I often receive questions about my list of favourite iPad Apps for the classroom! With more than 65,000 educational Apps in the Apple App Store, one can’t just walk around with a list, really. I am constantly reviewing different Apps and thinking about their educational applications. There are plenty of websites that review Apps and sources to get information about new Apps and what teachers are doing with them, here are a few that I really like:
- iPad Apps 4 Schools blog
- #iPadEd on Twitter
- Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Blog
- Teaching with your iPad (Wiki)
- Using iPad in the Classroom
- Free iPad Apps for Teachers - Pinterest
- Apps for Class
- iPads for Learning
- Common Sense Media
Having said that, there are quite a few Apps that have been on my top list for a while as they serve some of the most useful functions in a 1:1 iPad Classroom and here they are (in no particular order):
can be used in so many creative ways to involve students in tasks where they create videos and develop higher-order thinking skills. The EdApps blog lists thirteen different ways to use the iMovie App in the classroom. Whether you’re looking for long-term projects or quick activities, you can use iMovie. Here’s another list of activities to integrate iMovie in any class, categorised by thinking level according to Bloom’s Taxonomy by the AppsInClass blog.
is one of the best note-taking Apps I’ve ever seen. Students can use it as an ePortfolio with a notebook for every subject and new notes for every topic or project. The Apps allows for recording audio notes, images as well as figures, web clips and stickies. That’s in addition to various input methods for both written and typed text. What really makes this App so special is its computability with cloud-storage platforms: Google Drive, Box, Dropbox …etc.If you haven’t used a note-taking App before, you might want to spend some time to learn about this App before using it with your students. Here’s a list of useful tutorials and tips on using Notability in the classroom:
Notability can also be used as an ePortfolio platform for students.
One of the best iPad Apps for ScreenCasting. The App allows you to import files in different formats and from multiple sources both on your iPad or on the most used cloud-based storage providers. With so many option for annotating and recording, you can record lessons during class, flip your lessons or transform the way students do their homework with this App. Videos recorded on ExplainEverything can be exported into the camera roll on the iPad, YouTube or multiple cloud-based storage platforms. Many educators have been using this App in 1:1 iPad classrooms and for different age groups. Here are some useful resources to help you get started with this App:
Socrative (Teacher Clicker | Student Clicker)
Socrative offers an effective student response system/ eClicker and it is free! In addition to the App, the platform is also available online for 1:1 laptop classrooms or computer labs. You can use it for formative assessment purposes or simply to check students’ understanding as you go. It can be one question at a time or a series of questions in a quiz format. There are many ways to use Socrative in the classroom. There is a Teacher App and a Student App where each teacher gets a room for every session and students join the room to respond to the questions posted by the teacher. It’s quite easy to use an eClicker and make it part of the daily workflow in a 1:1 laptop/tablet or mobile learning environment. Check out the list of recommended readings regarding Socrative on this TIPS blog post and the following list of ideas to integrate Socrative in your classroom:
Nearpod is advertised as an all-in-one solution for use of mobile devices in education. The versatile platform allows for running complete pre-prepared lessons with embedded questions in different formats both online and on the iPad. A teacher needs to create an account on Nearpod website to upload pre-prepared PDF files converted from PowerPoint or Keynote, then integrate the interactive questions after that, check out the workflow below and the digram on Nearpod website:
Also, check out this presentation (created with Haiku Deck) by Lisa Johnson on Nearpod in the Classroom as well as this series of videos by Making Tech Simple on using Nearpod. This is the kind of App a teacher would use to introduce new concepts to class in restricted or semi-restricted learning activities and although it may seem teacher-centred at first, it is easy to make it more student-centred by adding the interactive questions, which creates more opportunities for active learning. Jen Kimbrell lists 5 reasons to use Nearpod in the classroom in a recent blog post.
There is a place for QR reading Apps, which scan and read QR codes, in every classroom with mobile devices, whether tablets or smartphones. Many educators have been using QR codes as part of their daily lessons and there are many ideas and reasons to use QR Codes in the classroom. Interestingly, all teachers who use QR codes emphasise on the fact that students get engaged and motivated instantaneously when they scan the codes and receive a message, watch a video or get directed to a website! Kathy Schrock shares a comprehensive list of resources for using QR codes in the classroom on her blog, which can be a great starting point to learn about QR Codes and how you may use it in your class.
QRafter is a wonderful App to read and create QR Codes on the iPad. It’s easy to use and one of very few Apps that will enable the students to create QR codes themselves on the iPad.
Creating multi-touch interactive books on the iPad is one of the learning activities that you can design so that students are involved in higher-order thinking skills while learning about authoring their own content and reflecting on what they have learnt. Book Creator is a fantastic and user-friendly App that students can use to create their own interactive, multimedia-rich books on the iPad.
Using Book Creator is quite easy, so even younger students can create the books without facing any technical difficulties. Check out this collection of books created with Book Creator by both students and teachers. There are many inspiring ideas to borrow! Creating a book on BookCreator happens by following a few steps. If you’d like to watch some video tutorials about creating books with this App, click here and here.
Books created with this App can be shared in ePub format, which can be read on multiple platforms or exported in PDF format, yet this takes away all the interactivity from the book. Students can also share their books via multiple cloud-based storage platforms such as Dropbox, Showbie, Google Drive …etc.
This simple App offers many ideas for teachers and students to share interactive images created on their own iPads. Check out the ThingLink blog for creative ideas to use this App, which allows the user to add hotspots on images where he/she can add text comments, images or videos to the image then share it online for free. The platform is also available with the same features online for 1:1 laptop classrooms.
Many educators have been utilising ThingLink as a tool to boost motivation and reflective learning practices in their classrooms, check out this list of resources to learn about ideas for ThingLink integration:
As explained at the beginning of this post, I really can’t just limit myself to some Apps to use in the classroom. With every lesson I explore to see how new Apps may add a new dimension to the learning activity I am designing or even better how I many use an App that I used before for something new!