Friday, February 15, 2013

Must-Have Kindle Apps for the Classroom


The addition of Kindle Fires to my classroom has totally transformed our learning! We still have a lot to learn about them, but here are some of my favorite apps and how we're using them.

Kids Doodle
Kids Doodle is a free app that records what you draw and plays it back to you as a movie. We started using this one today in place of our individual white boards and markers. During many lessons (especially math), I'll have students draw or write quick answers on white boards and then show me what they've written. This app allows students to do this in a fun, colorful way. Very motivating!
AB Math
AB Math is a great app for practicing math facts. There are other games on it as well, but I really like that the students can chose which set(s) of facts they practice. I love this because now my students' fact practice can be easily differentiated. I got it for free as one of the Kindle daily deals, but it is well worth the $0.99 price.
ES File Explorer
ES File Explorer is another free app that is really more for my use right now, but I have it on all my Kindles. It's a must have if you plan to side load apps from the Android market.Here's a great tutorial for side loading.  Installing this app allowed me to install the dolphin browser and flash player on my devices. 
Dolphin Browser
We use the Dolphin browser, rather than Silk, for all of our web browsing because it allows us to use sites that rely on flash player such as Spelling City, Fun Brain, Accelerated Reader, etc...I also love that this browser makes bookmarking easy, saves passwords, and has add-ons, like ScreenCut (which allows you to take pictures of websites) and Evernote WebClipper (which lets you save sites into Evernote. Here is my favorite tutorial for setting up flash player and dolphin on your Kindle Fire HD. 
Skitch


This multi-platform app is part of the Evernote family and works seamlessly with Evernote. It allows you to take pictures and annotate on them. You can also start with a blank page and type, write, highlight, etc...We're using Skitch to make classroom charts and "write" answers for our grammar exercises. We've also used it during small group instruction for "writing." Basically, anything that kids can write on paper, they can do on Skitch. Here's a sample of a chart we started:
Evernote
Evernote is a note taking app that allows you to capture images, audio, and websites into your document. You can even share your notes via email or Edmodo. We use this app in much the same way that we use Skitch, but we prefer Evernote when typing. It allows you to make a checklist or a numbered list. We recently used it during reading instruction to create a list of the events in our story. 

How about you? Is there a favorite app you have for your Kindle Fire? I'd love to hear how you use it. If you're an Edmodo user, feel free to join my Kindle Fires in the Classroom group here to share ideas. 











3 comments:

  1. Thanks! I use ipads in my classroom, but I've been looking for some educational apps to put on my Kindle Fire for my daughter.

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  2. Hi Farrah, thanks so much for linking to my tutorial on side-loading apps to the Kindle Fire!

    What a great list of apps. I use all of them except for Skitch, I need to try that one.

    Thanks again!
    -Rachel

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