How to Create & Use Twitter Moments

twitter moments.png

Twitter Moments are a curated collection of tweets that are designed to tell a story. When they were first launched, you could only read stories that had been curated by Twitter, but recently that changed. You can now create and share your own Twitter Moments, and I think there are a lot of great opportunities for social savvy teachers to take advantage of that. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Create a Moment

  1. Go to twitter.com
  2. Click the Moments tab
  3. Click Create new Moment

Create a Twitter Moment II.png

Alternatively, you can click the three dots on any tweet and select New Moment. You can also click through to your profile page to find the Moments tab next to your Lists. If you click that, you will see the option to Create new Moment.

Create a Twitter Moment.png

Every Moment needs a title and a description, so add those first. After that, you are ready to add tweets to your Moment. Twitter gives you a number of options for doing this. You can select from tweets you have liked, look for tweets from a specific account, perform a search on twitter (e.g. by hashtag or keyword), or add the link to a tweet. Simply select the checkmark next to any tweet to add it to your Moment.

Tweets can be manually ordered so that they appear in chronological or some other progression that makes the most sense to your story. Tweets with media can be cropped for optimal viewing on a desktop and mobile device. You can also choose one tweet to be the cover image of your Moment.

Sharing Twitter Moments

There are a number of ways you can share a Twitter Moment. The obvious way is to tweet the Moment to your followers. However you can also share it via a link, or embed it on a website with the HTML embed code.

Using Twitter Moments at School

In many ways, Twitter Moments are a concise form of digital storytelling. There is a certain skill involved with selecting the right tweets and the order in which to arrange them to tell the best story. So, they could absolutely be used for a student assignment on a trending topic or world event for Social Studies, Language Arts, or even Science.

Have you ever been to an #edtech conference and wished you had a better way of capturing the best soundbites of the keynote speaker? Twitter Moments could be perfect for this. Simply follow the conference hashtag and “like” the best tweets as you see them. After the keynote, you can quickly go back and select those liked tweets to add to your Moment.

Twitter Moments could be great for school events too. If you have a sports team that made it to a state tournament, and have an active number of people tweeting updates with your school hashtag, then Moments could be a perfect way to capture and share that excitement.

If you have your own class hashtag and have assign students a task that they reflect upon with a tweet, then you can quickly and easily gather the best of those thoughts together in one place in order to discuss them the next day in class.

These are just some of the ways that I could see Twitter Moments being used at school. How would you use Twitter Moments?

 

 

Coding in the Classroom with Swift Playgrounds

swift playgrounds(1).png

The recent release of iOS 10 unlocked a creative coding opportunity for iPad classrooms called Swift Playgrounds. It’s an iPad app that lets you solve interactive puzzles that are designed to help you learn the basics of how to code in a programming language called Swift. It is aimed at students aged 12 and over and is part of Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative. So, if you are looking for new ways to start coding with students, this could be a great new platform for you to explore. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Swift?

Swift is an open source programming language that was developed by Apple engineers and released in 2014. It was created to help developers build apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Swift has its origins firmly rooted in another programming language called Objective-C, but Swift is generally considered to be more concise. The app, Swift Playgrounds, was developed to help introduce a younger audience to the finer points of programming with Swift, and to help foster a new generation of programmers for Apple devices.

Getting Started With Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds is only available for iPads running iOS 10 or later. You also need at least an iPad Air, or an iPad Mini 2, because these are the oldest devices that are capable of running the app. The iPad 2, the iPad 3, the iPad 4 and the original iPad Mini are not compatible Swift Playgrounds because they either can’t be upgraded past iOS 9 or lack the hardware necessary to run the Playgrounds app.

Once you launch the app you will see lessons at the top of the screen and coding challenges underneath. If your students have never programmed with Swift before, the lessons are the best place to start because they introduce you to the basics that students will need in order to attempt the challenges.

Each lesson has text on the left-hand side of the screen that introduces a task. This text introduces commands that the students will use to complete the puzzle. The tasks ask you to move a cartoon character (called Byte) around a virtual world which is depicted on the right-hand side of the screen. This virtual world can be manipulated with touch to rotate or zoom in on specific areas to get a better idea of what you need to do.

playgrounds intro.gif

One nice thing about Swift Playgrounds is that you rarely, if ever, need the iPad keyboard. Commands are suggested at the bottom of the screen and you simply tap them to select them. You can also choose coding blocks from a drop-down menu and drag code around to rearrange. It is all very touch-centric, which is how it should be for iPad users.

