Posts Tagged apps

What’s Note to Love?

With the iPad’s ability to record audio, capture images and sync information across multiple devices, taking notes has never been easier – or more fun!  Here are a few of our favorite “Note-Taking” apps and why we love each and every one!


Jen’s Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“Like many other note-taking apps, Notability allows you to organize your notes into notebooks.  I LOVE that you can annotate over PDFs with text, pen and highlighter tools which makes editing on the go a breeze!  My absolute favorite part of Notability is web clips!  Web clips allow you to search the web and add websites to your note as an image with a link.”



Robyn’s Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“I love having the ability to view my notes on any device- PC, laptop, phone, and  iPad. This app allows me to have instant access to all of my OneNote notebooks- both personal and collaborative notebooks that I share with others. Having notebooks, sections, and pages keeps me organized, and I love having the ability to make “To Do” check boxes, bullet points, and add images straight from the camera to my notes!”


Notes Plus

Chris’ Favorite – What He Likes Best…

“For me, being able to circle any text or image, and then effortlessly move it around is a big plus.  I also love how Notes Plus allows me to import different backgrounds and links audio recordings to the page I was taking notes on when I recorded it.”



Chad’s Favorite – What He Likes Best…

“All of my notes are available no matter where I am! On my iPad, Mac, PC, phone…everything is cloud based so I can always get to the info I need. It’s super easy to use, too! I can bring in pictures & audio, create checklists, and everything is organized in nice, neat notebooks. Evernote will even title a new note based off of the meeting I’m in from my calendar! And my favorite part? I can share my notes! With Evernote I can create a unique, view only webpage for my notes that I can tweet out to fellow classmates or my students!”



Holly’s Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“Penultimate is simple.  And by simple I mean, SIMPLE!  It’s basically just limitless notebook paper that you can use your finger or a stylus to handwrite on.  I’m a dork, so I also love how the notebooks I create look and open like “real” notebooks.”



Sundry Notes Pro

Jess’ Favorite – What She Likes Best…

“Newschool and oldschool all mixed into one! With this app, you get the best of both worlds! It reminds me of taking hand written notes on a note pad. I love the lined paper, the easy organizing features, and the quick ability to share!”


Below you’ll find a comparison of apps to help you determine which app best suits your note-taking needs!  Most of us here at the iCafe regularly use several of these apps, as the situation warrants.

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Build a QR Talking Museum

Recently, Janis Knuckols, Jane Long Elementary – Art Teacher Extrordinaire, approached me with the idea of having her students use QR codes to create a talking art museum. I immediately got ridiculously excited about the idea, my teacher-brain nearly spinning out of control thinking of all the great ways this idea could be used across the curriculum!

Think about it! Posting student work throughout your campus attached to a QR code that links back to a student’s audio explanation of what they learned. This same idea could also be used to create an indoor scavenger hunt, give audio directions for a learning center, create an talking picture book…and so much more!

Is your brain spinning too?  Ready to get started? Here’s what needs doin’!


Your Kiddos

Have your kids write about their work.  We don’t want this to be super short, but we don’t want it to be super long either…students are going to want to grab their audience’s attention and use great voice in their writing!  “Ba-da-bing!” is a great way to encourage this type of writing.  Here is a short Ba-Da-Bing! and Ba-Da-Bing Sample Lesson that will help explain “Ba-da-bing”, if you’d like to learn more! Feel free to use and share. This lesson and powerpoint were created by the lovely and talented Lisa McNally from George JHS. (Thanks Lisa!)


Our district is lucky enough to have sets of microphones that can be checked out from your CITS.  Microphones are a very inexpensive addition to your classroom toolbox.  If you’d like to have  your own – Logitech makes several inexpensive versions (I have a $9.99 model that works fine).   Simply plug the microphone in to the front of your computer where you see the small microphone symbol.


Once your microphone is plugged in, navigate to and click to allow the site access to your microphone, and then begin recording!

Once you’re satisfied with your recording, click “Save Recording.”  Finally, Right-Click and Copy the web address that your recording is given.  Hang on to it for a minute, because you’re going to need it for the next step!

QR Stuff

Finally, it’s time to create your QR code!  To get started, visit and follow these steps:

  • Data Type – Website URL
  • Paste in the URL (address) that you copied from Recordmp3 into the “step 2” box
  • Change the QR code color, if you’d like
  • Click on the “Download QR Code” button on the right
  • Click “Open”
  • Right-Click and “Copy”
  • Paste the image into the Talking Museum QR Tracking Sheet

**If you have several students working on creating  QR codes:  You can have students download and Save their QR image into a folder you’ve created on a shared student drive, HOWEVER… you’ll want to have them name the file in a way that will make it easy for you to know who’s code is whose (tip…have them include their initials in the file name!).  You don’t want to have to sift through 35 QR codes trying to figure out which one belongs to each student!


Once your students have made their recordings and you’ve placed their QR codes into the Talking Museum QR Tracking Sheet, just print out the sheet (in color, if preferred) cut out each QR code, attach it to the front of the corresponding student’s project, and post them around campus.

