Tuesday, October 11, 2011

iPad Apps in the Library

We added four iPads to the library this year. They are not for circulation but will be used in the library. We also have 2 new iPods. As we move more of the building technology to classrooms, our library will be a place where we hope students can choose tools that make sense for their purpose.  In terms of technology, we'll have 15 laptops, 4 iPads, 2 iPod touches, 2 Nooks, 5 Kindles and a Smartboard.

I want the iPads to be tools for learning so we made sure not to put any games on these. I believe games are definitely tools for learning--we have lots of games in the library. However, since we are limited in the number of mobile devices we have, I want to give kids more possibilities for their use.  In surveys we've done with our students, playing games is something they already do quite often at home on computers and mobile devices. So, in the library, I want to show them what else is possible in terms of production/creativity/reading. So, we are starting the year with the following apps on our iPads:

Our students are familiar with Pages, Keynote and iMovie so we've added those to the ipads.  We will most likely add Comic Life as well.

As we work toward helping kids read with depth, I thought Flipboard would be a good tool for the library. Flipboard is a reader that allows you to follow sites and blogs of your choice. I will load the websites that kids read often--Wonderopolis, DogoNews, etc. so that kids can enhance their reading experiences with the iPad.

Last week, students explored Screenchomp. This is a great screencasting tool. In just a few minutes, students learned to share their learning, their drawing, their thinking and their stories with this tool. My hope is that screencasting becomes a way for them to share their learning and Screenchomp is  a great iPad Screencasting tool.

Dragon Dictation changes speech into text.  This will be a good tool for lots of things that kids do.

Talking Tom is a fun app that our younger kids will enjoy. Reading to Tom will allow students to hear their pacing, expression, etc.

I am focusing on more collaboration tools and Popplet is a great one for the iPad.  I'll introduce this one to students within the next few weeks.

We added a few draw tools such as Doodlebuddy and a few other draw tools on each iPad.

As we begin to explore ways to use QR codes, we added QR Reader.

A few social bookmarking sites we included were Evernote and Diigo.

We also put 4-5 iBooks on each iPad.  I want students to experience the best ebooks as readers. I also want them to begin to look at these as mentors--what is possible in their own creations later down the road.  Some books we purchased were:

Timbuktu Magazine is a new magazine for kids that looks promising.

Fantastic Books of Morris Lessmore is one of my favorite iPad books. Others we added were Cozmo's Day Off, and The Three Little Pigs Pop Up are three favorites so far.

This is where we'll start with the iPads.  I already have students using the apps they know and exploring others. Will be interesting to see what happen once the newness of the tool wears off.


  1. Thanks for your sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to share some of these with my colleagues and students.

  2. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful apps. I just received 10 iPads for my classroom. I already downloaded Screenchomp and am going to have students use to review English and Reading lessons.

  3. I downloaded Timbuktu and the kids are really enjoying it. Luckily I ordered earphones. It is a great magazine.
    Thanks for the info.

  4. Franki,
    I just got 5 iPads and 5 Kindles for my library this year and I have purchased interactive book apps, too (Bartlebys Buttons and How Rocket Learned to read.) How do you monitor their use in the library? With only 5 devices, an entire class can't use them at the same time. I'm thinking of setting them up as a station and after they checkout their book, a small group (rotating kids each week) will have a turn exploring the apps. I would love to hear what you do!
    Thanks, Leslie

  5. Leslie, our kids have about 20-25 minutes of choice activities each time they come to the library. Between iPads, nooks, games, laptops, I find I don't need to rotate. Kids pick the tool that makes the most sense for what they want to do. I have a few headphone sPlitters which allows 2-3 kids to share each device.
    Have fun!!


Comment moderation is turned on.