Apple Education Event: January 19th, 2012January 18, 2012 12:16 pm ·
As Apple’s event in the Big Apple looms tomorrow, one can only wonder what Apple is going to unveil. Apple sent invitations to various media outlets last week, but disclosed little else other than the event’s date and the fact that the event will revolve around education. What is intriguing is the fact that Apple has chosen to hold the event at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, one of the world’s most renown art museums and the Mecca of the publishing industry (McGraw-Hill, Random House, Thomas Publishing, etc). Many are speculating that Apple is making a run at the textbook industry, something that is mentioned in the late Steve Jobs’ biography. In the book, Jobs tells author Walter Isaacson that the he wanted to transform the textbook industry by hiring textbook writers and having them feature the textbooks on the iPad. Jobs then wanted to offer the iPad for free so that Apple could circumvent the state certification process, something that Jobs thought was “corrupt.” It is no surprise that Jobs wanted to get iPads into the hands of teachers and students as a learning device with Apple donating thousands of first generation iPads to teachers involved in Teach for America back in September. And with the rumored iPad 3 releasing this year (speculation on the iPad 3 release is February 24th on Steve Jobs’ birthday), it would not be a surprising if Apple were to take on the textbook endeavor.
In addition, another rumored announcement is the further development of iTunes U, a distribution system for teachers and students where classroom content can be viewed from a personal computer (both MAC and PC), iPod or iPhone. Essentially, it is an institution’s own educational iTunes store (either private or public) where users can find the resources they need at the convenience of their computer or mobile device.
Regardless of what is announced, tomorrow’s Apple Education event should be an interesting one. And while we all wait with bated breath to see what is revealed here are my top 10 most helpful and educational apps for iPad to distract you while you wait.
Groupboard is a simple app that allows you to turn your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into a mobile whiteboard. You can draw and chat live with anyone, anywhere on the Internet. Groupboard is a great tool if you are trying to connect people together on a group project, collaborate meeting discussions or even get online tutoring.
Cost: Free for the first 5 users. 15 and 50 user accounts available starting at $9.99/month.
This app is so smart, it’s scary. The Wolfram|Alpha app brings its expert knowledgebase to your fingertips, giving you access to computations and reports. Powered by a complex algorithm and thousands of websites in its index, Wolfram|Alpha is a great tool to get help to those tricky Calculus problems at 2 in the morning. Subjects indexed by Wolfram|Alpha are mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering and life sciences, just to name a few.
Mathboard is an easy to use math learning tool for all ages where you can easily learn the fundamentals of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and more. You can create your own quizzes, set time limits for quiz taking, randomize problems and even review/create quizzes based on the wrong answers. Mathboard is a great way to sharpen your arithmetic skills outside the classroom.
No more fumbling around with those flimsy flashcards. Flashcards Deluxe is a simple app that will help you with your studies. The text-to-speech functionality is a life saver and helps cut down on the time creating your flash cards. The app also has a cool feature that helps you focus on the cards that you answer incorrectly based on a percentage or correct/incorrect answers. Additionally, the app is integrated with Quizlet.com and FlashcardExchange.com where you can download any of their millions of flashcard sets.
If you are a teacher, this app will make your life so much easier. TeacherPal helps you organize your schedule and classes by tracking your student attendance, grades and even behavior. The app allows you to connect student information such as email addresses so you can easily email parents and students. This app makes managing your classrooms a breeze.
Explore the human body with this wonderful App. DK The Human Body provides exquisite visuals and detailed information on each part of the body and how it functions. There are well over 250 images that are set in high resolution, allowing you to zoom in to get a better look. You can browse the human body in different systems such as the muscular system, nervous system, skeletal structure, cardiovascular system and quite a few more. There is even a testing tool to help you get a leg up on that anatomy test.
ArtSite is a must have app for all art enthusiasts, students and teachers. Users can create their very own gallery on the app, get more information when browsing museum pieces and even comment on the work of other users. For students, “The Portfolio” allows students to create their own virtual online art showcase and share with other students or teacher. If you are a teacher, ArtSite is a great tool to use in the classroom. Quickly download pictures from museums to use in your curriculum from over 200 museum pages. This is a fantastic app for any art enthusiast out there.
Cost: FREE for the first 30 days and $39.00/year thereafter. Access for students is free.
3) The Elements
The periodic table of elements has never been so entertaining! The Elements is a great app that allows you to visualize and learn about the elements that make up our universe in a fun way. The app starts off with the periodic table of elements with some fun illustration of elements. Tapping on the elements will bring up the element in exquisite imagery, rotating in visual awe. Next to the element, information is provided about facts, figures and examples of how the element is used in everyday things. Based on the book The Elements by Theodore Gray, you will never look at chemistry the same way.
Cost: $13.99 for a pure visual spectacle
2) iStudiez Pro
Classes, homework, study groups, tests, papers, Clubs, presentations… being a student is hard enough, let alone trying to keep track of everything. With iStudiez Pro, students can keep their schedules and coursework under control. The calendar allows you to schedule all your classes, meetings and other club events. The planner allows you to plan out your class schedule, meetings and extracurricular activities. Along with the class schedule, you can add professor information, so, at a glance, you can see email, phone numbers and even office hours of your professors. From a task perspective, keep track of your homework by prioritizing by date, class or your own priority. Once you schedule is all set, you’ll get a summary of what needs to be done each day, keeping you on track while being alerted when things come up.
Cost: $2.99 of sanity
If you have ever heard any of the TEDTalks, you know that presentations are invaluable, good thing this app is free. With the TED app, gain access to all the TEDTalks, with tech gurus, educators and even musical legends at your fingertips. Browse by topic, speakers, themes or tags to find videos that interest you. While you are browsing, you can even create your very own playlist of videos to watch later.
Matt Nguyen is an Experts Exchange Marketer that geeks out on SEO, social media and practically anything tech. When not geeking out, you can find Matt occasionally answering questions in the Experts Exchange Internet Marketing Zone. You can follow Matt on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nugeknows.
- Here’s the Apple textbook that’ll be presented on Thursday (slashgear.com)
- No, Apple is not trying to ‘destroy’ the textbook industry – it’s trying to sell more iPads (digitaltrends.com)
- iPad 3 to get February intro, March release? (news.cnet.com)