Saturday, July 12, 2014

You Oughta Know About... Smart Apps for Kids AND Automatic Downloads!

I am so excited about this!  Today I am linking up with Jasmine from Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for the You Oughta Know Blog Hop, where teachers are shouting out about things that work well in the classroom!
So here's what I think you oughta know about... If you have iPads in your classroom, you NEED to know about the website Smart Apps for Kids

Smart Apps for Kids is ahhhhhhmazing.  I kid you not!  Every day they feature a Free App of the Day (generally for preschool or elementary but sometimes older).  But most days they feature ridiculous amounts of free and discounted apps.  The apps are not theirs - they scout out what is free right now and tell you about it!  Most days there are several apps listed and on Fridays they host Free App Friday, which often features over $100 in free apps!  The apps they feature are sometimes free for that day only or a few days only, so be sure to check them out and grab what you like while it is free!

In my classroom, I have 4 iPads (and typically about 22 kids).  We use them for projects, etc., but when we have indoor recess, the kids have free time on the iPads on a rotating schedule and I need to have good stuff on there that they can use independently but is also educationally relevant.  I don't have an app budget at all... zero dollars... so Smart Apps for Kids has been a lifesaver!  I subscribe to them via email and Twitter so that I don't have to remember to go and check every day to see what's new.

Also... and here comes the second thing You Oughta Know...  did you know that if you have multiple iPads, you can download something on one of them and have it automatically download on your others?  It's TRUE!  Go into Settings and on the left hand side scroll down to iTunes & App Store.  You can see it hilighted on the left in the picture:

Then see where it says Automatic Downloads on the right?  Yup... you can turn that on or off for Music, Apps, Books, and Updates and it will automatically work on any other iPad you have with the same Apple ID (the email ID that you use in the App Store).  In the picture above, you can see that Music and Books are turned on and Apps and Updates are turned off.  I just slide the little bar to the right to turn them on and, presto, I only have to download things on one iPad to have them show up on all 4!

 Because I wanted a different email on my home iPads/iTunes account and my classroom iPads (I didn't want all of my classroom stuff showing up on my home devices and vice versa - yikes!), I set up a gmail account just for my school iPads and made that my userID.  Since I only download free apps, I don't worry about linking any accounts to it or anything, and I have never once had to actually check that email account since I set it up. :)  

This tip is especially helpful for both saving time downloading new apps onto all of your devices (you can do this with your home stuff, too) but updating everything at once automatically - yes, please! :)  Hope these tips make your life a little bit easier when it comes to managing iPads in the classroom and finding quality free apps. :)

Speaking of making your life easier, I have just posted something I've needed myself for a long time - Morning Stretch!  It's Common Core aligned September morning work for first grade. Talk about making my own life easier... and I am known to scramble in the morning to figure out what morning work I want to give!  (Fortunately, I'm the only one who knows that.... and now you, lol).  

Check... done... one less thing to worry about in September!  I'll bring you more on this soon, but for now, guess what else you oughta know about? The great ideas from the other teacher in the You Ought Know hop!

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  1. This is great! I am just starting to really use the SMARTboard more! Teaching Science With Lynda

  2. So excited to try out Smart Apps for Kids!!

    Mrs. Cain's Creations

  3. Great ideas!
    I had no idea that you could share downloads between iPads!
    Thanks for sharing!
    The Third Grade Zoo

  4. What a great find! I'm going to pass this along to friends who have kids. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Crockett's Classroom . . . Forever in Third Grade

  5. Thanks for sharing the automatic downloads tip! I just got a few iPads and I made sure to turn that feature on lol

    Buzzing With Mrs. McClain

  6. I've been using Smart Apps for Kids all summer to load up an old iPad (my kids don't know we have it lol... it's 1st generation, just reformatted as it was my husband's but he has a newer one) for our 8 hour vacation drive in August. New free apps every day, you can't go wrong! Be sure to sign up for their email notifications!

    Auto dowloads is a HUGE time saver!!! :)


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