Monday, August 4, 2014

What's on My iPad - Summer 14 Edition

What does a math ed prof keep on his iPad?  I thought I might as well just show you - though I did tidy up a bit before having company over.

Main Screen

Nothing too unusual here. Evernote is amazing even though I am a novice user. Really enables me to leave the laptop in my office a lot. Google Drive completes that picture, especially since I can make things available offline.

Main calculators: MyScript for computation and Desmos for graphing.

GeoGebra, OF COURSE.

Sketchology is a drawing program with near infinite zoom. You can really scrunch in and add detail.

Threes is my current game for a minute. Two Dots is the other one. Both have me stymied. iButtons is because I am still a class clown at heart.

The new Google apps are better, but still only for use in a pinch.

Paper is gorgeous.

Notability for marking up pdfs.

Skitch and Halftone for marking up photos.

Serviceable stuff here. Some of these would be more useful in a K-12 classroom than at university.

I go back and forth amongst Educreations and Screenchomp. Do you have a favorite app for this?

Voice Record integrates well with Google Drive, which has been handy for sharing and archiving interviews.

Three ring is interesting. It allows you to photo document student work and include it for a particular student in a class list. Feels like a piece of the SBG puzzle, and I'll be experimenting a lot more with it this year.

Tara Maynard and Caitlin Grubb have impressed me with their Nearpod and Socrative use. Need to be 1:1 for it to work, though, and we're not yet at the university.

When MyScript and Desmos aren't enough, I'll pull out Wolfram|Alpha. It needs wifi for full power, though. Sage does not, and can handle even bigger jobs. I think if I taught more upper level math I'd be using that a lot. It was handy for Number Theory, and can execute Python code, among other languages.  Quick Graph is a nice 3-D grapher.

The Common Core app is helpful and easy to use. Necessary these days.

Numbers is a gorgeous interactive book from Ian Stewart.

xFractal is a versatile fractal viewer with Julia and Mandelbrot sets.

Golly is a particularly nice implementation of Conway's Game of Life.

The Rekenrek (Number Rack) and GeoBoard are not as good as having a real one, but useful when needed away from the supply cabinets, or for recording demonstrations off the iPad.

I recommend all of these, but especially iOrnament, Isometric and Mandalar. Great feel and capabilities.

Now we start with the games!

24 and 6 numbers are both for computational fluency with good structures.

I'm a fan of all of the Motion Math games. Meaningful representations and actions that helpf for constructing number concept.

Whole is a recent game which has a nice game context and mechanism for adding fractions to 1. The two Teachley games, Addimals and Mt. Multiplis, emphasize strategies for computation and have outstanding production values. (Think Cyberchase-level voice acting and animation.)

Devlin's Wuzzit Trouble is good game and requires problem solving.

The NCTM apps are good puzzlers and free.

I am not a huge fan of DragonBox or Math Evolve, but think both are as good as drill games are going to get.

ParabolaX is our GVSU quadratic game app. Not bad!

These are separate because their goal is not to explicitly have the students do math. However they are essentially mathematical in structure, context or process.

I have spent way too much time over the years playing 2048, Entanglement, Flow Free, Number Addict, Dots and Two Dots. Thank the tech powers that there was not mobile Tetris when I was younger.

Scratch, Jr is a particularly nice, new coding app suitable for the quite young. Of the other three I think Hopscotch shows the most promise.

Of course, I do have just games on here, too.

Lines of Gold and Deck Buster are two great Reiner Knizia one person strategy games.

Ticket to Ride is a solid implementation of the board game (which is an all time great) which actually gets rid of the scoring (which can be onerous) and has pretty good AI to play against.

Risk is better in the app than on the board. There, I said it.

Doodle Jump I got when we were designing ParabolaX. It and Little Galaxy are are interesting combinations of dexterity and strategy. After taking Malke Rosenfeld's embodied cognition session, I think there's more here than I realized.

If you haven't played Plants vs Zombies, you're missing out. Fun game, surprising amount of intuitive math and strategy. It's all about rates!

Way too much sharing. If you're still here, I'd love to know what I'm missing, or what you find essential.


  1. Thanks for sharing John! Most of my app list overlaps yours, however there are a few new ones that now have to play with - especially "three rings". One more game for your mathy collection is Voro. The student I first saw playing it was devastated when I pointed out that it's based on a mathematical idea.

  2. Thanks so much for the great leads. I'm exploring a few now, and look forward to exploring others in the weeks ahead.

    Here are two you might enjoy looking at, if you haven't already:

    Pythonista, complete onboard general-purpose coding, with iPad-native modules for graphics, touch, motion-sensors, and more.

    Processing, programming tuned for visual artists.