Sunday, October 24, 2010

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Series Sunday: iPod Touch for the Classroom, Part 2 – Language Arts

First, in case you don't know what an "app" is, it's simply software that installs on your iPod. Some of it requires an internet connection to use (wi-fi). You can download directly from your iPod using the App Store on the first screen, or you can download from iTunes on your computer and sync to your iPod later.image

Literature (E-Books)
One of my favorite reasons for my daughter getting an iPod is for the e-book reading capabilities. Virtual libraries are at your fingertips!
  • Stanza It reads the majority of book file types available with the exception of .txt files.  However, .pdf files are not its strength. You have to zoom into each page individually to read .pdf files.  Still, for free, it's got a beautiful interface with page-turning graphics and a nice dimming feature for night reading.  It also has great resources that tell you where to get free e-books, like Project Gutenburg. (Free)
  • For reading .pdf files without having to zoom every page individually, I recommend GoodReader. It is not as visually appealing as Stanza, and the app costs $1.99, but it is worth the time you save from not having to convert .pdf  and .txt files into .epub files for each book using a separate desktop program such as Calibre.  The small price is worth getting rid of that hassle-factor.  ($1.99)
For guides on how to get books onto the iPod Touch, view the guides on Calvin's Hub and Lexcycle.

      • You can learn SAT Vocabulary using winAPlusLite.  I am sure there are plenty of Vocabulary programs out there, but this is the first one we found that was free, and it has some decent interactive games to help teach vocabulary, including multiple choice word lists and flash cards. (Free)
      • Great tool that includes both dictionary and thesaurus. (Free)
      • Word Scramble Challenge Edition is a lot like Boggle.  Warning: very addicting, and your homeschooler may have arm wrestle Mom to get the iPod back. (Free)
      • Whirly Word is like Word Scramble, but with less letters.  (Free)
      • Puzzler World US Lite includes word search, crosswords, sudoku, and more. (Free)
      Research and Reference
      • BLB (Blue Letter Bible) Bible and study tool, allowing you to make notes and highlight verses (Free)
      • iSource Lite Check form of MLA, APA, and Chicago documentation.  (Free)
      • Better Letters is great for penmanship improvement for all ages, based on Getty-Dubay Italic. ($1.99)
      • ABC Tracer Beginning manuscript handwriting for the younger grades.  (Free) 
      This is only a minuscule amount of apps for educators and students.  You can browse through all the education apps  HERE.  The next part of this blog series will focus on apps for math. Happy surfing!

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