An App-tastic Holiday Break

12 · 14 · 16

An App-tastic Holiday Break


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Ring in 2017 with new iPad apps for classroom learning.

By Jackie Hoermann-Elliott

Since when did iPads become children’s toys?

That’s a joke, of course, but maybe you can relate. The person who uses the iPad most frequently in our house is in kindergarten. As I was watching her tinker away on her iPad the other day, I started to remember how much I loved teaching with the iPad five years ago.

I asked TCU Koehler Center Senior Faculty Developer Joanna Schmidt about her experiences with iPad teaching and training at TCU. Schmidt said that very few faculty members make use of the iPad, but some occasionally refer to the Koehler Center’s Discipline-Specific iPad App Gallery for tried and true faculty favorites.

What’s even cooler and coming down the pipeline for next semester are all the apps that sync with TCU’s new online learning platform, TCU Online–also known as Brightspace by D2L. Schmidt shared with us the top 4 apps designed by Brightspace for students and faculty to use.

Assignment Grader

Faculty will love this app for how easily it lets them grade offline. Grades are synced and saved when wifi connection becomes available again.



Image courtesy of Computer Support News.

TCU students are in for a real treat with the new Pulse app, which will allow them to see their class calendars, course content, grades, and much more. How’s that for an integrated user experience? Mention this one on your syllabus if you think you might encourage Pulse use.


Brightspace has an ePortfolio option, too. We’re fans of Frogfolio in the Studio, but this alternative portfolio system may appeal to others. Try this app anyway to test out some unique functions, such as adding in reflections you have while in the moment of reflecting or snapping photos on your phone or iPad that can be sent to the ePortfolio via the app.


My favorite Brightspace iPad app might just be Binder because it allows users to save content you read anywhere. Like the grading app, this digital binder lets you read and work offline. Think about all those athletes and band members traveling on the road who might appreciate an offline app like this one?

Remote Mouse

For good measure, I thought I’d throw in a few more tried-and-true favorites, like Remote Mouse, which is easy to download to an iPad or iPhone and takes up minimal storage space. Want to walk around your classroom with a clicker in hand? Your iPad can become that clicker with this app.

Socrative App for Teachers or Students

Teachers LOVE Socrative. Many other universities use this app to create class quizzes and polls that are easily accessible. Click here to reach Socrative’s app for teachers. To understand how well students are learning content via polls, you’ll have to ask students to download the student version of the app, which you can locate by clicking here.


If you’re more low-maintenance tech and you don’t want to ask students to download their own app for learning, then try Kahoot! as an

Image courtesy of Speed of Creativity.

Image courtesy of Speed of Creativity.

alternative to Socrative. What’s the difference? Kahoot! provides codes for users to join quizzes. Our faculty friends in the nursing school really enjoy this app because it’s user-friendly design is simple, fun, and non-intimidating.


Don’t forget you can video and audio record on your iPad, too! Dr. Fran Huckaby in TCU’s College of Education uses iPads to film public school education advocates she researches. Imagine what you (or your students) could do with video recording on an iPad.

Center for Digital Expression

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