ISTE 2010: iPhone Apps and Tips

by Dean Mattson

The first ISTE session I attended was Getting the Most From Your iPhone: Apps, Tricks and Tricks by David Pownell. It was a fun session; a little of it was education specific, but I think most of it was stuff that the average iPhone or iPod Touch person would be interested in. The beginning of the session lagged a little as the presenter had no way to show what was on his iPhone screen. He tried the best he could and got things going, but he could only go so far by describing what was going on (followed by a lot of what-was-thats and could-you-go-over-that-agains). Fortunately one of the attendees came to the rescue and graciously arranged for a document camera to be delivered, which improved the session immensely.

Like David, I download a lot of apps to try out and I was wondering if I was actually going to learn something new, but I did discover a few gems. To his credit, David encouraged people to jump in and they recommended some great apps as well. Some of my favorites:

* iTreadmill ($0.99)- a simple pedometer
* PopMath ($0.99, free lite version available) – a fun way to help students learn basic computational facts
* Autoverbal ($0.99)- will speak text typed into it, for autistic children

Perhaps my favorite one was Siri (free). It’s similar to Yelp in that it’ll find nearby places, like restaurants, gas stations or movie theaters, but you make requests with your voice. Also it seems to provide better results. When I’m searching for a restaurant in Yelp, it gives me a whole bunch of choices that are close by, but they don’t seem to be in any particular order and a lot of them will not be within walking distance. Siri seemed to give you to closest restaurants, but I’ll have to try that out more.

David posted both the apps and the tips he presented on his website. Check them out!

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