Cool iPad Apps for Teachers

More and more teachers and classrooms are getting iPads, and it is exciting to explore the ways that teachers can use apps on these addictive devices to engage students, organize tasks, and get creative. Here are some great iPad apps for teachers.

*indicates that the app is also available on iPhones and iPod Touches.

Are you tired of lugging your laptop back and forth from school or needing to work on something at school and realizing you forgot your flash drive at home? This great service has been around for a few years, but, surprisingly, some teachers still haven’t discovered it. I helped a teacher friend of mine set up an account just a couple months ago.

Dropbox keeps any kind of files you might want to access from different computers in the cloud so you can get to them any time you are connected to the Internet. But that’s not all it does. Files are also stored locally on your computer, so you can look at them or work on them any time, even if you are not online. The next time the computer, or other device, is connected, the new work you have done will be saved so you can access it with any device with Dropbox installed. You can also share folders or files with other people with the app or web account..

2g of storage in Dropbox is free and you can install it on your iPad, iPhone, computer, or any other device. If you want more storage, you can pay a subscription fee. Dropbox,is a must-have app for anyone who works with multiple devices.

Teacher’s Assistant*
This app helps teachers document student behaviors and keep track of all the steps that are taken related to those behaviors. Naturally, teachers would think of using such an app for negative behaviors, but it could also be used for keeping track of improved behaviors.

Teachers can create entries for typical behaviors (such as not using class time wisely, showing good leadership, getting homework done on time, and talking during silent reading), teacher responses, locations, notification of parents, and other customizable categories of information. You can import students and parents from a variety of places, including Dropbox and your Contacts list. The lite version only accommodates five students, and the full version costs $6.99.

This app is a student response system that allows you to ask a question and then have students answer it on their tablets or smartphones. You can orally ask a quick multiple-choice, true-false, or short answer question and students can answer on their devices or you can give them a self-paced or teacher-paced quiz.

Students need to have the student app on their devices to participate, but they don’t have to register. They just enter the “room number,” and their choices appear. You can get the results compiled into a spreadsheet either by downloading them from the app or sent in an email. The app is free!

The free, lite (upgrade--$4.99) version of this app (allows people to collaborate on a drawing. The app detects any devices with the app open on the same wifi or Bluetooth network and allows users to add to a drawing from their devices. One person owns the drawing and is asked to accept collaborators and changes to the drawing.

Animation HD
Create simple animations with this app. The free version, with a small ad inserted at the bottom of the screen, has the usual variety of features, such as drawing instruments, tip options, line types, and colors. You can duplicate a drawing in new frames and make changes so the image moves when you play the animation. The final product can be saved as a series of images in your photo library which can then be used in a variety of ways. The pay version is only $1.99.

History Maps of the World*
A great primary source for social studies teacher, this free app has dozens of historical maps, such as “The Notable High Buildings of the World 1896,” “The World 1914,” and “Commerce of Christendom in the 165h century.

Idea Sketch*
A free mapping tool that allows users to create diagrams, such as flow charts, concept maps, and outlines.

Do you need to create written documents on your iPad with the onscreen or external keyboard. This word processing app ($9.99) allows you to do almost anything on your device that you can do on your computer.

In December 2015, Peggy Grant joined our extended network of alumni.