Beyond the Basics

Once you have explored the tutorials, you will likely want to dive in to the challenges. Apple has said they will update these regularly so that there is always a good selection to choose from. Presently there are four, (all dated September 2016), but more are likely to arrive in future app updates. The challenges are labelled with a skill level like Beginner, or Intermediate, to help give you an idea of how much time or knowledge will be required to complete the task.

However, you can also build your own playgrounds from scratch. This allows the greatest level of creativity because you start with a blank slate (or a template) and use whatever code and media is available to you in order to create something new.

Ready to share your code with the world? You can with Mail, Messages or AirDrop. Projects can also be submitted as assignments in iTunesU. If you want, you can record a video of yourself writing the code, or running your code, complete with an audio narration (although I couldn’t get the narration to work on my iPad for some unknown reason). Creating coding videos like this could be a useful teaching tool for educators who want to make their own coding challenges complete with an introductory video for students.

iOS Screenshot 20160914-172920.png

Final Thoughts

Swift Playgrounds is obviously not the only coding app for the iPad. In fact, there are dozens of apps like this in the App Store, and many have been around for some years now. You can see some here. However, Apple’s take on a coding app for kids is certainly an innovative and intriguing approach.

That said, it might be worth letting your students know that there is only so much you can do in the app, (hence the Playgrounds moniker). Although you are coding in Swift, you can’t create an app exclusively in Swift Playgrounds. This is more of a tutorial experience, or a sandbox if you will. Those who are serious about publishing their code can export it to Xcode on a Mac and polish it up for release in the App Store.

Additional Resources

In order to help people get to grips even further with learning Swift as a programming language, Apple has also put together a couple of iBook guides, which you can access below. These are free resources that are available for anyone to download and use.

Swift Playgrounds: Learn to Code 1 & 2 – This Teacher Guide is designed to help you bring Swift Playgrounds into the classroom, no matter what your level of experience with coding is. It includes activities, reflection questions, journal prompts, and more to help you bring coding into any classroom.

App Development With Swift – This course is designed to help you build a solid foundation in programming fundamentals using Swift as the language. You’ll get practical experience with the tools, techniques, and concepts needed to build a basic iOS app from scratch. You’ll also learn user interface design principles, which are fundamental to programming and making great apps. Prior programming experience is not required for this course.

The Best Podcasts for K-12 Students

student podcasts

Podcasts have a big influence on my personal learning. I listen to multiple podcasts every day and I know that I am a more rounded and informed person because of it. Lots of people I know feel the same way, and maybe you do too. After all, more people are listening to podcasts now than ever before. So, are there podcasts for the students we teach? Can they too benefit from this expansive learning platform? Of course! Here are some podcasts that could be a great addition to your classroom learning library.

Podcasts for Elementary Students

  • The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified – Buckle up, kids! This rocket ship’s headed for… adventure! Join our hero, Eleanor Amplified, the world-famous radio reporter, as she foils dastardly plots, outwits crafty villains, and goes after The Big Story. Listen in as Eleanor’s pursuit of truth takes her into orbit, out to sea, through a scary jungle, and even to the halls of Congress! Start with Episode 1 and get ready for a wild ride. From WHYY in Philadelphia. Keep up with Eleanor at http://eleanoramplified.com.
  • Brains On! – Brains On is a science podcast for curious kids and adults from MPR News and KPCC. Co-hosted each week by kid scientists and reporters from public radio, we ask questions ranging from the science behind sneezing to how to translate the purr of cats, and go wherever the answers take us.
  • Story Nory – Storynory brings you an audio story every week. Each one is beautifully read by Natasha and friends. Let Natasha’s voice beguile you with classic fairy tales, new children’s stories, poems, myths, adventures and romance.
  • Short & Curly – SHORT & CURLY is a fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents, with questions and ideas to really get you thinking. It asks curly questions like about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future. Thanks to our two fabulous hosts, there’s lots of time for silliness too. We are also helped out by resident ethicist Matt Beard, a brainstrust of school children and some special high-profile guests like sporting stars and famous musicians. SHORT & CURLY is especially designed to be listened to alone or as a family, with questions to think about and time to discuss it together.
  • But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids – But Why is a show led by kids. They ask the questions and we find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, we tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world. Know a kid with a question? Record it with a smartphone. Be sure to include your kid’s first name, age, and town and send the recording to questions@butwhykids.org!
  • Story Pirates Podcast – Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater. Story Pirates Podcast features highlights from our weekly radio show on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live. Visit www.storypirates.org for more information on Story Pirates and how you can bring our live show to your school or town!
  • Tumble Science – Exploring stories of science discovery. Tumble is a science podcast for kids ages 8 – 12, created to be enjoyed by the entire family. Hosted & produced by Lindsay Patterson (science journalist) & Marshall Escamilla (teacher).

