Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Awesome iPad Apps for School Counselors

I have only had my iPad for 1 year, but now I don't think I could survive without it!  I'll admit before buying one I thought, "what's the big deal? It can't be that great" I was wrong. It is that great.  I'd like to share with you some of my favorite apps that I use everyday.  This list will come in very handy for personal use as well as for your counseling program.

The first app I want to tell you about is Notability. It is only 1.99 and well worth the money.  I kept waiting and waiting for Pages, the Microsoft word app, to go down in price but since it never did I tried notability and I've been very happy with it.  Notability allows you to organize your documents in categories and sub-folders that are automatically color coded!  Also, taking notes is fun because you can change the look of the paper and font, and you can draw, highlight, and add pictures to your notes. I plan to use Notability to keep track of staff meeting notes, lesson plans, counseling ideas and for anything else I need to take notes on. Below are a couple screen shots of how I used Notability at the ASCA Conference.

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The next app I use everyday is Pinterest.  I'm not going to say too much about this app because I assume all of you are already using it.  Pinterest is the number one way I stay energized, creative, and on top of the latest ideas in education, counseling, and technology.

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Password Manager Free is an app that allows you to store all your usernames/login names and passwords.  At school, it seems like we have to change our passwords every three months or so and some passwords are not allowed to match which makes if VERY difficult to keep up with them all. This app is a life saver! You do have to remember one password, because it is a password protected app, but this allows all your information to stay more secure. You can create your own categories with picture icons and when you click on them it gives you your login information. Amazing!

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Qrafter and I-nigma are both good apps to scan and read QR codes. They are very kid friendly and you can use QR codes in any guidance lesson to help engage your students. You can also add QR codes to parent newsletters, business cards, or your website with links to your contact information or other online resources. I use www.qrstuff.com to create my QR codes.

AppsGoneFree is a great app to check daily.  This app shows which apps are free that typically cost a fee.

Scribble Press is a digital storytelling app that has many uses in school counseling.  They have some great templates for students to create stories that give students the opportunity to share information about themselves.  Students can create personalized books about their selves, friends, parents, future, and much more.  Once books are created they can be saved and shared in ibooks, email, etc... This app would be perfect during classroom guidance, small group, and individual counseling! Below is an example of a page that I created. I'm thinking about creating a book to use to introduce myself at the beginning of the year!

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Professor Garfield has a series of apps that are very engaging for students and would be a great addition to your lessons.  Specifically for guidance related topics, I would suggest Professor Garfield Online Safety and  Professor Garfield Cyberbullying.  Both of these apps are free and they begin with a creative comic strip students can read related to the topic and then there are questions that follow to check for understanding. This app will take your lesson from sub-par to out of this world! Below are just a few examples from the comic and activity.

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I have found many cute apps that I plan on using with younger grades to teach emotions/feelings.  All of these would be perfect to use to reinforce concepts in a whole class setting or in small group and individual counseling.

Moody Monster Manor lets kids design their own monster. They can pick a body shape, colorful pattern, eyes, nose, and mouth for their monster. This would be so much fun to have students design different monsters to portray different feelings.  This app also has interactive scenarios showing a variety of emotions and asks the kids to complete a task to help the monster feel better.

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Touch and Learn Emotions is an app that has children pick the picture that matches the given feeling.  The kids will listen for a feeling word and then choose the correct picture from 4 pictures.  I really like that the pictures show real kids faces rather than cartoons.  This helps students learn real facial clues that will help them identify how people in their lives are feeling.

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iTouchiLearn Feelings for Preschool has a lite version that is free, but I would suggest paying for the full version, because it opens up more games and feelings.  This app gives students interactive situations and asks them to identify the correct emotion. They are also able to make different feeling faces with fun food and household items and they have other games such as matching, puzzles, spelling, and more. This app would be perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade!

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Focus On the Go! is a great app to use in the classroom and would be good to suggest for parents.  They offer a parent resource library that includes printable activities and resources as well as videos that provide skills from the FOCUS Family Resilience Training Program.  I also plan on using this one during individual counseling sessions.  There are games aimed at helping students learn about ways to calm down when they are angry. There is also a comic creator where students can create different scenarios and solutions.

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Finally, there are a couple classroom apps that I plan on using with my ActiveBoard to help enhance my everyday lessons.  Classroom Timer is a free app that is a GREAT visual that can be projected onto your board showing students how long they have left before moving on to a new activity. This would be great for all students, but especially for students who struggle with transitions.

Random Name Selector will randomly display a student name when you ask the class a question.  The app will go through your entire class list before repeating a name ensuring that students are called on a fair number of times.  This will help keep students on their toes because they will never know when they will be called on!

Too Noisy is a cute app that helps control the noise level in your classroom.  When you have this app projected on your board, students can see when they are getting too loud without you having to keep saying, "Be Quiet!" These apps are so simple, yet so helpful!

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I really hope this gives you some useful and creative ways to use iPads in your counseling program.  I can't wait to see my students' reactions when I incorporate these apps this year!! Please leave comments with other apps you use!


3 comments:

  1. Do you use your iPad to track counseling data? If so, what app do you use to do this? Thanks!

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  2. Can you tell me the name of the resource for your second screenshot on this page. It looks to have some wonderful interventions and I am always needing new ideas for my parents.
    Thanks,

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  3. Excellent tips. Really useful stuff. Never had an idea about this, will look for more of such informative posts from your side.
    Good job Keep it up.
    Online counselling

    ReplyDelete