iPads in the Classroom

Grades 6-8

iPads in Education?

iPads in Education

  • Since their release in April of 2010, Apple’s iPads have taken the US by storm.
  • iPads have swept through almost every industry, especially education.
  • With these powerful mobile devices come a lot of possible benefits for educators and students alike
  • iPad technology in the classroom can be a powerful tool for learning and comprehension. The interactivity it provides can make for a very engaging experience, definitely for elementary school aged students.

Goals & Objectives

  • Determining your iPad “APPtitude”

    • iPad Tips & Trick

  • Technology Integration

  • Setting Instructional Goals with the iPad
  • Locating and Evaluating the Best Apps
  • Some "favorite" Apps

  • Creating an "Apptivity"

  • Questions, Comments, & Evaluation

Are you iPad Savvy?

Are you familiar with all these features?

iPad Basics
  • The iPad can hold 25 apps per screen
  • The iPad mini can hold 20 apps per screen
  • You can group apps into folders - Each folder can hold 20 apps
  • The dock can hold 6 apps at a time
  • You can prevent in app purchases
  • To charge your devices faster, use airplane mode
  • The Cloud and your iTunes Account

Adding, Moving and Deleting Apps

  • iTunes Account
  • Moving Apps
  • Deleting Apps
  • Creating & Naming Folders

The Keyboard

  • Auto Correction Features
  • Shortcuts - Hidden Keys
  • Emoji Keyboard
  • Splitting the Keyboard

Gestures & more fun features....

  • A four finger swipe up or a double click to the home button shows apps still open
  • Four fingers scrolling left or right allows you to scroll through your open apps
  • To close apps that are open, swipe up; you can close two at a time
  • Snap (closed) all 5 fingers to return to the home screen
  • The spotlight search allow you to find apps, messages or emails quickly
  • When you delete apps, the remain in your iTunes account
  • Do you know how to copy, cut and paste?
  • Can you use Siri? or disable her?
  • WebClips, Bookmarks and Screenshots
  • Scrolling tips for web use

Accessibility Features

  • Speak Selection/Siri/Dictation
  • Text Size
  • Lock Screen Rotation
  • Guided Access: You can "lock" a user into a single app
  • Assistive Touch
  • Custom Gestures

Photos & Video

  • Camera/Video Recorder Settings
  • Editing Pictures
  • Sharing Pictures & Videos
  • The Cloud/Photo streaming

Technology Integration Made Easy

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One of the big misconceptions about the iPad is that teachers need to seek out applications tying directly into their content area. The simple fact is that even in the absence of apps, the iPad comes out of the box with a wealth of resources. Add a wi-fi connection to the equation and you've got yourself and your classroom a pretty dynamic resource.

The one thing to remember when approaching technology integration for the first time is that you don't have to completely change your way of teaching. Teachers are and always will be the content experts in the classroom regardless of the technology or tools integrated. Adding the iPad only enhances the learning opportunities for teachers and students alike.

.....excerpt by Herff Jones

iPad Integration- So many options!

Introducing iPads into the Classroom

Technology Application TEKS

    • Grades K-2

    • Grades 3-5

    • Grades 6-8 *8th Grade Tech Assessment

    • Grades 9-12

To meet the K-8 TEKS districts can:
    • Teach the Technology Applications TEKS in a computer lab setting

    • Integrate the Technology Applications TEKS into the core curriculum using the grade level strands listed above

SAMR Model of Technology Integration

SAMR in 2 minutes
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Planning for Instruction

Start Small -- Set Goals!

  • Students have a very short learning curve for using apps and technology resources.

  • Most apps are very intuitive

  • Don't be afraid to relinquish control and learn with your students. You do not have to be the expert!

  • Focus on the instructional goal/objective, not the app!

Finding Educational Apps

Free iOS Apps

Did you know? Apple requires their developers to offer their apps for Free or For Sale at least once a year. Cool huh? The kicker: they do not have to notify us when the apps are free or on sale. So with that in mind, here are a few websites and apps to help you find those Free apps!

