I received an email this morning from our lovely art teacher who had discovered the perfect app to help her with an upcoming research project. First of all, thank you Ms. Art teacher for letting me know about Curator – it is simple, elegant and extremely user-friendly.
It is essentially a visual bookmarking system, where you can save images, text or websites. In terms of an art project where the students must find images from a certain era or genre, it would be perfect. It is a little like Pinterest, but made specifically for the iPad and, in my opinion, with a cleaner, more intuitive interface.
There is a free version which allows you to make up to five boards but if you want to create a 6th you must pay the $6.99.
I decided to try one out by making a board about vintage dresses. First I searched the internet for the images I wanted, then saved them to my camera roll. Then I double tapped one of the grey squares in the board:
The magnifying glass searches the web for you and when you find a website you want to add all you have to do is leave the square while you are still in that website. The text is a little small to be useful in terms of a screenshot, but it would be possible to use one square for an image and the adjacent square for an annotation. One would need to zoom in to see the text though.
Gradually I populated my board:
You can annotate your images, which, for an art history project is very valuable.
The downside to this app, and it is a considerable one, is that there is no way to share your board. You can present it via projector (I myself am using air server to screenshot the images on my desktop, but you cannot share it. In terms of grading students work (if that is indeed your goal) it would be very hard to do so without physically taking the students’ iPads.
However, if the goal is to have your students project the app and present their research, than this would be a very easy, aesthetically pleasing way to do it.