As I’m thinking about how I will use the iPad with my students I’ve been spending a lot of time going through the processes that they would go through. So, I decided to go through a personal inquiry from beginning to end on the iPad.
While students might already have a purpose or question in mind when they get to the iPad stage, there are quite a few apps that support idea generation. These apps inspire curiosity about a variety of concepts and are a great place for any student to start their inquiry process. Additionally they will be building on their schema as they read and investigate a variety of topics.
This Day In History
This app does exactly what it say it will. Every day it highlights events that happened on that day throughout history. This is a neat place to inspire curiosity as students can check in on a daily basis to see if there are any topics of interest to them. It’s also possible to go back to dates so they might look up birthdays or other dates of interest. This Day in History is currently free in the app store.
Geo Walk HD
This app highlights everything cool about the iPad. The opening screen features an interactive globe with color coded bubbles that expand and pop up as you scroll over them. Each bubble holds information about an animal, place or person associated with that area. When you click on it, you get a picture and a caption with just enough information to spark a host of inquiry questions. Our primary grades are LOVING this application. Geo Walk HD is currently $2.99.
If you teach elementary school then chances are you know Brain pop. The application is a simplified version that features a movie each day. While not super useful for research purposes it is great to expose students to new ideas and concepts and get them wondering. The great is that it’s free! This makes up, in some ways, for the ipad not being able to play their movies. The Brain Pop App is currently free.
For students who are visually oriented Guardian Eyewitness is a great app. It features a photograph of the day, usually connected to current events in the world. For that reason it might be appropriate for older students. Students can practice generating questions from visual images and investigate ones that they are excited and interested in. Guardian Eyewitness is currently free.
This is similar to some of the other photo apps, but much more extensive. Photos are organized by location around the globe, but you can also pull up categories that are of interest. For example, going to the animals category then brings up additional sub categories for students to browse through. LIFE HD is currently free.