These sources provide timely information on app price reductions:

  • AppShopper.com and the AppShopper app provide many search options. I like thePopular Price Changes in Education page. You can limit that page to just iPhone or iPad apps. Education isn't the only app category with great apps for students, so you it might be worth checking out Popular Price Changes in All Categories. AppShopper is nice enough to provide web feeds for these price reduction lists.
  • Twitter users frequently share apps they have found on sale. Even if you don't have a Twitter account, you can search Twitter for #edapp free to see if there are any current deals.
  • iTunes lists Top Free Apps in Education (and top free apps for all other categories). Apps that are on sale often climb to the top of the Top Free Apps lists as users grab them before the price reverts back to paid.
  • FreeAppAlert tracks paid iPhone apps that just became free. You can get their alertsvia email if you'd like. Similarly there's Free App a Day, but it focuses mainly on games.

Resources for finding Free Apps

Apps Gone Free

I Like Free Apps


Free AppTracker

* If you are a member of TCEA and join their iPads in the Classroom community page, Lori Gracey provides a list of free apps daily. Membership is $40/year *

Current list of TCEA recommended iPad apps by category

The Hunt for the best Apps:

The iTunes store is full of apps, but if you have ever spent anytime searching through it, it can be confusing and frustrating.

This article explains the best way to muddle through the iTunes store.

Of course, you can always Google, but i prefer to use https://fnd.io/. You can sort by apps, categories, podcasts and more. Try it!

And last but not least, try Edushelf.com

iPad Projection Options

Apps for Teachers

  • App Start - Not your boring getting started manual

    • Special sections explain how to turn your ipad into a variety of tools

    • Essential apps by categories

    • Get the most our of your iPad

  • Brain Pop
  • Remind
  • Socrative
  • NearPod
  • Edmodo
  • Dropbox
  • or Evernote
  • Skitch
  • Thinglink (website, too)
  • Google Drive app
  • Chrome Browser App
  • QR Creator & Reader
QR Creator
    QR ipad Reader

    Productivity Apps

    Concept Maps/Mind Mapping/Brainstorming

    Screencasting Apps

    • Educreations

      • works like a recordable whiteboard

      • requires wifi

      • Teachers account allows collecting work and collaboration with campus users

    Assess student mastery of standards by having your students capture an image of a test question, then record their voice as they explain their answer choices and the process of elimination/reasoning they used to arrive at their conclusion. Students can annotate over the image of the test question to illustrate their point. Click HERE for examples.
    Create your own video tutorials for a flipped classroom. Have students create their own ShowMe for how to solve various problems. Give the iPad to students who finish early and have them create a ShowMe about a key concept and post it to the web!


    Works like a whiteboard with a recording feature.

    Create a teacher account and you can upload all student work.

    Easy to use and create!

    You can have your students creating masterpieces in almost no time!

    Flip classroom instruction, create tutorials, or have student create their own presentations!

    Video Creation

    • iMovie ($4.99 currently, Volume Discounts)

    Have students create movie trailers about literary elements or use propaganda strategies in commercials about made-up products. iMovie is very similar to Explain Everything, but gives students many more creative options in terms of appearance, soundtrack, effects, etc.


    30hands Mobile is a fun, innovative storytelling app that allows students, teachers and anyone with creativity to easily create narrated stories or presentations based on photos, images, drawings using an iPad, iPhone or iPod.

    Middle School Apps - By Subject Area

    Reading/Language Arts

    Even though this is a paid app, it is worth every penny! If your school has multiple iPads, take advantage of Apple's Volume Discount Purchasing to order 20+ apps at half price. This app allows students to literally write their own book - the kind you can read and interact with using iBooks! The book is published as an epub document instead of PDF - the advantage of which is that students can generate and embed their own audio clips and movies which can then be played/viewed by readers.
    This could be a great way to assess students mastery of standards or complete project-based investigation.

    * Or have your students create an eBook using PowerPoint or Keynote; saved as a PDF file, they work as an eBook on most readers.

