Summertime means maintenance time and a chance to refresh the iPad fleet based on what worked last year and the types of tasks that have been worthwhile.

Let's run through how our finalists were selected.

1. Google Drive

Used for getting material off the device and viewable on a computer. Each iPad is logged in to a generic Google account I've made for this purpose. Works well.

2. Google Docs

Drive no longer has the docs and sheets components included. Google chose to make them separate apps. When you sign into Drive with an account, these two apps will use that same information, no need to login twice. Though I don't use them much, our students save all their English/Social Studies writing to Drive, so letting them sign in on my devices is a quick way for them to print an essay or whatever.

3. Google Sheets

Replacing Numbers. Though I've yet to find a good use for a spreadsheet that can't just be done with a pencil.

4. Adobe Ideas

Solid sketching app. Now that Desmos supports image overlays I don't need the layering capability of SketchBook Express. Ideas can export to Drive whereas Sketchbook could not. Having them both on the device was confusing.

5. Pages

Useful here and there. Some projects were accented well by students typing and printing headings from Pages. It's also a good way to put multiple images on a sheet to save paper when printing. If you print an image directly from Photos, it will use a full page no matter the physical size.

6. TI-Inspire CAS $29.99

Only here because I picked it up for $5 a number of years ago and the calculator function replicates a TI-89 rather well. We'll see if it sticks around for version four.

7. PCalc $9.99

A scientific calculator with a long development history. Started life as a Mac app and spawned an excellent iOS version. Early returns indicate large class sizes, so I may not have enough TI-84s to go around. This and TI-Inspire can help fill in the gaps.

Not a lot of flash. Simple apps that support simple workflows. No electronic flash cards here.

AuthorJonathan Claydon