Podcasts for Middle/High School

  • Serial – Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial unfolds one story – a true story – over the course of a whole season. The show follows the plot and characters wherever they lead, through many surprising twists and turns. Sarah won’t know what happens at the end of the story until she gets there, not long before you get there with her. Each week she’ll bring you the latest chapter, so it’s important to listen in, starting with Episode 1. New episodes are released on Thursday mornings. (Explicit language)
  • Planet Money – Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money. The team produces a twice-weekly show, a blog, and radio stories for NPR’s flagship news programs, Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
  • Dan Carlan’s Hardcore History – In “Hardcore History” journalist and broadcaster Dan Carlin takes his “Martian”, unorthodox way of thinking and applies it to the past. Was Alexander the Great as bad a person as Adolf Hitler? What would Apaches with modern weapons be like? Will our modern civilization ever fall like civilizations from past eras? This isn’t academic history (and Carlin isn’t a historian) but the podcast’s unique blend of high drama, masterful narration and Twilight Zone-style twists has entertained millions of listeners.
  • TED Radio Hour – The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections.
  • Freakonomics – Have fun discovering the hidden side of everything with host Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the best-selling “Freakonomics” books. Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his “Freakonomics” co-author Steve Levitt.
  • Radiolab – Radiolab is a show about wonder, curiosity and big ideas. Hailed by critics as “best radio show,” Radiolab presents a potent elixir of science and philosophy, first-person storytelling and radio theatre, all woven together with the most innovative sound design to ever spill out of the radio. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and produced by WNYC, the show is heard on more than 300 public radio stations around the country.
  • 99% Invisible – Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we’ve just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars.

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Creating Photo & Video Slideshows is Easy With Quik for iPad

Quik for iPaD

I love iPad video editor apps like iMovie and Splice, but sometimes all you really want to do is quickly throw some photos together in a slideshow, save it as a movie, and share it with others. In this past, this has undoubtedly taken more time than it should, but Quik for iOS changes everything. With this free app you can create a professional looking video with music and titles in almost no time at all. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Create Video Slideshows With Quik for iPad

1. Start by tapping the Create button and selecting the images and/or videos that you would like to include. Tap OK when you are ready to move on.

Select photos videos Quik

2. A video will immediately start playing with the media you selected automatically matched to an upbeat music track. If you like it, then you’re done! Click Save to share your video. To explore more options, keep reading!

3. Tap the paint bucket icon in the top right-hand corner of your screen to choose a new theme. Scroll horizontally to see all the themes that are available. Each one has a selection of filters, fonts and animations that will give your movie a unique and stylish look. Tapping twice on a theme will let you fine tune the effects.

Quik themes

4. Tap the music icon if you want to browser the music library or add your own music. To change the current selection, tap Remove Current Track, then tap once more to select a new one. You can browser the GoPro music library or tap My Music to add something from your device or from a variety of cloud accounts.

5. Tap the pencil icon for the editor mode. This feature gives you more control over your images. You can tap on any picture for the ability to set a point of interest on your images, add text, duplicate the image, or delete it from your timeline. Text can also be added before or after media by tapping on an image and then tapping the plus sign on either side of it.

focus points in Quik

6. Tapping the wrench allows you to toggle between a square or a widescreen view and to set the overall length of your video. Quik makes a recommendation based on the number of images or videos you add, but you can override that if you want. Should you decide to change the length of the video, look for the music icon on the timeline. These are the ideal fade points for the music track you chose.