    Have students use this app to publish their writing. Students can speak their essays and the app will transcribe the words with incredible accuracy. Since the app does not always differentiate between homophones, facilitate to structured editing opportunities and careful proofreading. When finished, copy and paste into Pages and print.
    The Idioms Illustrated app is a really high impact way to introduce the origin and meaning of many common English idioms. The idioms are explained in comic strip format with incredible illustrations that will instantly engage students. Use this app as a "center" when teaching middle school students about figurative language, or project the app on the LCD for a whole class.
    iBrainstorm is an app that combines sticky notes with cork board backdrop that students can write on using their finger or a stylus. Sticky notes can be color-coded and arranged in a variety of Thinking Maps. When used in conjunction with iBrainstorm Companion, students can "send" sticky notes to your iBrainstorm to totally revolutionize the way you review concepts, access prior knowledge, pre write essay topics, and more!
    • Lino
    • Padlet
    • Dictionary.com – Dictionary & Thesaurus – A dictionary and a Thesaurus. This dictionary app is a wonderful tool for students to use because is contains both a dictionary and a thesaurus. Students can speak a word into the iPad and this app will look up the correct spelling. There is also a helpful feature that will pronounce the word for students. Definitions contain word origins as well.
    • Literary Analysis Guide – Elements of literature are arranged graphically around three wheels (poetry, prose, and rhetoric). $2.99
    • Kindle – Kindle is an eReader from Amazon.com * New $9.99 a month program with access to over 600,000 items in the Kindle library. Free 30 day trial.
    • MaxJournal – A simple and elegant journal. MaxJournal Review and How to
    Build background knowledge using the Qwiki app, which instantly conglomerates web-based media (images, video clips, and text) into a short, narrated presentation about any given topic. Essential when stories mention historical, geographic, or cultural aspects with which students are unfamiliar. Make this app part of your "Pre-Reading" routine.
    • LitCharts – Link to LitCharts website. Each of the LitCharts are available on the iPad. Created by Spark Notes



    Virtual Nerd Mobile Math is an outstanding reference tool offering searchable video tutorials on math concepts ranging from pre-algebra through algebra II.
    A great graphing calculator that allows students to check their work for linear functions and quadratic functions. Also, giving students a problem that is already graphed and asking them to formulate the coinciding equation is much easier with this great app.Ditching the traditional whiteboard and marker for an app that allows students or groups to express their responses with different colors and thicknesses of marker. Used during quick response time or checks for understanding during a lesson.

    Math Quizzer is an interactive and fun way to, not only learn, but also to boost your skills in; Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. It offers an easy to understand chalkboard visual, which keeps track of your “score”

    as you progress.

    When discussing Mean, Median, and Mode, use the weather from different parts of the world to vary the numbers. Pass the iPad to other groups for unique results. Can also be used to find the difference between numbers and subtracting negative numbers in colder region
    • Bloomberg – Bring the power of the most trusted source for financial information to your iPad, along with tools to help you analyze the world’s markets.
    • PocketCAS lite – Free Graphic calculator. Not as many features as the pro version above.
    • SpaceTime – Powerful graphing calculator. 2D and 3D graphing
    • Quick Graph – 2D and 3D graphing calculator.

