15 August 2011


I have had my iPad for 4 months, and much of that time has been spent bonding with “her” and finding the essential apps for my life. I also wanted to decide for myself if the iPad and other tablets really are something new. These 5 apps helped me decide that the iPad is, indeed, a tool that we have not seen before: original, spare, strange (homage to Hopkins).
My PLN on twitter, the EC Ning, and my own Google Reader have supplied some really great suggestions for what to do with the iPad. But this is also my first year teaching pre-AP British lit as well as AP Lit, so much of my research has to do with my raised expectations for my new crew. 

British Library: http://www.bibliolabs.com/projects/
So many primary research and literary sources online in their entirety:  the Library of Congress for the  Brits. Easy to navigate, with a scholarly appearance. Great for research skills. So many novels, so little time.
Biblion: http://www.nypl.org/biblion
a brand new iPad app from the New York Public Library. Gathers all the photos, news, media regarding the 1939-1940 World's Fair. It did not hurt that I am in the middle of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, set in the same period. Luscious photos, diagrams, magazine stories, news articles, reviews.  Cannot wait until they expand this app to other events & periods. Another great resource for research skills lessons, and just FUN. The presentation is dazzling--touch is intergrated fully. This is not the reference room at your local library
World History Maps: http://seungbin.wordpress.com/historymaps-of-world/
I learned about this one at an iPad workshop for teachers.  Wish I had had this last year in World Lit. The app includes maps of every continent, all eras. Also includes maps from different sources for each time period. You could teach an entire history class from this app. I spent a couple of hours lost, while I found my way.
TS Eliot’s The Wasteland: http://touchpress.com/titles/thewasteland
If you have not heard of this app, then go NOW to the app store. It will change how you read poetry, and how you teach it.  Beautifully conceived and executed. My app budget usually tops out at $2.99, but this was worth every penny ($12.99 I think). I do not want to spoil the surprise, but those who do not understand or believe that eReaders will change reading, need to see this app. I want one of these for every Shakespeare play, every modernist work, Beowulf, Chaucer........everything.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore: http://morrislessmore.com/
Since we are in the subject of new reading, take  a look at this book written to be read on the iPad.  It is a children's book, but one of the first I have seen that is actually post-print. And it is marvelous, engaging, well written and a great story. My 8 year old niece went nuts. I did too.


Knighton said...

My favorite app for PLN is the Flipboard app. Check it out if you haven't already done so. Thanks for the tips.

Healigan said...

OH yeah, I am addicted. I have set it up so I hardly ever look at my Google reader anymore. I do show it to anyone who will look! Thanks.

Knighton said...

Me, too! I love how blogs that I follow look on the app, and I love that I can follow certain Twitter hashtags without being a follower of each person. It's great!