IPads enhance student learning, bringing education through enjoyable means. Since these tablet computers entered the market in 2010, a wide variety of resources have become available to assist student learning. Middle school students can use this technology to develop better study habits, interact more efficiently with teachers and build skills across subject areas. A few apps stand out from the pack to help students with note taking, communicating with teachers, collaborating with peers and mastering subject content.
For middle school students, learning to take notes is a new skill. The app called Notability allows students to make audio recordings they can later access to compare with their notes, a feature that also benefits language learners. Additionally, Notability allows students to add freehand drawings to their notes, helping them better understand and retain concepts covered in class.
Edmodo is a free online classroom site with a social networking feel. Teachers can set up pages for each of their classes using this app. Students can answer prompts, submit work and participate in online discussions. Middle school students can take responsibility for their learning and practice responding to discussion questions in writing and commenting on each other's work. Other similar applications exist for a fee, making Edmodo an appropriate choice for budget conscious districts and families.
Google Drive, a free cloud-based resource, provides office productivity tools for documents, presentations, spreadsheets and forms. The tools are simple to learn and allow middle school students to quickly create polished presentations, easy-to-share documents and surveys. Middle school students learn how to collaborate on the same document at the same time, in different locations. Group work moves outside of the classroom, and students no longer have to worry about losing documents.
GeoMaster allows middle school students to develop and practice geography skills. Students can begin with the United States and move up to mastering world geography. This quiz app allows students to build a basic familiarity with cities, states, countries and flags. Using a variety of quiz formats, GeoMaster helps students and their families build a geographic knowledge base as they place capitols in their correct state or country, match country names with locations, and identify world flags.
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