I have the main post for this partway written; however, while researching the Apps I want to load onto the iPads, I ran across these, and was so impressed I decided to blog them early.
First, two e-books that finally, finally, get what the iPad is all about and take advantage of it. I am really tired of publishers whose imagination fails to extend beyond replacing still images with video, yet think they are being innovative.
Push Pop Press is publishing Our Choice, Al Gore's sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, but designed specifically for the iPad. (In fact, Mike Matas, the developer helped design the iPad's interface). It is mind-boggling to see in action (video below). I really hope textbook publishers are sitting up and taking notice, and we owe a debt of gratitude to PPP for licensing their ebook platform to other publishers, allowing them to create equally innovative texts.
One caveat, the program is so huge (over 50 mb), the download from the App store is only the introductory video. It then redirects and downloads the rest of the book.
Similarly, if not quite as jaw-dropping, Elements: A Visual Exploration, explores the periodic table like you've never seen it.
Moving away from ebooks, I really like this nifty little app. Frog Dissection allows student to dissect a frog virtually. The graphics are pretty realistic, as you can see in the video below, and it's cool that they can click on an organ to view it in 3D or learn more about it. The app comes with a quiz and more information about frogs. I showed it to our Biology teacher, and he's pretty excited about it--especially because it's hard to get frogs in Mongolia.