Apps for Use in the Classroom

Where do I start? There are thousands of apps!!!!!!!!!!!! Literally thousands! If you want to cut that number down to quality apps, there are truly hundreds of quality apps. YOU have to decide if you want only free apps or if you're willing to pay a bit. Then decide on your subject area. So now, for high quality, not too expensive apps in a specific field, you still will have to do some more research. You can just go to Google yourself and search.... or you can look below at several sources that I found that may, at least, eliminate some of the less desirable apps. Of course, then there's the possibility of new apps always coming online. Continue to read and go to workshops. With keep your hears open!

At the conference I attended, I saw that an employee of Apple was giving four different presentations entitled "Learning with the iPad", but each session was suppose to emphasis the four different areas of K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. I intended to go to all four sessions, but it only took me two sessions to realize that he was saying the exact same thing in all his session... seriously only heard one sentence different. Then, when I got home, I realized that his handouts for all four, that were provided online were exactly the same. It's a good list of apps, but far too long and all inclusive to use alone. As you have time, take a look:

So below are some hyperlinks that I later found on my own:

15 Favorite iPad Apps as Selected by Teachers, March 25, 2012 -

10 Best Apps 4 Teachers -

103 Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the classroom -

iPad Apps for the Classroom, grouped by Subject-

Pad for Education: Listing of iPad apps and iPad uses in education -

Elementary School apps

Middle School apps

High Schools apps


Foreign Languages

Social Studies
Physical Education

Kathy's Bloomin' Apps

Kathy Schrock is one of the best known names in the area of educational technology. Since 1995, she has maintained a website entitled "Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators". On a previous page, we already looked at Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. So, I thought it interesting that Kathy has organized her apps according to that taxonomy. She entitled the image below "iPad Apps to Support Bloom's Revised Taxomony".

If you link to Kathy's site, entitled "Bloomin' Apps", you'll find that the apps shows above are active. That is, you can click on the app and it'll take you to a page with more information about the app.

A collection of apps chosen by the spring '12 class of EG5523
Note: Apps in red are apps that have been used in the classroom already
Grade Level
Subject Area
Karla A.
late elementary
English & Spanish
  • Neu.Notes: I believe this would be a fantastic app for the classroom. I often want to write notes for my students, to show them how I would map things out. To be able to do that and save that information (not have to rewrite , or scan) would save me a lot of time and help my students.
  • iBooks: I love the comment shared on the following site ( The teacher who gave this suggestion didn’t just access the books already on iBooks, but also added her own students writing allowing them to be accessed by others as if they were books. I would love to do that for my own students writing and allow them to “check each other out.”
  • Skitch: Skitch allows you to mark up any images. The best part is you can keep these mark ups. I often mark up images with my students, but I must do that on the whiteboard or using a projector and the marking I make are then lost. I think this would be a great app.
  • PowerPresenter: I have often found great PDFs and charts, but have had to spend countless time converting those files so they may be easily usable while I’m presenting in the classroom. This app would save me much time.
  • Eclicker: this type of app would be most useful when all students have an iPad, or at least a clicker to click their responses. I love the opportunity for immediate feedback that an iPad gives as well as opportunities for immediate reflection and analysis.

Deborah A.
early elementary
  • Toontastic is an app where students can create their very own cartoons. In Toontastic, students can choose a puppet or draw their own. When a student begins to create his/her cartoon he/she is faced with a graphic organizer. It leads the students through the different parts of a story including setup, conflict, challenge, climax, and resolution. As a second grade teacher, I like this since we teach story structure and organizing creative writing. The school Tech department recommended this app. My own children have used this app at home and love it. The app is free but the user could run into additional costs to purchase more puppets or backgrounds. A similar program called Puppet Pals is also available.
  • ArtikPix is an app that my daughter uses to practice speech. This app is for students how have difficulty articulating specific sounds. The app allows the students to choose flashcards to practice a specific sound such as “g”. The app shows a flashcard with a word and a picture. The app says the word. The student then presses a microphone icon and says the word. Next the student listens to the way they said the word and rates himself or herself using a smiley face or sad face icon. The app keeps track of the successes and failures. Teachers can take a picture of their students and have a folder to save student data. There is also a place where a student or teacher could write notes. This app costs $29.99.

