A couple of years ago, my school district decided to implement iPads into the curriculum. More and more districts are joining this growing trend of tech in the class room, so it’s key for students to have the right tech knowledge to go with their new tech tools. As a graduating senior, I’ve tried hundreds of apps on my iPad in an attempt to find something I couldn’t “school” without. Here is a list of my favorite tablet apps that are essential for students.
Notability allows you to write, record, organize, share, and study your notes wherever you go. Notes can be typed in a variety of fonts and colors, or drawn with the pencil tool –which allows you to adjust the line thickness. You can also import documents and have the ability to annotate them with drawing tools and highlighter feature. Important tools within this app include the eraser - to correct any mistakes, and scissors - which scale, crop, and move any word, phrase, or picture anywhere in your document. Notability is fully integrated with other apps, so you can share your notes on other apps, including GoogleDrive, Email, DropBox, and more.
The Desmos graphing calculator app features all the important functions of any handheld calculator. But what makes this calculator unique (besides being an app) is that you can manipulate graphs with your fingertips. So when you insert a linear equation, say y=2x+4, you can pinch the screen to zoom in or out to see your diagonal line continue on forever. Once your line is on the graph, you can touch it to see exact coordinate points. You can add as many equations to your graph at one time as you need. Desmos has its own keyboard that includes numbers, letters, parenthesis, plus signs, pi, and all other essential graph components. Desmos is a simple way to get a visual understanding of key concepts.
Keynote will quickly become your best friend for presentations. In the past two school years, I have created 35 presentations using the Keynote app. This slideshow app, which is specific only to iPads, allows you to build projects from premade themes, including black, white, and modern. Presentations can also be individually named. This app makes it easy to find your presentations with a search bar at the top of the home screen. Once you’ve made up your mind on design, creation is a breeze. Slides can be added to your presentation by pressing the “+” button in the bottom left corner. There are a variety of slide types, transition features, and movements to include on your presentation. And of course, Keynote is fully integrated with other apps and iCloud. You can also share as a Keynote, PDF, or PowerPoint.
If you’re looking to make a simple presentation or argument for class, then Pages is the perfect app. This app, which is also iPad specific, can be used for basic note-taking or for writing a paper, but with templates no less impressive than those of Keynote. The possibilities for what you make are endless and include formal documents, flyers, posters, invitations, cards, envelopes, etc. The templates can be manipulated based on your project; giving you helpful tools rather than creative restrictions.
Google Drive/Google Docs
Although all of the apps I’ve recommended have allowed me to survive high school, I couldn’t have made it without the Holy Grail of apps: Google Drive and Docs. In short, Google Docs is comparable to Word in that it features very similar functions. The difference is the ease of transfer between apps, and the simplified tools such as font size and color. Google Drive serves as a storage unit. Documents I have created in Notability, Keynote, and Pages can all be sent to my Google Drive. By creating a free Google email (gmail) account, you are given access to Google Drive. Drive stores individual files on your computer or tablet’s home screen, along with specified folders to keep you organized.
Take it from a recent high school grad, the above listed apps are essential to survive the jungle that is high school. Succeed in any level of school with the help of iPad apps. What are your favorite apps to use for school?