I'm a huge Batman fan, always have been. There's a lot that appeals to me about the character from the backstory, the clever detective work to the visual motifs that pervade the best work in the Batman canon (top tip - check out Scott Snyder's recent run for some of the most visceral story lines in years.) I think the thing that appeals to me the most though is the fact that Batman has no superpowers. Instead he relies on cunning, training and a whole host of ninja-esque gadgets on his utility belt.
Trawling through the App Store recently, the word utility caught my attention. In case you haven't realised, utility apps are those handy little tools that can be used by everyone from educators to administrators to business folk and provide a range of functions to streamline tasks, manage content and more. They're really important as they're part of what makes the iPad so versatile.
So I thought, if I was to create a Batman style utility belt as an iPad Educator, what apps would be on it? What are the essentials that you'll turn to time and time again to solve a problem, manage a file...or defeat The Joker.
Ok, maybe not that last one.
Here are the apps I would include. Bear in mind, some of these are not technically utility apps but they are essentials on a daily basis in the classroom. All app names hyperlink to their iTunes page.
Essential for cloud storage and migration of content to and from devices. There are alternatives but Dropbox is reliable, well-supported by other apps and easy to use.
Save any web page as a PDF document, allowing it be annotated etc within other apps. Handy if the you know that wifi coverage is limited.
Turn your iPad into a portable document scanner.
Gotta have a QR reader (and writer) app! These quick response barcodes have so many uses across the curriculum and you never knwo when you'll need a scanner.
My choice for nota taking (sorry Evernote fans.)
Bit of a cheeky one this - allows you to download videos from sites like Youtube directly to your iPad camera roll. Ideal when wifi is unreliable.
A go to solution whiteboard tool with an infinite canvass.It's become my quick fire display app of choice in the way Interwrite used to be on the interactive whiteboard.
With over a million apps to choose from, this handy tool notifies you daily of those that have been made free for a period of time. You'll find many educational gems with it.
I wanted to include an assessment tool. I went for Class Act as it is so quick and easy to employ in a lesson, like any good utility should be.
The clue's in the name. The go to screencasting app for everything and anything across the curriculum.
The internet browser designed specifically for the iPad. Try it, you'll like it.
Need to quickly mind map something? Popplet is the best choice out of the huge range of apps of this kind,
We prefer this over Youtube for school use. Password lock your videos.
D6's app is a fantastic tool for communicating messages (and content) to staff and parents.
Ok so maybe this slow motion camera app isn't going to be used that regularly but hey - Batman has shark repellant on his belt!
I'm sure I've missed something here but I can't quite put my finger on it.