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LEAF Blog > Posts > Useful Apps for Outdoor Learning
January 28
Useful Apps for Outdoor Learning

WE ALL KNOW THAT TEACHERS, in addition to teaching, are required to constantly keep up with and learn the latest technologies. And, over the last few years this task has become even more challenging with the advent of tablets and smartphones and the (sometimes) wonderful things they help us do in the classroom. Once a novelty, the iPad has become ubiquitous in our schools. And while the iPad can be a very powerful tool for you and your students, the number of apps, or applications, is overwhelming. So, to save you some time and help prepare you for getting your students – and their iPads and iPhones – outside this spring, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite outdoor education apps.

Key to Woody Plants of Wisconsin Forests, a free iPad and iPhone app, authored by Catherine L. Woodward, Ph.D. UW-Madison Institute for Biology Education, is a fantastic tool for identifying Wisconsin trees, shrubs, and vines. Set up like a dichotomous key, the app includes 85 species of trees and 57 species of shrubs and vines and includes native, exotic, and invasive species. This free app was made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.

Leafsnap, developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Currently Leafsnap contains the trees of the Northeast, but will soon include trees from the entire continental United States. Visit their website to see the tree species included in Leafsnap, the collections of its users, and the team of research volunteers working to produce it.

TreeBook is the authoritative guide to 100 of the most common trees in North America, produced by veteran forester Steve Nix (of forestry.about.com fame), and developed by Ash Mishra (developer of the very popular CBC Hockey and CBC Radio apps). - description from the iTunes Store

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