Bible: I’ve not yet found a Bible program that can replace the NIV Study Bibles we use in class. They’re so chocked full of content that replacing them would take days of my time to catalog the (often less-than-trustworthy) information available on the internet. When I put a price tag on my time (and my motivation) this is a non-starter because I'm not getting paid for either of those things. Switching over to the paid NIV study bible app for $25 would save us at least $15 per Bible… except that we don’t have a one-to-one iPad program. Logos’ Bible app comes close but it’s too hard to find something simply and quickly.
CalenGoo: I’ve switched over to the digital calendar world. Apple’s iCal doesn’t sync tasks with Google’s calendar so I had to look for another option. My wife started using CalenGoo and it works great. In fact, the formatting is a step up from both iCal and Google Calendar on my laptop. It's worth the $2 if you're going digital.
ClearCam: With the poor resolution of my iPad 2’s camera, this app makes images useable by taking multiple shots and aligning them. Now I can take pictures of what we do in class and you may actually be able to tell who is in the picture.
Dropbox: Enough said. If you hope to do any sort of content creation on the iPad I’ve found Dropbox a must for storing the work. (This is such a central part of my work I've included a link to it in the tabs at the top of my website.
Educreations: Very useful for a one classroom iPad. Although this app probably deserves a post all of its own, I'll include it here as well. I started creating little videos covering our homework questions in class just this past month. I enjoy the simplicity of the program but I don't like being locked into using their website to store the videos. Also, writing on the iPad is a frustration all to itself; it feel likes I’m trying to write with a large toddler crayon without the ability to stabilize my palm on the writing surface. The result is a less-than-legible but informative presentation. (I even bought a top-of-the-line stylus which only helped slightly.)
- [Edit 2013-03-03 I dislike having my screencasts owned by the Educreations site. I've decided to take my own advice and pay for a better app. I plan to use Explain Everything ($3) and post my class problems either to Vimeo or Youtube.]
Graphing calculator apps are okay but they don’t beat out the functionality and ease of use of my old TI graphing calculator. Plus, you can’t use an iPad on the ACT or MME. So, graphing calculators are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Keynote and Pages: I’ve used them a couple of times but without a dedicated keyboard they’re not nearly as useful as I’d hoped. I think things would work a little more seamlessly if I brought my MacBook Pro to work every day but I already have a PC laptop at work. Like many workplaces and schools, the Microsoft Office environment dominates all. I know iWork exports to Microsoft Office but the coolness factor of Keynote presentations loses a lot in the translation to PowerPoint.
Khan Academy: What a letdown this app is compared to the website. You can only view videos; the lack of exercises make this kind of useless for in-class work. I do have an iPad cart available but even when we try to use the website, the keyboard on the iPad makes typing in numbers a three-step process for every number. Doing exercises on the iPad is no easier than using pen and paper (not to mention I have more engaging problems than Khan Academy). One thing math websites do offer is instant feedback. Our elementary just bought a subscription to IXL. Maybe when we finally go one-to-one I'll convince the powers that be a site license for the high school is worth the price.
Nearpod: This seems like a great idea. The teacher creates presentations which can include multimedia content and student feedback options but you’re only limited to 10 presentations on the free version. Upgrading to the paid version for $120/year is a bit steep; that’s a new iPad every 3 years.
OnSong: lets me import my guitar chords from Dropbox, create and share set lists, and transpose music on the fly. This is extremely useful for chapels.
Penultimate: Starting to look really useful now that it’s paired with Evernote (which I love) and is free. Useful--except for the whole writing-on-the-iPad thing (see above).
Splashtop Whiteboard: I use it every day in my classroom to remotely control my computer and as a second screen when giving presentations. I bought the program when it was $14, I think it's up to $20 the last time I checked. It's worth every penny because the app just works.
Vernier Graphical Analysis and Vernier Video Physics: I’ve already written about these but I’ll say it again: they’re worth every penny for turning the iPad into a content creator and teaching device for someone in either math or physics.
Zite: Aggregates news from around the internet based on your Google Reader account and your areas of interest. I keep up on technology by giving it a read a couple times a week.
If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.