6 Must Have Back to School Apps

You’ve likely noticed that I like sharing lists of educational apps and websites.  There’s been these types of lists from the early days of this blog and I’ll be posting some new ones soon.  Most of these come from blogs and publications geared specifically to educators.

When general publications, such as the venerable Time Magazine, list “must have” educational apps, I’m especially interested.  Lists like this one give valuable insight into what the “media taste makers” deem as important.

Here’s what Time thinks American parents and students need for Back to School 2015:

Brainscape

DuoLingo

EasyBib

iHomework

Khan Academy

Here Comes the Bus

Note: I’ve not hyperlinked these apps as the Time article does this for iOS and Android versions.

The last app made my eyebrows rise as it sounds like a great pacifier for over anxious parents like me who wonder “where’s the bus?”

Here’s their promotional video:

A Must Have iOS App – “Apps Gone Free”

It’s not too long until 1pm EST.  Since that’s the time I eagerly await each day to receive my “Apps Gone Free” notice for every day of the week, I thought this would be a good time to mention this truly useful and fun app.

Apps Gone Free

I stumbled across this app a couple of months ago and my life hasn’t been the same since.  It is a very user-friendly way to have access to the highest quality free apps.  There is a diversity of types here – early childhood through elementary games; a wide range of games for older students and adults; top notch productivity tools; photo editors and much more.

It’s a great way to try out tools and games without the commitment of buying them.  But beware – you may quickly find your memory close to full (especially if you also have the lightweight iPad2 with just 16 GB).

Wondering If You Should Upgrade Your iPad to iOS 8.1?

The students at our school now have the option to upgrade to iOS 8.1 and we have the option to do so as well.

Are the benefits of it worth the hassle of clearing a significant chunk of memory and then taking the time for the download and installation?  And will it make the iPad2 run more slowly?

Here’s a useful article which describes and shows the differences between iOS 7 and iOS 8.1 so you can decide whether to take the (irreversible) plunge:

iOS 8 vs. iOS 7

Perhaps this conclusion will be helpful:

Should You Install iOS 8.1.1 on the iPad 2?

If you are already on iOS 8 or iOS 8.1, you should install iOS 8.1.1 on the iPad 2 today. For most users there is a benefit with slightly better performance and the overall experience is much better for a vocal group of users.

Still, it’s not a magical update. If you are still on iOS 7.1.2 you should stay on that update for now based on several user reviews.

If you are on iOS 7 and really want an iOS 8 feature on your iPad 2, this is the update to jump to, but for the most part staying on iOS 7.1.2 is a safer option.

From: Gotta Be Mobile

Wondering about when iOS 9 is likely to come along?

iOS 9 Rumors

You’ll note in this article that iOS 9 is likely to not be compatible with the iPad2!