iOS Computing in the Classroom

If you've got an iPod Touch, an iPhone, or an iPad, you know how interactive apps can be. It sure seems like a good way to engage students. Is the iPad the best tool for your classroom? When? Why? How can you decide?

The iPad works best when it is used...
1. As a single device to be used for whole class, small group, or individual student practice of skills.
2. As a group tool to be used by students in a lab-like setting (one device to a group).
3. As a personal device in a 1:1 setting where each student has his/her own assigned iPad (not shared between students or classes on carts).*


The next step is finding the right app for the job.

THE BEST PLACE TO START is to define what kind of learning you want students to do. This simple resource is the BEST PLACE to START when exploring how you will use these devices in your classroom.

Here's the link: The iPad as....


PA 21st Century Teaching and Learning Coaches' Collaborative List
Bank app
Candy Crush
Google Maps
Kayak (travel)
Genius Scan
Google Drive
Google Now
HP ePrint
Paprika Recipe Manager
PBS Kids
Plant Picks
Remind 101
The Weather Channel
Tide Graph HD
Sock Puppet
Watch ABC
WW Moile
WW Scanner

*From the list above, our CLIU 21st Century Coaches especially recommend NEARPOD. This free app (and program for your computer) permits a teacher to create content and to push it to (and control) student iPads. (This really works best if you have enough devices that each student has one.) Another app to watch for mobile learning is LIVESLIDE This is a mobile Learning Management System that allows teachers to push content to students, and for students to share content and products back with the teacher. Coming soon, LiveSlide will also have a component called "Pulse," which will function as a virtual "clicker" system for collecting formative and summative assessment data from students.

Some really popular, free, classroom apps include Skitch, Popplet, and Educreations. Check out these quick video tutorials, called "iPad 101" by clicking here.

LESSON PLANS IDEAS HERE!!! (USING iPads!): Another INVALUABLE resource is this Google Doc listing instructional techniques and lesson ideas, also created by the 21st Century Teaching and Learning Coaches from Pennsylvania. It separates lessons into Elementary, Middle School, and High School, but don't limit yourself to one age group. Often, lessons can be tweaked to suit learners of any age. Here's the link:

Have only one iPad in your class? Try this: The One iPad Classroom

Want more? Join EdShelf. EdShelf provides educator reviews of hundreds of thousands of apps for K-12 schools. Reviews are not limited to just iOS apps. You'll find Android apps reviews here, too.

Common Sense Media now has a site that reviews the best apps for children and teens called GRAPHITE. Check out the latest apps reviews for both iOS and Android devices.

LIST.LY List of Best Book Creator Apps for the iPad

external image best-iphone-applications.jpg

Top 10 Sites for Educational Apps

January, 2012 edition of Tech & Learning
The wave of the future is here, especially for education. Terms like 21st Century Computing, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and Cloud Computing are mainstream. The introduction of mobile devices, iPods, Chromebooks, and more specifically, the iPad, has brought technology to more students than ever before. A one-to-one computing environment is not only a possibility, but also a reality in more school districts than people realize.

Below are my 10 favorite sites for finding educational apps.

  1. APPitic - Great site with over 1300 reviews done by Apple Distinguished Educators. These apps have been tested in different grade levels with different instructional strategies.
  2. Mind Leap - Excellent site with reviews built on a five-star scale. Reviews are done on a wide range of subjects and offers a nice breakdown of statistics such as educational quality, engagement factor, and shelf life.
  3. Best Kids Apps - Site with great reviews on iPhone, iPad, and Android apps. These reviews have a basic age rating and a nice image to go along too.
  4. Mac App Store - Probably the most comprehensive list of apps around. This application from Apple is the ideal place to find and purchase apps. Works on Snow Leopard OS and above.
  5. Fun Educational Apps - Ideal place to find reviews of apps for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. This is one of my favorite sites to find in-depth reviews with lots of pictures of the app.
  6. Smart Apps for Kids - Designed by a dad on a journey to find the best iPhone & iPad apps. These apps are reviewed on a four-star scale and offer a nice "bottom line" for those who don't want to read the whole review.
  7. Best Apps for Kids - Wonderful site that does a great breakdown of an educational app, with reviews done on a scale of one through five. Offers readers advice on whether they should purchase the app or not.
  8. Teachers with Apps - Great site with reviews of apps that include videos and images. Ideal for teachers looking to find that perfect app for the classroom.
  9. Apps in Education - Nice collection of iPad apps that are reviewed by subject. These reviews are brief and to the point.
  10. I Education Apps Review - Designed as a community effort of reviews posted by a variety of users. There are even student reviews to give a unique perspective on the use of an app.
Bonus - Teach with your iPad - Wonderful wiki that lists a ton of apps by subject, type, and grade level. A must see!

About the author: David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at // and read his blog at //

Apps for Reading and Math and the Common Core
Check out these helpful lists of apps (some free) that help students master Common Core Standards in this article from Tech and Learning.

But my iPad won't let me...
Looking for an iPad/iPhone friendly web browser that allows you to override the mobile version of certain sites? Try Mercury. This browser allows you to use the full functionality of Sapphire Gradebook, for instance. You'll need to open the menu on the app and select USER AGENT, then try one of the web browser options that work for you. Sapphire works best if you choose FIREFOX as your mask.

Favorite Digital Storytelling and Content Creation Apps for all grades:
Puppet Pals
Art Maker
PhotoCard (currently stores to device and cannot be shared)
Skitch (now saves to Evernote for sharing)

Check out This Edshelf on Free Apps for Studying, Note Taking, and Organizing Information!

Or, try iPad Apps for Schools by the author of Free Technology 4 Teachers.

Download this .pdf list of educational apps for autism here:

Here are a few more:

SNapps4Kids- SNapps review adds an embedded list of skills that are addressed in every app they review.

Scoop it- Recommended Educational App Lists- You can join the site or simply use this link to see what they are reviewing. The information is current and presented in a user-friendly manner.

App Advice is not only a website but an app: appadvice $1.99. Enjoy reading App Guides, Lists, Reviews and Charts.

Looking for More Help With iPad Integration?

Check out the resources in this LiveBinder:

*Think a cart of iPads is for you? Think again.
Shared mobile devices do not work well in the classroom setting because they are not intended nor are they designed to be shared. Many of the apps will save student work and progress within the application on the device, and it's hard, if not impossible, to determine which student did what work. Using Google Drive or another cloud storage space is possible, but such a configuration requires students to log themselves in and out of accounts in the settings area of the device, which is not something you will want them to do (if you can get them to do it all). While it is possible to work around some of the difficulties such a configuration creates, none are really satisfactory in the real world of the classroom. So, if a cart of 30 shared between classes are your goal, I say look elsewhere...this is not the tool for you.