Rebecca B.
K & 1st grade
  • Teach Me Kindergarten /First Grade app focuses on sight words, beginning spelling, also addition and subtraction and number recognition. This app would provide those students with the one on one practice that students may need and a little more application and reinforcement of skills. This app also allows for the parents and teachers to interact on the child’s performance history to monitor and check progress.
  • Pocket Phonics app is a universal app that helps emergent and early readers. This app reviews letter sounds, alphabet tracings, sight words, and early spelling. This app follows the “synthetic phonics” teaching method which is promoted with our NCLB guidelines in teaching reading. There is also a free version of this app.

Sheila C.
early elementary
all subjects
  • Stack the States app was highly recommend by our computer computer teacher. The states drop on the screen and learner carefully builds a stack of states that reaches a checkered line to win the level. She said that he has a wonderful time.
  • ROCKET MATH: We use a type of “Rocket Math” in our classrooms but not from ipad. Our students love it but I know they would love the interaction from the ipad even more. While we use paper and pencil to time basic addition and subtraction skills, Rocket Math has objects that float in space and the learn earns medals as they beat high scores. Our students color in their rocket as each level is achieved. In the app there are 56 math missions ranging in difficulty from even/odd numbers to square roots, money, counting, fractions, decimals, patterns, addition, subtractions, multiplication and division, money, telling time and more. I know that telling time is a difficult concept for second graders, especially the quarter hour intervals. I think the repetition that the ipad would give with immediate feedback would be so beneficial to these learners.
  • Story Builder is another app I found (not used) but feel would be beneficial to any group of students. It is designed to help improve paragraph formation, integration of ideas and improve higher level abstractions by inference. Students can record a narrative in their own voice. Some of the other features are available story lines, questions to guide narratives and the ability to email recorded stories. Since writing is such an important skill, this would assist students and teachers alike. As on our homepage where students recorded themselves reading for fluency, these students can record themselves to check for sentence structure and other language skills.

Brian C.
middle school
math & science
  • I like to use Planets for myself just as much as I like to show it to my students. I have a Skype chat planned with my cousin who lives in Africa later this month, and I used my document camera to show the Planets app on my iPod Touch that displays a rotating Earth being lit up on the side of Earth that is actually sunlit at that moment. This model made it clear to the students that there is a major time difference between our location and his when I stopped the rotating to show where we were and where he was. While I had the planet stopped, I was also able to show where lines of latitude and longitude were to discuss where wind patterns are and to talk about the paths of some of the major ocean currents.
  • Another app that I have used in my classroom as an example of an app students who have iPads could find useful is called Flashcardlet. This app makes use of Quizlet. The site is meant for users to create and share flashcards. Due to the nature of flashcards, this app can actually help in any and all subjects and grade levels. The beauty of having this option for studying in an app is that you don’t have to carry all those rubber banded stacks of flashcards around. When you add in the fact that apps like this can allow for people to share already created flashcard sets, the busy work time of writing down the information on each card is eliminated. You can actually spend that time making whatever slight modifications you may desire to make and getting down to studying the content.

Michelle D.

  • iMovie would be one of them. Next year I will be teaching a year round class for the first time that will be about video production and this would be an app that would fit into the class very well. The app allows the user to collaborate to produce high quality outcomes. The student can film, edit, produce, and share on the iPad. The only drawback to this app is the cost. At 2.99 per iPad the school may not be able to afford this app.
  • Strip Designer allows the student to create comics on the iPad. This would be a great app to help get the kids to record and report on their experiences. This would also be a great app to use to get the kids to work up story boards for their projects. This app can then be uploaded to flickr, twitpic, and email. Both of these apps would be great to use in the year round classroom that I will be teaching next year.

Carah F.
high school
Biology & Literature
  • In my Biology class, the “Cell and Cell Structure” app would allow students to become more familiar with structures and in turn be able to understand the functions and cell processes more clearly. If students could pull up a cell on their iPad at their desk while we discussed, it would be much more beneficial to see cell reproduction, for example, happen right in front of them.
  • Shakespeare in Bits: Macbeth iPad Edition” would be an awesome motivation for my high school seniors. Literature doesn’t excite students very much. If I had an extra tool available to help with motivation, it would definitely be a plus.
  • I have used “Run Keeper” to map a trail in Norris. The GPS system allowed the students to document their exact path and record their pace and distance. The students were excited that I allowed them to use their phones. I am sure this would be the same case if the app was used on the iPad.
  • Convert HD” is a great app for conversions. It can convert volume, temp, weight, time, area, and currency. I use this app myself. I attempt to discern to my students that if they can look up the information or use tools, there’s no reason to attempt memorization. That brain power can be used for something else. Having a conversion app on an iPad in the classroom would do just this.

