rAPPido Review: NOVA

Price: free

Dear ipadyoupad readers,

This is officially my last post of the 2011-2012 school year, and so it is with much pomp and ceremony (it is that pomp-y time of year after all) that I choose to use this solemn occasion to tell you about NOVA! Because it is common knowledge  that summer is all about the PERIODIC TABLE!

Yes folks, browsing the apps for university from the iTunes newsletter, I came across this little nugget:

Having perused it for all of five minutes, I can tell you that I have learned some new and interesting facts. Me! Old-brained me!

Here are your options:

You can peruse the interactive Periodic table!

Tap on any element your little heart desires (my heart desired to know about antimony, which is not an anti-capitalist element as I learned rather quickly, but a medieval poisonous laxative. See? See the things you leaner in a day?)

Press on the green build button and you can manually build your element, by dragging the right numbers of protons, electrons and neutrons:

But wait! I have no idea how many protons, neutrons, electrons there are! Like, isn’t that like totally high school stuff? I am like so over high school. I need instruction:

Oh. I had to choose the one with 51 protons. But never fear! You can auto build (with the added bonus that it looks like a fireworks display on your iPad! Or how a cylon raiding strike looks on Battlestar Galactica’s radar:

Okay then. Let’s try helium. Helium only has two protons. I can handle two protons:

I totally built that element myself.

You can also watch episodes of Hunting the Elements (which I haven’t done because there are exams in the library at the moment. Well, students writing exams, to be more specific. The actual exams don’t mind.)

You can play David Pogue’s Essential Elements game (which I don’t understand at all because, as mentioned above, I had to mute my iPad):


So that’s it folks!  Have a great summer and see you in the fall!

Summer iPad Challenge #5: Get Fit Challenge!

Planning on taking some extra time this summer to resurrect your work-outs? Get back into shape? Why not try using the iPad  to log your workout?

One of the great things about the iPad is its ability to function as an organization tool. I guarantee the students will be using it as such for their school work- in fact- my own daughter is an avid user of the calendar app and the reminders app. Keeping track of your daily exercise is just a fun way of getting used to the iPad as agenda, calendar and schedule. It forces you to look at your device everyday as well as giving you the satisfaction of seeing your progress!

I saw this app, fitChallenge the other day, and thought it would be good for those of you who need to add a dash of competition to motivate you to get fit. Of what I understand, you pick a partner, then challenge each other with work-outs. When you do a work-out, your friend will get a push notification and vice versa. And for what it is worth, it was featured in Oprah’s magazine.

I repeat. For what it’s worth…

If you are not so interested in the whole competition idea there are plenty of fitness tracker apps that work very well and you can download for free:

Be Fit, Stay Fit Challenge

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal   (I’ve used my fitnesspal before and it is very functional)

Diet & Food Tracker by SparkPeople (this reviews for this app is mixed- people love it but there are definitely problems).

iPad Summer Challenge #4:Make a vacation journal!


Many of the students who will be coming in with their iPads will be using it for everything- from taking notes in class, to writing essays, to their multimedia projects. So how does it feel to use the iPad for word processing? For putting together a presentation? Why not play around with some of the word processing apps such as pages or Word or even Notes (though if you have a hate-on for any font resembling

Office squared

MS Comic then I do not recommend the latter)?

See how it feels to write a whole text on the iPad- what are the benefits? Challenges?

If you want to get fancy, why not create a travel log in book creator or, when your trip is done, in ibook? Add photos and video!

The one with the best travel log will get a dozen homemade cookies (to share or not to share. I won’t judge) when we are back in August!


Here are some previous posts to refresh your memory:


Book Creator



Book creator and this oneby Beth!


And then this post that discusses David’s adventures with iBook!

iPad Summer Challenge #3: RSS!

Here is the original post I wrote about reading RSS feeds on the iPad. Why do this? To keep your professional development meanderings all in one place. To have it at your fingertips wherever you are (easy reading on the bus or the metro). And because it gives all those blog posts a nice magazine-y feel!

