IPAD Apps without Ads

Improving reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

Free Apps

WordWeb (Dictionary) – Free, no ads, allows you to save words to “favorites” This dictionary doesn’t have some of the features that you get with some of the free apps with ads or apps you pay for (i.e. audio, images or translation).


SparkleFish can be described as audio MadLibs where you record your voice saying the parts of speech. When you finish, you can listen to the hilarious story. The feature where you touch the part of speech for a list of more suggestions is great for building vocabulary. This is a fun, educational app!


With Tour Wrist, you can travel the globe by viewing amazing 360 degree panoramic photos. This app could be used with classes to explore different climates, or cultures. It might also be a great way for students to generate creative writing ideas.


Translate (Google) – I love the voice translation feature!


College Search (ACT) – No matter what age your students are, it’s important to begin learning about college. This app has lots of information about every major college in the United States.


Wikipedia – the largest online encyclopedia


EBSCOhost is an enormous database of articles for research. This app is probably most useful for grades 10 and up.


Mental Case (classroom edition) – this is a note taking, flashcard making app. It is better than most flashcard apps because photos and audio can be added to notes. Most of the free apps are text only. Mental Case is compatible with FlashcardExchange.com and Quizlet.com, so you can download flashcards from their databases for free. These sites charge subscription fees use image and audio files, but with Mental Case you to add pictures using your iTunes photos and record with your device.


Pulse (News) is a customizable news app. Instead of having apps for all the different news organizations, you can have them all in the same place and get the genres that are pertinent to you.


BrainPOP – awesome flash videos for kids with a variety of educational topics and a quiz at the end (a new movie every day). This app is also available in Spanish and British English!


Poetry Creator allows students to arrange words with the touch screen to create poetry. Poems can then be shared. This is truly a fun app!


Grammar Jammers (Primary Edition) has fun grammar songs and activities. You can purchase the elementary or middle school editions.


Schoology Edmodo My Big Campus – If you have student accounts with any of these social networks for education, you might want the app.


Big City, Small World- English language learning app created by the British Council with audio stories and comics with the purpose of teaching the English language. (Some of the phrases used may not be relevant to your students if you are teaching American English.)

Socrative Student Clicker – This is a must-have learner response system app. Teachers can set up quizzes, exit tickets, and discussions. Student responses and results can be viewed in real time and that data can be saved. Go to Socrative.com to setup a free account (currently in Beta). Note: Socrative works with computers, laptops, and other mobile devices.


Books for beginning readers:

MeeGenius! is a bookshelf that offers some free books.


The following Rye Books are free: The Little Snail, The Magic Brush and Maliang, and China.


I also like this version of Jack and the Beanstalk.


Books for proficient readers:


Stanza - this app gives you access to lots of free books through several sources, such as the Gutenberg Project and Feedbooks without needing an account (Kindle, Nook, Google books, and others require you to log into an account to access books).


For Teachers:


Socrative Teacher Clicker – This free app, although not necessary in order to use the student clicker app, might be useful if you want to view student results on your mobile device. I use my computer and projection unit to project student responses on the screen at the front of my classroom.


ClassDojo is a realtime behavior management tracking tool. This app makes it easy to track positive and negative student behaviors. To get the app, you must first visit the website and create an account. From your account, you will be given instructions on how to get the app.


Google Search – Access your Google docs, calendar, translate, YouTube or any other Goolge account by tapping the “Apps” button at the bottom of the Google home page.


Dropbox – If you use Dropbox to store your files in the cloud, you’ll probably want the app.


eduTecher Backpack will give you plenty of great links and tutorials on educational tech tools to try out in the classroom.


TED Talks app has a large collection of motivational and innovative speakers with a variety of fascinating educational topics. You can also get the TED Talk app with subtitles!


Seth Godin’s blog – Seth Godin is the author of over a dozen books including: Poke the Box,Linchpin, Purple Cow and Tribes. (You can see his TED Talks on that app). He is an insightful and inspirational writer, who is continually challenging the staus quo.