Libby F.
high school
I... know of several free apps that may prove valuable in the science classroom. Some of them are Video Science, Science Glossary, Dinosaurs Unleashed Free!, 3D Brain, SparkVue, Self_Assembly, Going To The Zoo, HudsonAlpha iCell, 3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool, iElements - Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements, and Molecules and that is just scratching the surface.

Erika N.
early elementary
cross curricular
  • Grammar Jammers – animated songs and rhymes to help childrenlearn rules and mechanics of the English language
  • Math Magic – math fact practice
  • Stack the States – interactive game where students learn thecapitals, shapes, and locations of all 50 states.
  • Star Walk – instant recognition of stars, constellations, and satellites
  • Science 360 – tons of free graphics and videos created by theNational Science Foundation
  • Pocket Phonics – animated graphics to help students build and blend words
  • Make Change – teaches coin recognition, counting money, and making change
  • Jungle Time – interactive analog clocks allow students to tell and set time aswell as calculate elapsed time
  • FlashtoPass (Free Math Flashcards) – individualized math fact practice on varying levels
  • Analogies 4 Kids – analogy games presented in picture or word form to promote higher order thinking skills

Rebecca P.
early elementary
all subjects
  • Puppet Pals allows you to create animated plays that the students can narrate. I could envision using this app as a capstone project on plays or narrative writing. Students could work in groups to write their own plays or stories. After the writing had gone through the complete writing process, students could use Puppet Pals to animate and record their characters. They could then share the animations with the class. This activity would definitely touch on a number of Bloom’s higher levels of learning and I think my students would find it very entertaining.
  • Another app called Toontastic could be used in a similar way. Students could start by using the app to create their play or story. In this way, Toontastic would serve as a way of brainstorming before they started writing.
  • Another app that could be used in the area of reading/language arts is called QuickVoice. Quickvoice allows the user to record and save their speech. There are two ways that I could envision using this app. They first way would be as a reading workstation. Students could record themselves reading a book. They could then play back the recording and use a child friendly rubric to assess their intonation and fluency. This could also be used as a partner activity or as fluency assessment. Secondly, QuickVoice could be used as a way for students to evaluate their journal writing. I would have students record themself slowly reading their journal entry. I would then have the students listen to their recording while pointing to each word they had written. Often times, students are more able to identify mistakes in their writing when someone else reads it to them.

Stephanie P.
First three for Reading; last for math.
  • Timed Reading is a reading app that does pretty much what it says, it times students’ reading. You can set up individual students and choose their grade level, which is great for my class, as I have students that range from an early first grade reading level to late third grade level, and then they read the stories that the app provides and it times them and then gives a word per minute report at the end.
  • ABC Writing helps students to practice spelling and letter formation. The words are broken into word families and the app will speak and spell each word. I have used this with my lower readers, it has been great extra practice for them.
  • Build a Word Phonics similar to ABC writing, except that it focuses solely on phonics and the building of words.
  • Time to Learn, where students practice telling time on an analog clock, this app would be great for all of my students, especially the ones that struggle with telling time, it seems to be a great interactive app.
  • Sums Stacker would be ideal, for my higher math students as it really challenges your thinking about ways to make sums, but it would really be good for any of my students.