Read more…

I would also remind you of Flipboard and Zite two favourites among our humanities ladies!


iPad Summer Challenge #2: Make a Photo Essay from your Vacation Photos!

I posted this in March in order to give an iPad option to the English students who needed to do a photo essay:

Read more…

The students use the camera function a lot in their classes, whether it be for art or using it as a document camera. being on the class email lists, I get emails all the time from students who have taken a photo of the blackboard with their iPad and shared it with the class.

Thinking of the possibilities (and also the dangers- see the digital citizenship post) of the iPad camera function will help you in your lesson planning for next year!

iPad Summer Challenge #1: Read a Book on your iPad!


The year is winding down and so is this blog. I will be taking a couple of months off from posting as of next week and thought it would be a fitting end to this year of iPad exploration by throwing out a couple of “get to know your iPad” challenges to the staff. The Grade 7s will all be using them next year, and most of the future grade eights are now experts with the device, so it behooves us (yes, behooves) to keep up with the little rascals.

I will start the challenges out slow: read a book!

I was shockingly late in the year to actually try this myself, as documented in this post, but I think it is important to understand how it feels to read on the device. In the older grades they used the devices to read Shakespeare and Jane Austen. The possibility of getting eBook class sets is on the horizon (be it only a pin prick right now). Try several different apps- ibook, kindle, bluefire. Which one do you like best? What is their added value? (note taking, note sharing, dictionary, highlighting passages, etc).

Where can you find ebooks for free?


The Library!

Where can you purchase them? (Watch out though- this is way too easy. Way too easy, as my credit card bill will attest)

Found: iPads and Digital Citizenship

Just came across a couple of thoughtful and relevant posts on EdApps (one of the only Canadian iPads in education sites) about teaching digital citizenship with and for the iPad. The author brings up issues about multiple users on devices (eg. iPad lab) and best practices. Written with elementary students in mind but could very easily be adapted to high school:

Read more…

They also created this great poster for how to use the communal iPads:

I think I will be posting this in the library. Thanks EdApps!

Camera Lucida for the iPad

Camera Lucida
Price: $4.99

Camera Lucida is the app anonymous (and no, not the hacker but the person who had not configured her email and who shall remain anonymous. Anonymous for short) was so excited to show me the other day.

Now, if you are like me, you will have no idea what that is. Here is the dictionary definition of a Camera Lucida:

cam·er·a lu·ci·da/ˈlo͞osidə/

An instrument in which rays of light are reflected by a prism to produce on a sheet of paper an image, from which a drawing can be made.
And here is how an old-fashioned one looks:
And here is a video of how it looks on the iPad:

I can see why anonymous was so excited!

Review: How to Configure Your Email on the iPad

So, last week a very tech savvy individual who shall remain nameless, who uses her iPad in many interesting ways, was showing me a new app she was very excited about. She told me I could play around with it so that I could write about it on this blog (that will come later). I played around with it, took a few screenshots, then went to email the photos to myself.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that savvy tech lady has NEVER CONFIGURED HER EMAIL ON THE IPAD!

I was shocked. Dismayed. Puzzled. Befuddled. Flabbergasted.

I could go on. Thesaurus is my middle name after all.

She was puzzled at my puzzlement. I don’t check my email on my iPad, she said. So why should I configure it.

Well to start off with, so you can EMAIL YOURSELF THINGS!

I use email often to transfer screenshots from my iPad to my desktop, to email meeting notes to the various participants, to email the results of my clicker quizzes. Well, you get the picture. Email on the iPad is handy.

I also discovered that I never actually wrote about configuring your email. SO.

Here is how you do it:

In settings, go to mail, contacts, calendars:

Go to add account and tap the service you use (for the school email, that would be gmail).:

Fill in the information:

You can also have several accounts coming to the one, though this has never works very well for me…

Once you have entered your data, you can customize your settings. Don’t forget, if you want to be able to delete your emails on the iPad, you have to go into your account and turn archiving off:

And voilà! email on your iPad, yo.