Friday, October 19, 2012

Finding French Language Apps for the Ipad

One of my biggest frustrations as we test iPads in my classroom has been finding appropriate FREE or nearly free apps that are in French.  I found a well made website that allows you to search only iPad apps that are available in French.

It is called: Mon App Store

By using the advanced search you can search by category, price, language and age group and more.

It is a great resource when you know how to use it. I spent a frustrating afternoon last week downloading app after app from the website and discovering that none of them were in French. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. It wasn't until yesterday that I stumbled upon the answer. Many apps in the app store are available in multiple languages HOWEVER they will always show up on your device in the language of your device. In order to view apps in French I needed to change my  Ipads language to French.

When you change your language setting your will find that some apps will change to the new language too. For example:

Guess who?  becomes Qui Suis Je?

I quickly discovered that many of the apps I had downloaded on the weekend were available in French after all. I had not a wasted my afternoon!  What did I learn today? I learned that there are actually a surprising amount of apps available in French and they are easier to find then I thought. Did you already know this? What is your favorite app to use with your students?

So how do you change your devices language? Check out the video below for quick instructions.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Our first week with Ipads

Mme Hawtree's grade 1's have Ipads! We don't get to keep them, we are just the guinea pig class. I am extremely excited to be able to try out this technology with my students.

Here is what we used them for this first week:

1) We used the Letters app for our daily 5 Word Work. 
Letters App

Letters App is a free app that acts like a magnetic board. Students can choose the color of their letters and place them on the board. They can also add pictures and other details. My favorite feature is that students can take a picture of their work. I had my students practice their words and then add their name. Then I had them take a picture of their work. I was then able to see quickly how the students did and who was able to complete the task.

The one challenge was that we only have 10 Ipads and all my students wanted to be involved. I had some students Read to Self while the students were working on words then we switched.

2) We used two apps Math is Fun 4-5 and Kidpedia for math centers.

Math is Fun 4-5
Math is Fun has a series of apps for different age groups. The free version gives students 3 games they can play. They other games are available for .99. This game focuses on number order and counting.
Students got to play these games as a math center. While 1/2 my class was working in their math binders playing a math game the other 1/2 was using the Ipads.  My students had a lot of fun doing this and it was interesting to watch them teach each other strategies for completing the games more quickly. 

KIDpedia Interactive Shape

KIDpedia Interactive Shapes is actually a language learning app. It includes 4 language and one of them, lucky for me, is French. The free app comes with shapes but for $1.99 you can also purchase other word collections like colors and letters. With my students I used the shape app to help us practice patterns. With a partner students took turns creating and completing patterns. All they needed to do is click on a shape and move it into position on the screen. As an added bonus the app reads the shapes name to the student in French.

The one thing that struck me while implementing these Ipads is how quickly students were able to learn to navigate them. As @mmorley said on twitter- your students won't be waiting for an in-service about this. There were many challenges when launching this project (a post for another day) but students ability to use the technology was not one of them.

So I learned some fun ways to use Ipads in my classroom this week. That is what I learned. I would love to hear your ideas. How are you using your Ipads? What are your favorite apps? Where do you go for resources and information on Ipads in the classroom?