Saturday, June 29, 2013

Initiative and a $15 iTunes Card

"Wa'sup Lisa?", asked Tyler.

"Not much. What's up with you?"

"I just got a $15 iTunes gift card from my grandma for getting good grades on my report card last semester."

Lisa said, "That's cool. Are you gonna buy some games, or something?"

Tyler said, "Maybe. But we are getting iPads at school next year, and I should probably get a few apps that will help me with my school work. You were in a one-to-on class last year. Which apps did you buy?"

Lisa explained, "Well, our teachers encouraged us to use free stuff that could be used on any device, not just the iPad. But, by the end of the year, there were a few paid apps that really helped us get more organized and creative with our iPads. Your $15 iTunes card should cover just about everything you need."

"Really? Which ones should I be looking at?", askedTyler.

Lisa said, "Early on, we all bought Notability. It used to be $.99 cents, but I think it costs $1.99 now."

"That seems reasonable. What does Notability do?"

Lisa pointed to her iPhone screen, "Notability let's you type or write notes on your iPad. You can also write notes on PDF handouts that your teachers share with you digitally."

"No more paper?", asked Tyler.

"That's right! Plus, Notability let's you sync your notes to other apps, like Schoology, Google Drive, or Dropbox. You can also bring in web clips or photos and annotate on them. I even added audio comments to my notes, which was a big time-saver during AP reviews.", explained Lisa.

"That's cool. I should definitely get Notability. What else?", asked Tyler.

"My biology teacher, Mr. Filipek, suggested that we use a whiteboard app for completing lab reports. There are some great ones out there for the iPad, but our lab team decided to buy Explain Everything, because it was easy to learn, and easy to share our reports to YouTube, Evernote, or whatever."

Tyler said, "This sounds good too. How much does it cost?"

Lisa said, "I think it was about three bucks, but it was worth it. You can include just about any media type in your screencast, and it was a lot of fun working on our lab reports this way. We got very creative, and I think that we learned a lot more by watching the other teams' lessons during class. By the end of the course, the students were really learning a lot from each other. Mr. Filipek added some of the reports to his YouTube channel, and then shared them with parents and other teachers."

Tyler made a mental note, "Alright. Explain Everything, sounds good - check. Can you give me one more? I am up to five bucks, and I want to save a little room for Minecraft, and maybe one other game."


Lisa thought about Tyler's question for a moment and said, "iMovie!"

Tyler asked, "There's an iMovie app for the iPad?"

"Yep, it's not cheap, actually around five bucks, but we had so much fun making movie trailers and short films about what we learned in class. My softball coach made a highlight film for the team using iMovie. Seriously, iMovie took our iPad use to a whole new level in the classroom. I also used it to create short movies about my friends and family. I will send you a link to a movie trailer that I made about my sister.", explained Lisa, with a sly grin.

Tyler ignored the sister reference, "You're right, that's not cheap, but if it's a great as you say it is, then it's probably worth it."

"Definitely. You won't regret it. The Minecraft app might put you a couple bucks over your limit, but tell you what, since we are such good buds, and since I still have some iTunes credit, I will buy the iMovie app for you, and then you can get the other apps you want with your $15 gift card.", said Lisa.

Tyler was initially speechless, "Dude! That's so generous of you. Thanks so much! Wait, does this mean I have to call your sister?!?"

Lisa smiled, and looked down at a message on her iPhone, "Maybe?!?"


Additional Resources

Intro to Notability - GingerLabs Inc.





What are the "must-have" paid iPad apps are on your short list? Thanks for sharing.

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