IPad/iPad 2 applications (apps) to develop creativity in the classroom

Apps for iPad continue to be released at a breathtaking pace and identifying the most relevant ones for use with learners can be both daunting and time-consuming. This article takes a look at a number of free and low-cost creative apps that are perfect for supporting learning right across the curriculum. Increasingly the most creative apps take full advantage of the glorious display, superb audio handling, HD quality camera and the full range of supported gestures within the iOS.

Enabling learners to become iPad digital publishers is a great way to focus attention on aspects of literacy such as genre, audience, purpose and register. Digital publishing enables the creation of multi-modal texts across the curriculum; fiction as well as non-fiction.

'Our Story" is a simple, yet flexible free app for making digital stories from images and text. 'Book creator' takes a more traditional approach, allowing the production of fully functioning digital books that can be published to 'iBooks'. 'Composer' is even more powerful, enabling older learners to program interactivity to the pages of the book.

Many learners will appreciate the opportunity to incorporate photographs using the HD camera on iPad 2. 'Phoster' and 'Halftone' are perfect for developing posters by importing photographs and other images into specially prepared themes and templates. Apps like 'Strip Designer' and the more sophisticated (and expensive) 'Comic Life' are excellent for teaching the conventions of comic strips.

'I Can Animate' is an excellent stop animation program that has advanced features such as time lapse capability. Movies can be exported into a video editor such as 'iMovie' and combined with audio recorded in an app such as 'iRig Recorder'. Of course 'iMovie' is a decent video editor in its own right and can be used for storytelling and other types of video projects.

There are some great photography apps such as '360 Panorama'  which can produce staggeringly realistic panoramas by stitching together still images taken by the in-built camera. 'Pic Collage' is simple enough to be used by learners of all ages, for the creation of photographic collages in any curriculum area.

There are numerous apps to support artists. 'My Brushes' is a particularly powerful image editor and '123DSculpt' enables learners to sculpt a range of 3D models. Also try 'Uncle Sand Lite' for a quirky app to produce drawings in a sand tray.

Musicians can take advantage of the powerhouse that is 'Garage Band' and younger learners will love learning with the beautiful app 'Falling Stars'. This app lends itself perfectly to projects that focus on experimenting with pitch, tempo and rhythm.

Take a look at 'Sketch Nation Shooter' for game design. This enables learners to play around with variables in a shoot-em-up style game and see their effect on game-play. Users can also import their own sketches using the iPad's camera and make them part of the actual game.

Finally we can't ignore the plethora of apps available for research and reference. 'Google Maps' comes preinstalled on iPad and 'Google Earth' is and absolute must-have app. It is every bit as good as its desktop counterpart, taking full advantage of gesture-based interactivity; swipes, pinches and taps. Wikipedia apps such as 'Wiknodes' are perfectly designed for the smaller screen-size of a Tablet device, presenting bite-sized chunks of information via interconnected nodes.


Cover image from ipadinschools.com