    Social Studies

    What did Earth’s continents and oceans look like 250 million years ago, or even 1 billion years ago? What do we know about the climate back when our planet formed?HistoryTools is a free app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that lists all the famous and infamous people who were born or died on each day of the year, major news events that occurred on each day, plus feast days of saints and holidays and celebrations around the world. Users can enter their own events which will be added to the program.
    HistoryTools helps kick-start ideas for writers and is a great help to students who wish to convince their teachers that they are among the smartest and most interesting in the class. It is a godsend to journalists, editors, speechwriters, novelists, non fiction writers, advertising copywriters, publicists, screenwriters, playwrights or anyone with writer¹s block.
    Designed specifically for iPad, the app offers beautiful imagery, video, and information through an interactive, zoomable timeline showcasing artwork, weapons, clothing, objects, and manuscripts from the Center’s collection. Image captions and video podcasts provide an overview of key milestones of the American Revolution.
    The app offers an informative and entertaining experience that will be enjoyed by history lovers, parents, students, and teachers. A version of the timeline is also available on the Center’s website, www.AmericanRevolutionCenter.org.
    • Over 70 photographs that can be enlarged and manipulated
    • Informative captions describing the Revolutionary-War objects
    • Engaging information describing key moments in the American Revolution provided as caption descriptions
    • Video podcasts describing the history and provenance of select items
    • Does not require a network connectionUnited States History Unit: Westward Expansion
    Explore the westward expansion of United States history in the 1800s:
    1. Journey on the Lewis & Clark expedition
    2. Match territories acquired by the U.S.
    3. Learn about the causes and effects of the westward expansion
    - Interactive Maps
    - Scrollable Timelines
    - Historical Figures & Events
    - Label the States
    - Review QuestionsSenator Sam Ervin pulled one out of his pocket during the Watergate Hearings... Now prepare to own any legal debate with a copy of the US Constitution on your iPad


    • K-12 Periodic Table of the Elements
    • iElements
    • goREACT is a free iPad app from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. This free iPad app allows students to virtually create chemical reactions. To create the reactions students simply drag elements from the periodic table to the “reaction area.” The app includes suggested reactions to help students get started. In all there are nearly 300 chemical reactions supported on the app. The app includes pictures and videos related to the reactions that students can virtually create on goREACT.
    • Powers of Minus Ten: Bone is a neat iPad app for biology students. The app takes students through ten levels of viewing the inside of human bones. Students can zoom through and explore each of the microscopic levels. The imagery starts at the level of viewing bones from the outside and ends with viewing the atoms within the bones. A neat aspect of the app is that students can select “healthy bone” or “broken bone.” By selecting “broken bone” students can view a broken bone and see how it heals.
    • Solve the Outbreak is a free iPad app produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The app is a game that contains three epidemics for students to research. In each investigation students have to read the background, read clues, analyze data, and answer questions. The questions put students in the role of a medical professional tasked with helping to curtail the spread of the epidemic. Points are awarded to students for correct answer
    • Essential Skeleton is a free iPad app that students studying the human skeletal system should download. The app puts a 3D skeleton on your students’ iPads. Students can zoom-in, zoom-out, and rotate the skeleton 360 degrees. When students zoom-in and tap on a bone they will see its name in English and Latin, have the option to hear an audio pronunciation of the bone’s name, learn about the connected bones, and write their own notes about the highlighted bone.
    • Virtual Heart is a free iPad app that allows users to take a closer look at how the human heart functions. The free app lets users speed up and slow down the virtual heart rate. Users have four views of the heart in the app. The views are of the electrical system, the valves, blood flow, and the interior of the heart. Each view can be experienced with or without labels. The first time each view is tapped, a short introduction to that view is displayed.
    • 3D Brain is a free iPad app that features a model of the human brain. he app provides a three dimensional model of the human brain that students can rotate. To look at a specific part of the brain select it from the drop-down menu and it will be highlighted on the model for you to view. Click the “info” tab to read one page summaries about each part of the brain. On the app you can also find some case studies about disorders and brain damage.
    • 3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool – Learn about the cell and its structures in a 3D tool.
    • Molecules – View and manipulate 3D renderings of molecules.

    There are tons of free options.....

    Podcasts and iTunes U

    Have you considered using iTunes U resources and podcasts created by other teachers and students? Or would you like your students to begin creating their own?

    Middle School Math -iTunes U course

    iTunes U Resources

    iPad Appitivity

    Click the following link to add your iPad apptivity.

    I will post all of the Apptivities on the Instructional Technology Google Site

    Karey Brown

    Instructional Technology Specialist

    Denton ISD

    Proudly serving: Bettye Myers Middle School, Olive Stephens Elementary, Pecan Creek Elementary and Cross Oaks Elementary