How to Share Videos Created With Quik for iPad

When you are finished and ready to share, click the Save button. There are a number of great ways to share your finished video. Aside from the usual social network options you can choose to save to your camera roll. Interestingly, you can also use the Copy Link feature to upload the video to GoPro’s servers and share an unlisted link to your video. Tapping More will render your video and give you the option to share it via other apps installed on your iPad. Here is a “Quik” video that I put together with some free images from unsplash.com.

Educational Uses for Photo & Video Slideshows

If you’ve read this far, I expect you already have all kinds of great ideas for how to use photo and video slideshows with students. They are great for remembering field trips, sports games, and other school events. Videos are perfect for reflecting on progress in PBL or other elongated classroom projects. You can use them in Science to show change over time or to document a process and add titles in between with explanations. I even met a preschool teacher once who took photos of her students every day for a year and then combined them into a video, complete with a sentimental soundtrack, that made a special end of year gift for parents.

Alternative Apps for Photo & Video Slideshows on the iPad

In terms of simplicity, I think that this is exactly where you want to be. Quik is about as easy as it gets. That said, Animoto runs a close second and has many of the same features. Educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom here. iMovie can do photo and video slideshows and has many more options like slow motion, or picture in picture, both of which could really help you or your students make your final product really shine. You may also want to check out Quik’s sister app called Splice. I am a BIG fan of Splice. Although it was designed as a video editor, it would still be a very sensible choice for photo/video slideshows.

The One App I Can’t Live Without

app you cant live without

Recently, at the #iPadU conference, I was challenged to think about the one app I couldn’t live without. This was harder than I thought it might be. I mean, there are a lot of apps I really like, but are there any that I couldn’t live without, or at least be able to find some kind of passable replacement for? After some consideration, I decided that there was such an app, and that it really was quite unique in what it offers students, teachers and just about everyone else. That app, is the Camera app.

In many ways it is more than just an app, because it is now an essential hardware feature, but many people forget that when the iPad was first introduced in April 2010, there was no camera. Even today, there are those that still laud the introduction of the original iPad as a new era for computing, but for me, the iPad 2 was far more important than the one that came before it. When the iPad 2 was announced a year later, it had a two cameras – one on the front and one on the back.  The addition of these cameras opened up a whole new world for what was actually possible with an iPad, and quickly turned this mobile tablet from a consumption device to a creation device. It transformed the iPad into something infinitely more appealing and opened the doors for developers to create some amazing apps.

In the years that followed, the camera(s) improved in functionality and quality. On the latest iPad Pro, the stock camera app allows you to take 12 megapixel photos, 4k video, huge panoramas, time lapse videos, and slow motion movies at up to 240fps. There is a timer mode, Auto HDR, face detection, burst mode, exposure control and geotagging. Yet, in many ways, all this technology is just the tip of the iceberg because of the way that iOS allows other apps to access the camera and the photos and videos that you capture with it.

Today, you can make green screen movies on your iPad with no difficulties at all. You can edit videos in a full featured video editor. You can create multimedia eBooks with Book Creator or create your own comic book with Halftone 2 and ComicBook! Be amazed as you build multimedia slideshows with Shadow Puppet or 30 Hands, and create stop motion movies with iMotion HD. Capture learning as it happens with SeeSaw. Tell the story of your school on social media by sharing photos and videos on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Point your camera at AR targets to add unparalleled levels of interactivity with the help of Aurasma or DAQRI. Transform your photos into shareworthy images with graphic design apps for the iPad, create collages with PicCollage Kids, or make amazing photo slideshows with Quik & Animoto.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor was it meant to be. These are just a fraction of the activities that educators use the camera for in schools today, but as a whole they serve to underline the vital importance of this unsung iPad app. Sometimes we take it for granted, or forget that it is there, but I am in no doubt whatsoever that the only app I couldn’t live without is the camera app.

How to Use Microsoft Forms in Office 365 Education

How to Use the New Microsoft Forms

Have you seen the new Microsoft Forms? One of the most popular articles on my blog in the last 12 months was related to its predecessor – Excel Surveys. Not only did that post get a lot of views, but it also got a lot of comments from people with questions about the features of Excel Surveys, or more importantly for some, the features it did not have. You can still use Excel Surveys, but Microsoft are in the process of transitioning to something better – Microsoft Forms. This version includes automatic grading and built-in student feedback. Here’s what you need to know.

