“…after all it is more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be” (Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth).
Perhaps. However, weather is an important area of study for our students. They examine different aspects of weather as early as kindergarten. The weather apps on the iPad can help with this, but they also allow students to do much more. All require an internet connection to download current weather.
InstaWeather Pro (regularly $1.99; free for a limited time) adds a weather overlay to your images. You can take your own pictures or use images from your camera roll, apply the skin, and then share.
Educational applications: Class weather book, compare predicted weather with actual weather, add weather to 365 project photos, tweet your weather, take a picture of the same plants at regular intervals and see how weather affects their growth, etc. Matt Gomez is using it to document the weather in his Texas kindergarten classroom.
Apple‘s default weather app and other similar apps* can be used not only to check the weather, but may be incorporated into the curriculum in a variety of ways. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Mathematics ideas: Use a weather app and Easy Chart (basic version is free for iPhone, also compatible with iPad; $0.99 for iPad HD version or iPhone advanced pack to add more functionality) to compare temperatures or wind speeds over time, in different places, or at different times of day. Compute mean, median, and mode of high or low temperatures over the course of a week. Give students a temperature and have them try to find a city with that mean temperature this week. Graph the difference between expected highs and lows.
- Language arts ideas: Use the information from the weather app to list facts or write an informational paragraph. Write about how the weather influences your activities. Use the InstaWeather image as the background for a haiku or weather-related senses poem. Create a PuppetPals video to explain a weather phenomenon.
- Social studies/science ideas: Compare local weather to weather in other parts of the world. Use one of the video capable apps to observe the ways weather moves across the continents.
*For example, there are apps by the Weather Channel, Weather Underground, AccuWeather, Weather +, WeatherBug, and others.
Please share the ways you might use weather apps in your classroom in the comments.
Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.com.
Originally published on Technology at Chaparral.