iPad Tips for Teachers

classroom applications

While many classrooms are getting sets of iPads, we have even more teachers that are getting iPads to use in their classrooms and for their personal use.  There is a learning curve to using an iPad or any tablet, but that is quickly overcome by playing around and using it.  I have had an iPad since the first day they were sold and I have used it extensively in my classroom.  It can be used to help you keep from being stuck up in the front of your classroom, for taking notes while talking with students, recording examples of student work, creating digital portfolio for yourself and your students, or just to give you quick access to lots of information and tools to help your students learn.


  1. There are some apps that everyone should have despite what you teach.  Look through the suggested apps and find what fits you.  There are a lot of free apps or free versions that you can use, download them and try them out.

  2. Remember that the iPad is not meant to replace the computer but it can replace a lof the functions we do on a computer.  You can use the mail app to access all of your email accounts at once.  Quick and easy access to your Twitter account or any RSS/Social Bookmarking accounts.

  3. Play around and do not be afraid to try out a new app.  The best way to learn how to use something is to just start using it.  Do not download any books on how to use an iPad.  Start using it and talk to others who are using it.  Experience is a great teacher.

  4. Many websites have a mobile app that allows for more functionality than just the mobile version of their website.

  5. Practice typing on the digital keyboard.  While you can get an external keyboard, that does diminish the portability sometimes depending on the type of keyboard you get.  The autocorrect feature can actually help you type faster than on a physical keyboard.

  6. Check the following sites for other information and tips for using the iPad as an educator.

    1. http://www.ipads4teaching.net/

    2. http://www.schrockguide.net/ipads-in-the-classroom.html

    3. http://ipadsinschool.blogspot.com/

    4. http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/12/a-list-of-all-best-ipad-apps-teachers.html

    5. http://www.teachthought.com/apps-2/29-apps-for-teachers-the-educators-essential-ipad-toolkit/

Suggested Apps

(note: not all of these apps are free, prices vary over time)

  1. Chrome browser = mobile version of the Chrome browser, easily connects to your Google account to access saved bookmarks and can even access browsers on your other computers.

  2. Google Drive = quick access to your Google Drive files, can quickly upload or download files, easily edit certain types of Google Drive files.

  1. Three Ring = great app for taking pictures of students work and creating a digital portfolio, also accessible from a computer.

  2. Kindle = easily access any of your Kindle ebooks.

  3. iBooks = Apples ebook reader app, can also be used to store pdf’s for access later.

  4. Splashtop = paid app, when combined with the computer app you can remote control your computer as long as both devices are connected to the internet.

  5. Skitch = easily edit photos and such to store into your Evernote account.

  6. Feedly = RSS reader (good replacement for Google Reader), quickly access any updates to sites with a RSS feed that you selected.

  7. GoodReader = PDF viewer and editor, can be connected to a Google Drive account to download documents and annotate them as PDFs to be uploaded back into the Drive.

  8. Dropbox = quick and easy access to your Dropbox files, you can not edit them in the app so you will need other apps to do that but you can upload the files back to Dropbox.

  9. Quickoffice = app version of Microsoft Office products.

  1. Edmodo = mobile access to your Edmodo LMS account.

  2. iTunes U = access tons of videos and class files set up by teachers at schools or universities.  You can even create your own account so your students can access it instead of Moodle or a Google Site.

  3. VoiceThread = easily create visuals with an audio track, students can discuss or comment on pictures to tell a story or to explain a concept.

  4. Scan = QR code reader app.

  5. Diigo = access to your Diigo social bookmarking account.

  6. Geogebra = app version of Geogebra for math classes.

  7. Turnitin = app version of Turnitin.com, easily view and comment on work submitted into your Turnitin account.

  1. Evernote = great app that easily connects with the computer or chrome app versions to quickly save parts or whole sites and images or other files.  Lots of great uses for the classroom.

  2. GarageBand = make your own music easily using this app and its included drum, guitar, keyboard and microphone apps.

Apps 21, 22, 23, 26, and 27 all can be used to create quick videos of you explaining a picture or drawing on top of a picture.  Great for creating classroom videos for you students to watch later.

  1. Explain Everything

  2. ShowME

  3. ScreenChomp

  4. YouTube

  5. TED = access to thousands of TED talks, great to show quick clips in the classroom or for your own personal viewing.

  6. Educreations

  7. Movenote

Some of my favorite science related apps.

  1. Video Physics = made by Vernier, great for doing video analysis of motion.

  2. NGSS = Next Generation Science Standards app.

  3. Nova Elements = interactive periodic table with different types of information presented for each element.

  4. NASA = access to lots of media produced and distributed by NASA.

  5. Wolfram Alpha = great tool for use in the science classroom, access to lots of constants and measurements, can do calculations very quickly.

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