Getting Started

You can find the homepage for Microsoft Forms by going to forms.office.com, or you may see Forms listed in the Office 365 App Launcher. Both links go to the same place. Technically, Forms is still in Preview but you can sign in with your Office 365 Education account today and start creating surveys and quizzes. The new Microsoft Forms work on desktop and mobile browsers.

Once you are logged in, click the New button to create your first form. Replace Untitled Form with a title of your choice, and add a description underneath if you want to provide any directions or information for students or parents who are filling out your Form.

Building a Form

Tapping the Add Question button gives you access to the question types that are available to you in this new version of Microsoft Forms. The options include:

  1. Choice: for creating multiple choice questions! Tap or click the slider to allow people to select multiple answers. You can also tap or click the ellipses button to shuffle answers.
  2. Quiz: a multiple choice question that you allows you to select a correct answer for automatic grading. Tapping the comment icon on each answer choice lets you add student feedback for each selection. Multiple answers and shuffled answers are also available to you when working on Quiz questions.
  3. Text: to collect short (or long) text answers use the Text question type. Tap or click the ellipses button to include number restrictions like greater than, less than, equal to, and more.
  4. Rating: for adding a star or number rating. Could be useful as part of an exit ticket or for voting on class favorites. Ratings can be out of 5 or 10, and tapping the ellipses button will allow you to add a label at either end of this Likert scale.
  5. Date: a question type that only allows for an answer in date format.

Microsoft Forms Question Builder

More Tips & Tricks:

  • Any question type can be marked as a required question by sliding the Answer required switch to the right. This means students can’t submit the Form until they have answered all of these questions.
  • You can rearrange questions by clicking on them and tapping the up and down arrows to move them to the order you need.
  • Deleting questions is as simple as clicking the trash can while editing a question
  • Create a duplicate of any question by tapping the copy icon to the left of the question order arrows. This is ideal for adding similar question types, (E.g. Q1. First name, Q2. Last name).

Preview and Themes

You can see a live view of your Form at any time by clicking the Preview button on the toolbar at the top of the page. This will show you the view that students or parents will get when they access your survey. Clicking Back in the top left-hand corner returns you to the question editor.

Use the Theme button to choose from a variety of colorful designs that you can use to add more personality to your Form. The current selection is a little limited but I expect this will be expanded before too much longer.

Microsoft Forms Themes

Sharing Microsoft Forms

When you are ready to share your survey or quiz with others, click the Send Form button in the top right-hand corner of your screen. This opens a sidebar on the right-hand side of your screen with a variety of sharing options. These options include:

  1. Copy and Paste the Link: This is the public facing URL for your Microsoft Form. This is the link you will want to share with students, parents or whoever else might be filling in your Form. It is a pretty long link, so if you are not using anchor text, I would suggest sharing with a URL shortener like tinyurl.com or bit.ly.
  2. Email the Link: Click this button to open a new email in your default Mail client (e.g. Outlook) with the link to your form pre-pasted into the compose window ready to send.
  3. Download & Send the QR Code: In an age of mobile devices I especially like the inclusion of this option. It generates a QR code that links to your Form. You can download the QR code as an image and print it or add it to a website or electronic document.
  4. Embed in a Webpage: If you want to put your Microsoft Form directly on to a school or classroom webpage, you can use this option to generate the HTML code you need to allow people to fill out the Form on your website. You can even add a Form to a Sway and it works great with an LMS too!

sharing settings for Microsoft forms

The remaining option, Who can fill out this form, is an important one. Make sure you get this right before you send the Form to other people. These options let you choose the visibility and privacy for your Form. If you leave the default option selected, only those with an Office 365 account at your school will be able to fill in your Form. Users will need to log in with those credentials to even see the Form. The advantage here is a modicum of privacy and accountability because it will automatically collect the names and email addresses of those filling in your Form unless you uncheck Record the names of responders.

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5 Creative Graphic Design Apps for iPads

iPad Graphic Design Apps

Are you ready to harness your inner designer? Today it is easier than ever thanks to a variety of easy to use graphic design apps for the iPad. These “text on photos” apps are increasingly popular and many of them do a great job of simplifying the design process for non-designers. They could be a great platform for exploring visual literacy and visual design in the classroom, or simply to spice up your social media presence. I myself have quite a few of these kinds of apps on my iPad so I thought I would take some time to share five of my favorites together with some of the reasons I like them.

