My twelve year-old son has just joined the iTouch brigade, buying himself a hand-held, game-playing, music device that has become permanently attached. Our school has also recently purchased several, thanks to a grant awarded to Anne Mirtschin. So how can teachers use these slick and intriguing machines to engage students in maths and science learning? I searched for free educational applications and this is what I found:
Times tables – imultiply is a 12 x 12 multiplication grid that you tap the two numbers you want to multiply and the answer is highlighted in the grid. TimesTables Free is more colourful and more fun, with flashcards and drills to help master multiplication tables.
Math Minute is a simple to use application that offers addition, subtraction, multiplication and division drills. Maths Drills Lite is similar, but with richer graphics and helpful hints in the form of number lines, wooden blocks and finger counting.
Number Line and Fraction Factory assist students to understand fractions and decimals. Percentage Change (99c) helps to reinforce, step-by-step, the process of calculating percentage change. For more advanced mathematics, Math Tasks has commonly used algebra and formulas, including calculating areas and volumes, while Geometry Stash has descriptions of some common theorems, with diagrams and Geometry Touch (99c) is a study guide to the formulas you may be required to know for exams.
For the real science geeks, Periodic Table of the Elements and Molecules (download and rotate 3D models of molecules) are two of my favourites. Science Glossary is a useful app. for scientific terms and biographies of scientists. Planets is a 3D guide to the solar system for aspiring astronomers and Planet Facts has hundreds of informative snippets, with beautiful graphics, about the planets of our solar system. Muscle System (free for a limited introductory period only) is one of a series of medical applications to assist learning about names of muscles of the head and neck, their action and nerve supply. 3D Brain allows you to explore 29 different regions of the brain.
Not Free ($11.99) is “Star Map“, a pocket planetarium, for locating planets and constellations, written by a professional astronomer. “iBird Explorer Backyard” ($4.99) allows bird identification by sight and song – I’m guessing for northern hemisphere species? For the full list of educational apps check out the Apple Store.