Listening In

Once QR’s are attached to student work, apps such as Scan can be used on generation 4 iPod Touches (the ones with cameras) iPad2/3’s or most smartphones to play back student recordings.  Super fun!!



  • FREE
  • Designed for iPad, iPhone, or iTouch
  • Use a site like QR Stuff to create a digital scavenger hunt for your students.  Link your QR’s to book reviews, Discovery Education videos, and other online learning tools…then have students use the Scan app to follow your digital trail!
  • Click Here to find out more about the Scan app

Hungry for More?

The CITS team hase started a Google Doc listing ways to use QR codes in school.  Click here to visit the doc.  If you have other great ideas, please add them to the list!  Don’t forget to save this link to your favorites.  Happy scanning!

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Here’s What’s “App”ening- February 24th

Looking to add a few apps to your repertoire?  Check out some of our favorite classroom apps!!  Do you have a favorite?  Please share it in our comments.


  • FREE
  • Designed for iPad
  • Stream educational content created in Flash to your iPad
  • AWESOME with Discovery Education Videos
  • CIPA compliant
  • Click Here to find out more



  • Free  (new features!!)
  • Connect to edmodo – the social networking tool developed especially for teachers and students
  • What’s new?  Take photos or video with your iPad/iPod Touch and upload to edmodo…then share with your teacher/students or to a group
  • New to edmodo?  Check out the Cheat sheet
  • Great way to practice spelling words, illustrate stories, or share what students have learned nonlinguistically.
  • Click Here to find out more


SmartFind Express

  • FREE!
  • Review or report absences from work to LCISD’s Webcenter
  • Click Here to find out more

Getting Started:

  1. Enter as your Server URL
  2. Enter your Webcenter username and password (this is NOT the same as your email user name and password)
  3. Click  “Sign In”

**Important Note – When reporting an absence, be sure to click “edit schedule” and enter the times you will be absent.  If you do not do this, HR will call you to determine how many hours you missed, as the app default is 0.

Falcon Download Manager

  • $2.99
  • Designed for iPad
  • Download video, music, and documents in a variety of formats and view them offline later.
  • Example – Use this app to download videos from Discovery Education and have students watch them later, even without an internet connection.
  • Click Here to find out more.



Show Me

  • Free
  • Designed for the iPad
  • Students can create “screen casts” explaining what they have learned.
  • Show Me will record what students write or say as they are explaining.
  • Share screencasts via free Show Me account
  • Good way to gain access into what students are thinking about a concept or skill
  • Great tool to provide data for authentic assessment!
  • Click Here to find out more

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App Addiction

We’ve all seen the amazing things that an iTouch is capable of, but um…have you gone to iTunes and tried to figure out for yourself which apps would be best for your classroom?  One word:  OVERWHELMING!  There’s just so much out there that it’s hard to know which apps work great and which are a waste of time and money.

Cue super-hero music

Never fear!  iCafe to the rescue!  Tirelessly, we’ve poured through the iTunes App Store and created a list of apps that will get you rolling.  So sit back, relax and prepare to be amazed.   Caution:  App Addiction may occur.

I’m addicted, now what?

Don’t worry we’ve got a 12 step program designed just for you!

Step 1: Open iTunes Step 7: Examine Screen Shots
Step 2: Create a Free iTunes Account Step 8: Read App Reviews
Step 3: Browse the App Store Step 9: Buy App
Step 4: Find an App You Can’t Live Without Step 10: Sync
Step 5: Click on the App’s Icon Step 11: Try your app out!
Step 6: Read Description And most importantly…

Step 12: Share

Found an amazing app that you can’t wait to tell other educators about?  Be sure to add it to our list of great apps for educators and post your ideas and comments here!

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iPod Touch= Laptop Replacement?

While there is no replacement for a fully functional computer, the iPod Touch can certainly compare.

Apple launched its most popular product, the iPod, in October 2001.  Since then, over 220,000,000 have been sold worldwide.  Six years later, Apple released their newest creation, the iPod Touch.  It is called a “touch” because of its ability to navigate and input information by touching your finger to the screen.  With the younger generation being the prominent users of these little devices, you will want to find a way to incorporate them into your classroom.

Though it is a bit more cumbersome, the Touch has many of the same functions as a laptop.  The basic features include a calendar, e-mail program, address book (contacts), calculator, notepad, media player (video and audio), photo album, GPS and web browser.   Another powerful feature of the Touch is the ability to download applications or “apps.”  You have probably seen the commercial for the iPhone and the catch phrase is, “There’s an app for that.”  Well…there really is an app for just about anything you can imagine.  The only difference between an iPhone and an iPod Touch is that a phone has calling capabilities (with a hefty cell phone plan from AT&T) and a built in camera.  That is it!  To see how one school is using the Touches in their classroom, visit the iPod Touch Project.  The site gives an overview of how they got started and the pedagogy behind the project.

Need some ideas on how to get started? Try out these ideas:

Bringing some iPod touches into your classroom will quickly change the way your students interact with the curriculum and make your classroom so much fun! Give it a try and post your ideas on how you use iPod Touches in the comments section below!

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