1. Canva (Free with in-app purchases)

If you’ve heard of any of these apps before, you probably heard of Canva. It is available on the web, and for the iPad, and is a great way to get started creating fun, fresh looking images. Canva has a number of templates you can use (some free, some paid) and bucket loads of inspiration. I particularly like the icon gallery and the free image search, although I will often use sites like Unsplash too and bring those into Canva. This app is perfect for social media graphics, posters, presentations, blog post images and even infographics. There are also some great lesson plans for teaching design in your classroom that were written by educators like Vicki Davis, Monica Burns, Steven Anderson and more. The only real downside to Canva is that you need an account to use the app and that it is designed to be a service for those 13 and older.

canva for ipad

2. Adobe Spark Post (Free)

Adobe Spark Post is a relatively new app for the iPad, but it has been available for iPhone users for a while now. In many ways it is quite comparable to Canva, but it has a few neat features that are well worth exploring. For instance, if you have a graphic you want to share on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, Adobe Spark Post can automatically adjust your design so that the image is optimally sized for each social network. It also lets you change themes and color palettes at the touch of a button or add life to your design by saving it as a stylish animated GIF. There is a library of public domain images that you can search through and use in your designs, but you can just as easily use photos from your Camera Roll too. It is a lot of fun to play with and can also be accessed on the web at spark.adobe.com. A free Adobe account is required to use any of the Adobe Spark apps.

Adobe Spark Post

3. Word Swag ($3.99 with in-app purchases)

I have been using Word Swag for a little while now, but I was hesitant to purchase it because it was $3.99 AND has in-app purchases. As it happens, there is a LOT you can do with just the initial purchase. You really don’t need to buy anything extra, and some of the in-app purchases are actually free right now and have been for a some time. Word Swag integrates with Pixabay so that you can search for Creative Commons Zero images that you want to use in your design, but you can also choose from a number of solid, textured and gradient images without any searching at all. There are a huge variety of font styles to choose from and a variety of filters and font color effects. However, there is no real way to crop or resize your image. There is a Twitter Preview Area, but that is about the only guidance you get before you share online. That said, it is still a great app that produces some stunning images, and if you like inspirational quotes, you will love the built-in quote generator. Word Swag is also available for Android.

Word Swag for iPad

4. Over (Free with in-app purchases)

If you are hesitant about paying the $3.99 for Word Swag, try Over. I know it has a lot of in-app purchases, but again you get a decent amount for free, and you can collect free artwork every day just by accessing the free artwork gallery in the app. Over has some pretty robust photo editing tools that can be used to tweak photos from Unsplash, Pixabay, or from your Camera Roll. It has filters, blurring tools, shapes, fonts, artwork and more. However, I think it was a paid app when I first downloaded it so I am not sure how many of the features I enjoy are now listed as in-app purchases. For instance, features like the crop tool that lets you size an image for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & much more, is currently a 99c add-on, but I know I never paid for that. Still, there is a lot to like in the Over app and I do find myself going back to it more than I thought I would. It is a versatile app with some interesting creative options. Over is also available for Android.

Over for iPad

5. Studio Design (Free)

Studio Design is an app that I came across while researching what I was going to include in this blog post. I haven’t used it a whole lot, but based on the time that I have spent using it, I think it is worthy of inclusion here. It does many of the same kind of things that other apps in this category do, but perhaps most interesting to me was the ability to remix designs from other people. When you do this, the camera on your device opens with the fonts and other layers overlaid on your screen so that you can compose and take your own picture. For me, that had a lot of interesting creative opportunities and it models good digital citizenship because  published designs include a credit for the original designer. The app is 100% free, does not require you to set up an account, and has plenty free artwork that you can download. Studio is also available for Android.

Bonus Pick: Notegraphy (Free)

Looking to display some longer forms of text? If so, Notegraphy is worth a look. Simply type or copy and paste the text you want to beautify, then choose from a number of stylish themes that can be used to showcase your words. It is a little more restrictive than some of the apps above in terms of features, but there is something to be said for simplicity. It can also be used on Android and on the web at notegraphy.com.

Further Research

Some other apps that I have not yet had the chance to try, (but would like to), include Typic, Uptown & Co, Retype, Typorama, Rhonna Designs and Path On. Have you tried any of these graphic design apps for the iPad? If so, which ones are your favorites?