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The list of apps below are sort of a “basic package” that the library is using to show instructors what the iPad can do for the classroom. To that end, we have several e-book reader apps listed, as well as a work-in-progress textbook app (Inkling … has a long way to go).

To me, the best examples of what the iPad can do for education are demonstrated in 2 apps:  (1) Elements: the visual exploration and (2) Star Walk.  Both apps take advantage of the iPad’s screen and touch controls to showcase their respective content.

What’s still missing — well, the e-book reader apps are great and all, what with annotating and dictionary look-up, but I’d like to see a literature app that takes this idea from the Open University and multiplies it by genre, geography, and time period.

Of the 21 apps mentioned below, only 4 were not free.

Word Processing, Presentations & Spreadsheets:

QuickOffice Connect ($14.99)

Textbooks & Reference:

Inkling (app: $0, content: $varies)

  • download the app for free, then search within the Inkling store for available textbooks
  • textbooks include multimedia, sharing annotations with classmates & instructor
  • limited textbooks available but more being added; purchase by individual chapter or whole book
  • http://www.inkling.com/

Star Walk ($4.99)

  • get detailed information about planets, galaxies, stars
  • navigate through star maps and constellations, zoom in for details
  • see gorgeous full-color telescope and satellite photos
  • http://vitotechnology.com/star-walk.html

The Elements: A Visual Exploration ($13.99)

  • animated and illustrated periodic table of elements with details for each element
  • get close up, 3D views of element examples
  • based on the book by Theodore Gray; produced by top research company Wolfram Alpha
  • http://periodictable.com/ipad/

3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool ($0)

Mendeley ($0)

Location, Location, Location:

The Weather Channel ($0)

Google Earth ($0)

Fotopedia ($0)

History Maps ($0)

Reading News:

Flipboard ($0)

  • choose from pre-selected news feeds, flip through articles like a beautiful glossy magazine
  • hopefully a coming update will have ability to add custom RSS feeds and mark articles as read; noticeably lacking right now
  • send articles via email
  • http://www.flipboard.com/

NPR for iPad ($0)

Reeder for iPad ($4.99)

  • uses the news feeds (or RSS feeds) that you subscribe to in Google Reader
  • catch up on news stories, journal issues, or blogs from your friends in a clean, organized interface
  • save articles as bookmarks, email, twitter, or “Read It Later” services
  • http://reederapp.com/ipad/

Reading Books:

iBooks (app: $0; content: varies)

  • Apple’s ereader; books will be charged to your iTunes account
  • public domain books (usually classics and self-published works) are sometimes free
  • keep bookmarks, annotations, and highlighting
  • books take up a fraction of iPad’s memory, so you can have hundreds
  • import PDF files such as articles into iBook from your desktop computer
  • http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/ibooks.html

Kindle (app: $0; content: varies)

  • Amazon’s ereader; just like iBooks, the app is free but books might cost
  • syncs your reading progress with Desktop Kindle and Kindle devices on the same account
  • can also include newspapers, magazines
  • http://www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/ipad

Stanza (app: $0; content: varies)

  • the original iPhone ereader app, updated for iPad
  • easier to get free books in Stanza from sources like Project Gutenberg and FeedBooks.com
  • also keeps bookmarks, annotations
  • import PDF files from your desktop computer or a website
  • http://www.lexcycle.com/

Note Taking:

Dragon Dictation ($0)

Evernote ($0)

  • get a free account and keep notes or to do lists on your iPad, computer, and the Evernote website
  • automatically syncs your notes across all your devices whenever you’re online
  • keep separate notebooks and easily search
  • http://www.evernote.com/

iCardSort ($0)

  • create index cards and sort them into groups for visual brainstorming and outlining
  • have 5 different “decks” for different projects
  • email your cards to yourself or other people as a nicely formatted text outline
  • http://www.e-string.com/icardsort

iPad with Hands:

Adobe Ideas ($0)

Use Your Handwriting ($0)