Pic Collage is a diverse free collage, design, and social networking app that lets users create design collages with pictures, video, graphics, frames and backgrounds. Pic Collage has many levels of interaction and an internal social network, but for educational purposes, it’s easy to enter the app, click on the + icon and add pictures, text, video to create a collage with the many themes, backgrounds, graphics, frames and color options available in Pic Collage. The app does have a school module that disables social media functions under ‘Settings’ in the iPad. (Note that you must access these from the Settings app icon and not from the PicCollage app itself). Pic Collage also offers many ‘packs’ of extra features available for purchase, but we have chosen to only use the wide variety of free features at ISL. Collages can be saved to PicCollage’s internal library, emailed or opened in another compatible app. As school users, we often just take a screenshot of finished collages and save them to the iPad’s photo roll bypassing Pic Collage’s saving mechanisms entirely. Pic Collage’s wide variety of features and many creative uses make it a fun app for students and teachers alike.
Pic Collage is suitable for Lower Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary.
Voice Recorder (FREE) is a simple to use, retro styled free voice recording app produced by Tap Media. To record, open the app and tap on the red tape button at the bottom centre of the screen. A vintage tape deck interface will pop up with record, play, stop and save as buttons. You are also able to name your track by typing on the ‘a-side’ of the tape at the ‘tap to name’ box. Hitting the red record button will start the recording. Hitting the record button again will pause the recording, but users must click the stop button to finalize the track and save it. The track will be saved to the default ‘Documents’ window where tracks can be organized into folders or shared via email, integrated cloud storage options or downloaded via USB cable. Note that advertisements occasionally appear at the bottom of the documents window but they are not disruptive to the user experience.
Voice Recorder (FREE) is suitable for Lower Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary.
Line ’em Up is a free app designed to support young student’s mastery of number order. Students are instructed to put number blocks in the correct order on a given number line. A wide variety of options allow the app to be customized to between 10-20 tiles displayed, whether tiles are given one at a time or spread out in a pile, and which group of numbers to practice between 1-100. There is no voice narration on this app, so it is advised that initially,teachers or parents customize the settings before giving the iPad to the student. With practice however, students may be able to extend their skills and choose their own settings in the options menu or follow verbal instructions from an adult.
Depending on the settings, Line ’em Up is suitable for Early Childhood and Lower Primary.
The Collins Big Cat apps are free interactive books that feature voice narration, independent reading, and a story creation mode that lets children record or type their own narration and create scenes using the basic elements from the original story. Collins’ interface is excellent and has easy ‘tap to add’ and ‘hold and drag’ elements that make creating stories easy for younger users. The apps’ only major drawback is that there is no way to export an original story once it is finished. Still, the multi-functionality of the apps and the variety of stories make these apps an excellent for educational use.
Collins Big Cat apps are suitable for Early Childhood and Lower Primary.
Word Clouds by ABCYa.com is free app that allows users to create graphic representations of word frequency. It is very similar to the popular website Wordle. Users type in words or copy and paste lists, speeches, etc into a window. Word Clouds then translates these words into a ‘cloud’, making high frequency words appear larger the more times they occur. Users can change font, color, layout and word count. Recent updates also allow users to input numerals and edit word clouds without having to start over. Once a word cloud is complete, it can be saved to the camera roll as a photo. Word Clouds is beautifully laid out, easy to use, and widely applicable for educational use.
Also called Chicken Bounce, Tiny Chicken Learns Math is a free app which helps users practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills through a game interface. Tiny Chicken must cross the river and users must correctly answer the maths problem by moving the raft to the correct answer on the number line. If they answer correctly, Tiny Chicken bounces off the raft to the other side of the river. Users will need to click through an advertisement when they first open the app. Each skills category has six timed levels and users have the option of playing with and without the background music and sounds.
Tiny Chicken Learns Math is suitable for Lower Primary and Upper Primary depending on the skills category.
Thesaurasize is a small and simple free app that allows users to type in a word and receive a short list of definitions and possible synonyms. It is lower profile than the traditional full-size dictionary app: more simple, but also equipped with less, i.e. no voiceover option or graphics. The app is perfect in a pinch for users who need to quickly find a synonym or check a definition.
Thesaurasize is suitable for Upper Primary and Secondary.