Thursday, April 30, 2015

What's App in April?

While there are still 4 hours or so of April left, let me take the opportunity to do a quick review of the free apps that were added to the lower school teacher account this past month.  If there are any that catch your interest, go into the "purchased" section of the app store and they are available to download onto our iPad.

In the area of interactive storybooks, there's Feed-'Em Fred, the Chef of Dread - only for the strong of stomach!  A cautionary tale about picky eaters or readers who like their stories a bit on the wild side. And speaking of the wild side, try Lochfoot for another interactive adventure.  Although my mind boggles at the idea of Nessie and Bigfoot producing offspring, apparently they have, and he's ready for some adventure.  The most spooky and dark of the stories is a graphic novel called Suee and the Shadow.  There's a soundtrack but the story itself is not narrated or animated.  Finally, there's the story of the Three Little Pigs, illustrated and animated charmingly in a claymation style.  If I am remembering correctly, tapping on bits of the book will get you various motions and sound effects.  And don't forget to download the Epic Books app!
Image result for feed em fred chef of dreadiPad Screenshot 1Image result for suee and the shadow

I also added a couple video streaming apps similar to YouTube kids.  Wild Animal Adventures with Coyote Peterson should appeal to the child who loves nature.  Kids Video Streaming by Playrific is put out by the same company so there is some overlap, but this video streaming surface has a broader range of videos.  The app presents itself as having screened content that would be appropriate for young children.

You've already heard about the awesome Independence National Park app that lets you ring the Liberty Bell.  There's also a great atlas app called Earth 3D.  The visuals are stunning as you zoom in on a 3D city.  Inquiring minds want to know why Philadelphia was snubbed but Randy's Dounuts in Inglewood California made it in!
Image result for earth 3d amazing atlas

A couple of the new apps were loaded by me following Richard Beach's inservice, including SlowMo Coach  and  Aurasma.  Fluent Mind Map and Ruminate are both mapping/organizational apps that look good, but I haven't used them extensively.   Shadow Puppet is another one mentioned by him - it's similar to Voice Thread in that you add photos and videos, then can provide a commentary audio track as you move through the pictures.

Finally, for the pure fun of it, there's Blox 3D World.  . Without being a Mindcraft expert, this app strikes me as similar - building structures from lego-like blocks.  I would think it would be popular at an indoor recess.

Well, that's all that's new for this month - Let me know what you think if you try any of these out!

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