Monday, March 31, 2014

Thing 22: Discovering Apps

I love Apps Gone Free and I have been a fan for quite a while. This is a great way to try out apps you have heard good things about but aren't ready to pay for, or just a wonderful place to search for apps.

I have this advice for teachers looking for educational apps. Apple has provided many lists of apps for teachers in the App Store. However, they have hidden it very successfully. Here are the directions to find the lists, along with some tips to make your searches easier.

Begin by going to the App Store, selecting "featured" from the bottom menu and selecting "More" in the top menu. From the drop-down menu choose Education.

You will now see many wonderful educational apps, and could do your searching from here, which would give you only apps from the education category.

However, look down and you will see Educational Collections. These are excellent, and are in logical categories like:

  • Special Education
  • Kickstart Your School Year
  • iTune U
  • Astronomy, Stargazing and More
  • Learning Made Fun
  • Painting & Drawing
  • Calculators
  • Apps for Writer
  • and so on
Click on any set of educational apps and you can look through all of the offerings. 
I have found this to be a wonderful way to explore apps that are educational.

Please note that not all apps here are free. In fact, many are quite expensive, but the selection is terrific!

A few other helpful hints to make sure you find all the best apps:
  • Sort the apps by cost, relevance, ratings and more.
  • Add apps to your wish list, so when you do have access to an iTunes gift card you can use it right away on apps you really want. 
  • Keep your eye on blogs, journals, announcements, emails, and any other place you might see recommended apps. 
  • Even if you can't attend a conference, check out the handouts and links attendees receive. These have wonderful app suggestions!
  • Talk to people ALL THE TIME. Share your favorite apps and have people recommend theirs to you. 

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