Styluses for the iPad

At our last user group meeting, Harold mentioned a stylus that he is currently using and there was quite a bit of chatter about styluses afterward. I only have experience using two typse of styluses so I can’t really do a thorough review myself. I’m posting links to several reviews of styluses that I’ve found online.

  • This review from iMedicalApps is lengthy, but very in-depth and shows samples of handwriting.
  • The Adnonit stylus has been updated since this Cult of Mac review. This is the stylus Harold likes so ask him for a test-drive 🙂
  • MacWorld posted this video review last year. Although it’s a year old, the video provided useful information on features to consider when shopping for a stylus.

You can find many more reviews of styluses on the web, including reviews of specific brands. When I research something like this, I also go to sellers’ websites and read customer reviews.

In addition to general quality of the stylus, you should also think about what would be the primary use of the stylus. Do you want to take notes using a note-taking app? Are you looking for something that will allow you to doodle sketch important ideas during a meeting? Maybe you are searching for the perfect pen to help you master DrawSomething.

Regardless of what you are looking for in a stylus for your iPad, always remember before buying that you need a “capacitive” stylus. Smart pens or styluses designed specifically for other tablets won’t work with the iPad.


Common Core App

West Virginia, like most other states, is currently in the process of switching from state-developed standards to the Common Core. You can find several related applications in the app store, including a free one called Common Core Standards.

The app is very easy to use. Simply tap on the subject area, then grade level to find the standards. If you tap on a specific standard you’ll will find more information, including the corresponding Career and College Readiness anchor. Continue reading

iPads Are Also For Fun!

It’s spring break, so close up BlackBoard Mobile and any other apps you are using for work. Check out these websites and blogs that are fun, funny, and are in some way related to education.

Hey Girl Teacher was started by a student teacher looking for a little motivation (and eye-candy). Shortly after starting the blog she began taking submissions from fans, which makes this a pretty active site.

Continue reading

By Missy Posted in Fun Tagged

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle has a very nice application that downloads articles to your iPad. If you already subscribe, you can access the paper digitally at no extra charge. If you want to read on the iPad only you can buy individual issues ($2.99), subscribe for a month ($9.99), or subscribe for a year ($49.99). This app only provides articles, no jobs or other special sections.


Blogging on iPad

If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, there are several apps available to let you blog from your iPad. The most popular seem to be WordPress, BlogPress, and Blogsy.

I’ve been playing around with all three and find Blogsy to have the mist features and it was developed to take advantage iPad features. WordPress and BlogPress are easier to figure out but as far as I can tell they only have very basic functionality.

Blogsy and BlogPress are both less than $5 while WordPress is free.

As you can see below, Turk prefers blogging on a computer.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Dropbox – Your Virtual Jump Drive

Dropbox has been one of my favorite applications for sometime and I was thrilled when they added an app for the iPad. With this application you can access your files on any computer and you don’t have to worry about losing your jump drive.

To start using Dropbox go to their website, create an account, then download the application to your computer or computers. Once you have an account you can download their free app from iTunes. I have Dropbox on my office computer, laptop, iPad, and iPhone. If you don’t have access to one of your own devices, you can still get to your files at

I keep almost all of my electronic files on DropBox, including PowerPoint presentations, class handouts, and student papers. Now I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything at the office. This came in a handy last year when I was presenting at a conference. I did forget my jump drive but luckily had everything I needed on DropBox.

Another handy feature is the ability to sync with other programs such as iAnnotate or PDF Expert. I download student papers to DropBox, then grade them on PDF Expert. Once I finish I sync and my annotations are saved in DropBox.

In addition to having access to your won files, you can also share folders with others. To do this you can creat the folder on any device but you will need to share it using The special education program has a shared folder where we keep files such as plans of study and practical applications. It makes it easy for us to access these files off-campus and to email them to students. We also use them for storing applicant files and materials during searches.

The basic service is free and provides you with 2 GB of storage. You can pay to have more room and you can get extra room by referring others to the service.

Finding the Right Apps

There are a bazillion apps available for iPads (slight exaggeration) and quite a few that are useful to educators. The Texas Computer Education Association has created a Goggle spreadsheet to organize educational apps and they have been kind enough to share this document with the rest of us.

Apps are sorted by subject to make it easy to find something in a specific area. Prices are included in the spreadsheet, free apps are in white.

TCEA Education Apps

I learned about this nifty resource at Apps In Education

Organizing with Evernote

At one of our iPad User Group meetings, George gave a demonstration of one of my favorite apps, Evernote. I use this app everyday for taking notes at meetings, clipping websites, storing articles to read later, tracking student progress and attendance, jotting down ideas, and so on, and so forth. In October I blogged about ways to get information into Evernote, so today’s blog is about how you can organize that information.

Below is a screen shot of my PC Evernote program. The method of organizing that has worked best for me so far is to use notebooks and tags. If you look at the first colum in the screenshot, you will see my notebooks, stacks (multiple notebooks), and tags. I have a notebook for each class, and to make it easy to find course information I have combined those into a stack labeled “Courses”.
I also frequently find articles or other information that would fit into more than one category, this is where using Tags comes in handy. If I find an article that would be good to share on a blog and in my BD course, I file it in a notebook called Readings and tag it SpEdBlog and CISP645.
Column 1 is my list of Notebooks and Tags. I have clicked on CISP645 and all of the notes from that are in Column 2. Column 3 is the note I have highlighted from Column 2. The second screen shot shows you what the same information looks like on my iPad version of Evernote.
Rather than re-create information that is already available, I’ll leave you with a link to Evernote’s Getting Started  page.
(I wrote this blog on Evernote’s PC and iPad apps, then did a copy/paste onto the blog page itself)