$10 iPad App Setup
One question I seem to get a lot about the iPad is what apps do I recommend that are free. I am hearing from a lot of teachers that they have no way to add paid apps and thus are stuck trying to find free apps. My experience is that many free apps stink. They have many adds, require in app purchases to be useful, or are just junk. I tend to stay away from most free apps. So what are you to do if the district controls adding paid apps? My suggestion is to build relationships with the decision makers. Don’t just ask for a bunch of apps, instead provide documentation and purpose for a few apps you would like to have. I know this process takes time and effort but if you can show the purpose and learning you have a much better chance. If you need lesson ideas I suggest checking out my Pinterest page, and three of my favorite Pinterest pages: iPadsammy, TechChef4u, and Sue Gorman. Look for apps and lesson ideas there and modify them to fit your standards and kids.
If I was starting from scratch this is the $10 iPad app setup I would push for in my kindergarten classroom. ( Here is my $20 setup)
Teach Me Kindergarten– $1.99 This app covers many of the basics. It has great options to customize the content
My Story Book Maker– $1.99 Great book making app for the price. Add pictures, text or drawings as well as record audio for each page. Not my favorite book making app but a great one to start with.
Alien Buddies– $.99 This app works on the basics (shapes, colors, numbers, letters) I have used it a lot for kids that need more support in the class. Fun way to practice .
Sound Sorting– $.99 Great app for beginning sounds
Here are free apps that I feel are worthwhile.
Rocket Speller– FREE I use mainly for letter ID but the kids do pick up basic spelling as they play. Class favorite!
Toontastic– FREE My favorite storytelling app. Sample lesson here. You only get basic characters and backgrounds but it is still valuable. The $10 everything package is well worth it once you start using. So many great character and backgrounds and they are always adding more.
Daisy the Dino– Free Introduces the very basics of programming to kids. My class loves this app
Rover App– FREE This app allows flash to work on your iPad. The app is not perfect but overall I find it very useful
Doodle Buddy– FREE Drawing app
ABC Magic Apps– FREE Many great apps, I use several of them
Many of the paid apps that I have I got for free. Apps go on sale or are reduced to free very often. If you are on twitter check out @TCEA and the #iosedapp hashtag.