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RoundUp April 2014 – 4 Highly Rated Apps for Science

4 Highly Rated iPad Apps for the Science Classroom

By: Todd Cherner and Alex Fegely

Have you ever wished you could find a source of app reviews specific to education, reviewed in a consistent, highly informative manner. Well now you can! This is the first in a series of monthly posts by App Ed Review, a searchable database of educational apps, to suggest apps that teachers can use in the classroom.  The apps on App Ed Review are all rated using a robust rubric, to ensure a thorough review and the delivery of consistent information about each app. The theme of this month’s Roundup is science, and we have spotlighted four apps that can be used in science classrooms.
  1. Sound Uncovered opens students eyes and ears to the world of sound through real-world, interactive science lessons. Sound Uncovered can be used to differentiate and transform a possibly mundane science lesson on sound waves into a touchable, visual, and auditory experience. Any one of the mini-lesson activities can be used in the classroom to launch a lesson. This app has the potential to engage students as it scored highly on App Ed Review’s app evaluation rubric, with a 7.2 out of 10. Topics covered in this app include beats, interference, major and minor scales, frequency, and more! Check out the full review and associated instructional ideas here.
  2. The official NASA App is an out-of-this-world resource for everything space-related. Boasting a vast library of nearly 13,000 images from NASA, videos from space and NASA’s facilities, detailed pages on space missions, and more, the official NASA app is a great tool for helping students research and explore space. The app even tells users when they have the best opportunities to see the International Space Station from the ground, relative to their iPad’s GPS position. The NASA App earned a spectacular 8.7 out of 10 on the strength of its ease of use, variety of media, and classroom possibilities. For the full review,click here.
  3. VideoScience houses a collection of recorded experiments, which students can easily view in the app. This app can be used to help students study scientific principles in a quick and engaging manner, especially if schools and classrooms have limited supplies. VideoScience was given an overall score of 6.9 out of 10, and it scored a 6.3 for Instruction, a 9.1 for Design, and a 5.3 for Engagement. As VideoScience is a content-based app that mostly presents information to students, teachers will have to create engaging activities to complement this app’s content, and teachers can access instructional ideas for using this app by reading its review.
  4. Peterson Backyard Birds – A Field Guide to Birds of North America is a great app for teachers and students alike. This interactive encyclopedia, linked with Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology’s eBird database, can help students research and identify different birds, as it features illustrations and information on every family of birds in North America. Each bird’s habitat, size, description, egg characteristics, call, and other details are included in the app. Nabbing a 7.7 rating, the full Backyard Birds review and instructional ideas are located here.

That’s all for this month’s App Ed Review Roundup.  If you would like more information about any app included in this Roundup, please contact us at info@appedreview.com.  And remember, it’s not just about the app, but it’s about how the app is used.