Lynda P.
high school
drafting & engineering
  • My number one app/internet use is Dropbox. I love that I have access to the files I deem important from any media device I use. It also makes it easy to share files with others, even students.
  • EDMODO, is another app/internet site that I use in class. It is like Facebook for the classroom except it is private from the public but interactions are public to the teacher so students can’t use it inappropriately. I have saved paper and time by posting all my assignments as pdfs on the site. I can post links here too which saves the frustration of typos when students try to go to recommended sites. I have also had the students turn in files through the assignment feature which also saves paper. The students have access to the site from their home computer, their tablet or smartphone. They can ask questions to me or the class and can check missed work if they are absent. This is a wonderful app for class use.
  • ClassDojo is an app/internet site that I have begun to play with but have not put to use yet. It is a classroom management tool that allows you to give positive or negative behavior feedback by the touch of a finger or by the click of a mouse. The site recommends that you display the screen to the class so that the students are aware that they have received or lost a point. I am not sure that this will work at the high school level, but I do give a grade based on participation and following class rules and this may be a tool that allows me to calculate that grade more easily.
  • The last app that I would like to mention is AutoCAD Design Review. This is an application that would be specific to my classes, but it would allow me to mark up drawings without students having to print them. It would save paper and serve the same purpose of providing mark-ups for corrections.

Kristi S.
early elementary
all subjects
  • National Geographic Explorer brings the classroom magazine to life. It has audio and video to enhance the already intriguing articles. Read the articles, check out the pictures, and click on the pictures to zoom. If the images have a play button, they will link you to a video.
  • GTT Zoo has audio and video files of animals. The home page has animals group by habitat. Click on the habitat that you are interested in. I have a safari theme in my classroom, so I clicked on the African Sarari. Then click on the animal. I choose the leopard. When the new window opens, you hear the sound of your animal. The scientific information for your animal is displayed as well. You can click on the wiki for more information or click the paw print to see a video.
  • Qwiki would be invaluable for the ever curious students. Qwiki allows you to look up just about anything. Type in your topic in the search area. Photographs, videos, and audio will appear about your topic. Some searches also lead to YouTube links. For example, when I entered Peru, a short overview of the country was played. One of the frames had a play button on it. When I clicked this button, it sent me to the linked 5 minute video on YouTube.

Tiffany S.
middle school
Since receiving an iPad from my district last fall I have tried many free apps. Let me emphasize the word free. I highly recommend that everyone downloads, and uses, the free version of any app before buying it. I know this may sound ridiculous when you are talking about a $0.99 app but the costs add up. Although there is $34.00 in my account that the district set up so that I may purchase apps to use in the classroom I haven’t used any of the money.
  • As I was working on this assignment I was introduced to Doceri, which costs $30. After Spring Break I will most likely purchase this program and my frugality will have, once again, paid off.
  • Because I only have one iPad in my classroom the instructional apps that I have used with students have primarily been those that provided supplementary material that I could present to the entire class at one time. Educreations is one of my favorite apps to use in this manner. Not only does this free app allow me to create and record lessons in a white board format it is also available on the web at This means that the material is not exclusive to only those people with iPads. Anyone with internet access can create, view, and share material through educreations. The creator of each lesson can choose whether to make the lesson public, private, or available only to a group that they set up.
  • Another free app that I like to use in class is howstuffworks. Again, one of the reasons that I like this app is that it is also available online. None of my students have iPads but almost all of them have internet access through a PC or Smart Phone. If they see something in my class that sparks their interest I want them to be able to investigate it further online. Apps that have websites allow this to occur. Even though I can’t create lessons or activities using this howstffworks I can take content from the app and use it as part of a lesson. It is especially rich in video “snippets” that appeal to middle school students and make great lesson introductions. What makes this app especially useful to me is that I can mark my favorite pieces of content so that I can find them easily again later.
  • One app that I have not used yet but hope to incorporate into my curriculum next year is Voice Thread. This is a free app is also available online. It can be used by one person to create and share information or by multiple people as a tool for collaboration.

Valerie S.
7-12 & adult
  • Calcbot (Universal), for basic computations... Along with it being eye candy, it allows the user to email recorded use history.
  • Math Ref (Universal) is good for algebra. It has formulas, figures, tips and examples of equations and concepts.
  • Wolfram Alpha is free and it’s amazing. It’s an online site that gives examples, graphs and shows how to solve problems. Those three would be my apps to replace calculators. T
  • GeoGebra, for Geometry, gives decent visuals that are needed for geometry and it’s free. There are better applications for geometry but unfortunately at the moment those are not free.
  • Zunal Webquest. I would use this to supplement the curriculum. The students would be given a couple of webquests to do for each class. This will help give the students more understanding of the subject and be able to apply what they have learned to real life. I’ve used the webquest before and I really like it.

