Great iOS Apps for the Classroom!

6 iOS apps useful in everyday classrooms from K-12

Tag Cloud

This simple iOS app can be used in many ways. It allows you to make your own word cloud based off a web page (like Wikipedia), custom text, or your own spreadsheet and then save it to your photo library or share it through email or social networking sites like Twitter. This app could be used by teachers in creating title pages when introducing new topics to students, or by students, who could use the app to demonstrate what they know about certain topics in an easy, sharp way. This tool is great for visual learners, with different templates to choose from, and it is handy because the word clouds can be saved for students (and teachers) to review should they ever want to.

Puppet Pals

Puppet pals is a great customizable app that is ideal for elementary school aged children. Students can pick their puppet characters (they also have the option of adding a photo of themselves or family members as a puppet) and create a mini puppet show. The movement of the characters as well as the child's voice is all recorded and their story is then played back to them. This is a wonderful way to introduce creating stories in Language Arts, and the children can experiment with many different plots and characters. This app is especially good for students with troubles writing, because they can still make their own creative story using their voice and puppets without having to write everything down.

Screenshots alone don't do this app justice, so take a look at this short video clip to learn more about Puppet Pals!

Puppet Pals iPad App

Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard type app that allows teachers to create, record, and share their lessons. The app allows users to import and edit photos and videos from the internet or their own files. Teachers can share their lessons with students and students can then go over them, and pause, rewind, or fast forward as they please. This is a fantastic app for students of all ages and abilities, and teachers can even use it to review their lessons later and save the ones that worked well and edit the ones that didn't.
Explain Everything 2.0

Sight Words for Reading

This app was designed to help elementary school aged children learn and practice their sight reading skills. Instead of the traditional printed words shown plainly to students, this app presents common "sight words" in context in short video clips. This helps students understand the deeper meaning of the words, and not just how they are pronounced. Students can then test themselves on what they learned with flashcard quizzes that are different every time! This app makes learning sight words more interesting for students while teaching them reading comprehension at the same time.

Poems By Heart

Poems By Heart is an iOS app made by Penguin Classics that encourages students to not only memorize classic poems, but to learn them on a deeper level. The app has five levels of difficulty (great for different grades), and has ranks and achievement scores, which could help motivate students to learn poetry more than just having them read it off of a piece of paper. The app integrates "brain training techniques" that make learning poetry fun through fast and responsive games like fill in the blank. It also has short biographies of famous poets, and recordings of people reading the poems for students who struggle with reading and need a little help getting started. This app can help make poetry a little more fun and interesting for those students who don't normally enjoy learning about it.

iBooks Author

So far, my favourite app for education has been Apple's iBooks Author app. Teachers can create their own unique mini textbooks from visually stunning and professional looking templates. It's great for teachers who have a unique way of teaching a subject or can't find the appropriate material to go along with their lesson. It is also ideal for teachers who want to create material for students to learn at different levels and abilities. Teachers can add widgets like movies, 3D animation, pop-up comments, and interactive images so their students get the full learning experience and aren't simply reading out of an outdated textbook. The app also has an automatic voiceover feature, so all text can be heard as well as read. This is ideal for students with reading difficulties, visual impairments, or just auditory learners in general. The iBook can then be made available for students to download, or even uploaded directly onto iBooks for all students with Apple products to access. Part of why I love this app is because of how customizable it is. It is ideal for anything from Grade 2 social studies, to Grade 12 biology. Teachers can also have students in older grades create one of their own mini textbook on different topics and even teach a little lesson to the class.
Apple iBooks Author Tour

By Maegan Song