I remember the first time I saw the Apple iPad. It was so much more than a cool toy, after all I also remember the Apple Newton. I knew there was no reason to debate whether the iPad had a place in the classroom. It was evident that it was a brilliant and amazing piece of technology for educators and students, regardless that it didn’t have quite enough Flash. If you are a current user of the iPad, exploring its possibilities, or maybe getting ready to implement it in the classroom, then be sure to check out this incredible app. Ok, not an app but a website created for users by users in education. Before you read on please take a moment to sign up for this 21centuryedtech Blog by either RSS or email. You can also follow me on twitter at mjgormans and explore my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with resources. Now about that app! – Have a great week!
As I have pondered iPad possibilities for classroom integration and performed my share of app searches, one particular app always keeps showing itself at the head of the class. It was at ISTE in Denver when I saw IEAR.org (I Education Apps Review) for the very first time I knew I was viewing a site with great potential. After talking with Scott Meech, a founder and creator of this unique community, I was aware that it would be a quality site built on practicality. This past weekend I was assisting with Discovery’s SCIcon 2011 and had the opportunity to listen to a wonderful presentation on mobile apps by (DEN Star) Cheryl Lykowski who once again reminded the attendees of IEAR.org. I knew it was time to post this!
When first entering IEAR you will be given a multitude of choices to explore. One of the first things you may want to do is scroll down and read the latest educational app reviews that are written in a practical style by volunteer contributors. Look to the left and you will find a listing of hundreds of applications, arranged in more than twenty categories. Not only can you spend an afternoon learning about the newest apps, you will need to plan for even more time to download and experience them on your iPad, iTouch, and iPhone. Scrolling towards the bottom of the main content, you will have a chance to click on a link to listen to the latest podcast produced by the people at IEAR. Podcasts are filled with ideas, resources, and reflections.
Next, it is time to scroll back up to the top of the page. It is here that you discover the true power of this website. You will now have an opportunity to collaborate, participate, and even contribute. Perhaps you wish to contribute by becoming an app reviewer for IEAR. The people at IEAR are always looking for dedicated educational bloggers to contribute monthly reviews of current educational apps available in the iTunes store. Additionally, IEAR is interested in having blog posts regarding educational uses of iPhones, Touches, or iPads contributed. Maybe you would like to converse with like minded educators passionate about mobile education. Then be sure to visit the conversation at the IEAR Ning. Take a moment and register to become a Ning member and find a community you would like to become a part of. While you are at the Ning make sure you check out a listing of over twenty best apps for 2010! This alone is well worth the visit! It appears that the IEAR Wiki is still under construction. The Wiki does have some good information regarding volume purchases of iPads for education and a useful link describing how to get an iTunes account without a credit card. The Wiki may also soon be a repository for mobile learning lesson plans. Another must visit is the School Spreadsheet Link. This page contains a host of listings containing iPad apps compiled by various schools and individuals. If you are looking for an app to engage your students then be sure to check it out. You will also find a listing of apps from various student perspectives. Scott has also provided information involving his iPad research by providing a link to his research collection at Delicious. There are some great links to information regarding the iPad in education.
Whether you are already using iPads in the classroom, or are just starting the conversation, IEAR is a must visit site. It truly allows you to research, learn from the best ,and experiment with everything iPad. More importantly, it allows you to join a vibrant cutting edge community, network with other educators, and contribute your expertise. Not everyone has an app for that! A big thank you to the community at IEAR for providing all educators a very unique app.
Note: If you happen to be in the Chicago area this weekend (January 29, 2011) you may want to consider attending the NICE (Northern Illinois Computer Educators) Conference. It only takes up half of your Saturday and will put you out five bucks. You will walk away with a wealth of information and possibly even a fun door prize. I am honored to present STEM to STEAM to STEAMIE, Digital Learning, and Web Evaluating: A Tale of Whales In Lake Michigan (my very newest!). In fact, you will also get a chance to hear Scott Meech talk about IEAR . I highly recommend it. I have heard Scott present at ICE (Illinois) and I know you will enjoy every moment!
Thanks for joining me on another venture in 21st century learning. Please take a moment to sign up for this 21centuryedtech Blog by either RSS or email. You can also follow me on twitter at mjgormans and explore my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with incredible resources and ideas. As always feel free to comment or contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Wishing you the very best of weeks! Is there an app for that? – Mike