about Explain Everything is that it allows you record ONE slide at a time. This means if you cough or make a mistake, you’ll only have to re-record the slide you were working on and not the entire presentation! The iPad microphone is also extremely sensitive so it will pick up sounds of your clothes shuffling or other sounds around the room. Be sure to record in a very quiet environment.

Video Tutorial: For a video (2 minutes) recorded using the Explain Everything app on the iPad, click the play button below:


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