Laurie T.
Early elementary
all subjects
  • ad Libs- learning parts of speech while having fun and playing a game
  • Brain Pop- my class is always wanting to watch Brain Pop jr. With this I could assign the brain pop and they could watch it and take a quiz themselves.
  • History:Maps of the World- My class is always asking me to show them something on a map whether it's a location in a book or some place someone visited. It would be so newt for them to be able to zoom in and locate it on a map. Or compare modern maps to ancient ones.
  • Teacher'sAssistant Pro- a great tool to help keep up with behavior children or help keep up with rewarding positive behaviors. I love the ability to notify parents via email. Documentations is so important in the classroom and this seems to be one way to keep up with it very easily and stay organized.
  • ABC Magnetic Alphabet- I could see using this during my word study time to check students on their spelling and word pattern ability. I like how I don't have to search for letters and I won;t find any on the floor at the end of the day!

Kristina T.
Early elementary
Reading & Math
  • Alphabet Fun app is a great way for them to learn their letters, numbers and colors. With over 70 high-resolution color screens, this app is as intuitive as it is colorful. Children choose a letter, number or color to work with and can trace around the traceable word with their finger. A clear audio voice tells the student the name of the letter they are working with and mistakes are easily fixed with a gentle shake of the iPad to erase them.
  • **Number Sense HD** is a mathematical app aimed at Kindergarten students, but preschool and 1st grade teachers should also take a look at what it is capable of. It is made up of 5 games. Each one can be tweaked for difficulty in the settings, and will test a different facet of Math. Learn counting to 30, number sequencing, comparisons, greater than and less than, as well as simple addition and subtraction.

Rhonda W.
  • Teacherpal is a great app for teacher productivity. It has face recognition software, it allows the teacher to quickly take attendance, track attendance, grades, and send emails to parents.
  • 3d Classic Literature is another great app. Since I teach reading it allows me to put a book on the projector to be enjoyed by the whole class. It makes reading a little more interactive.
  • Ibooks also is another great app. plus it is cheaper than buying 30 student copies of a text.
  • USA Today Classroom is great for getting students interested in nonfiction. It has up-to date news and hyperlinks that take you to the site.
  • Dragon Speak converts words to text (not always completely accurate, thanks to my Tennessee dialect).
  • IPOE this makes Poe’s stories even cooler than they are! Takes Poe and makes it all interactive. There is one for Dracula too, but Poe is more interesting to the students.
  • Free Grammar is neat as well. It allows students to practice basic grammar skills, plus if I remember correctly it’s free.

Tammy W.
high school
  • SplashtopDesktop: I have used this app. It allows the user to control the desktop or laptop computer from the iPad. It is a great app but can be difficult to use at first. It would help if the user had a stylus to use. It comes as a free app or an upgraded app.
  • SAT Math An app filled with SAT practice problems. It is very helpful for students taking the SAT or for teachers to use for warm up questions.
  • MathBoard: This is a good app for practicing math. You can customize the number, type and difficulty of problems.
  • BrainPop: This is everybody’s favorite robot and friend in the form of an app. Short video clips/questions.
  • King of Math: This is a fun math fact practice game with various levels.
  • FreeGraCalc: This is a free graphing calculator. It is very handy. Shows the equation and graphs. It has polynomial solvers, triangle solvers and tables.
  • MathRef: This contains equations, formulas and examples. You simply choose a topic and it will give you a notes section, the basic forms of the equations and a worked out numerical equation.
  • Algebra Touch: This app covers many of the basic concepts of algebra. It allows different difficulty levels.
  • AlgeBingo: I have not tried this app but it appears interesting. It is a customizable bingo game for algebra concepts. Users even get two choices on the look of their teachers.
  • Algebra Kaiser: This app works both algebra skills and memory. I like that it incorporates common mistakes into the problems.
  • Trogonir: Helps students understand how to use trigonometry and even discusses the unit circle.
  • Fractile: Students will love this app and learn about fractals at the same time.
  • Timeto learn: Although this may sound strange, at least half of my high school students cannot tell time. This app can be a great way for students to practice telling time without the embarrassment of everyone knowing they are learning to tell time.
  • ChanceLab: This is a great app for probability. Nice visual circle graphs with lines to show the statistics that have occurred. It is colorful and eye catching.
  • Soundrop: This is a great app to show math in music.

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