iPads – It’s all about the Activity!

We all know that the key in using technology in the classroom is to use it to enhance student learning and provide opportunities for students to creatively express what they have learned.  Since the value of an app is in it’s application to learning, how can we find apps that match our learning objectives?  Here are two sites that may help you.

apptivitiesApptivities.org has a  list of activities – and the apps you can use – to get you started in the right direction.



edtechteacherThe EdTechTeacher.org site has a page where you can search by the kind of activity – and even device – not limiting you to the iPad.

iPad Resources for Teachers – from Apple

Apple has a new area on their web site for teachers. In addition to info on using apps you can find resources on using iTunes U and iBooks with your students. iTunes also has an area with a curated collection of apps, books, and media from the App Store, iBooks, iTunes U, and iTunes with engaging learning resources in core subjects. Check this iTunes collection if you are looking for primary sources (oral histories, official documents, archival film, and artifacts)  to help make history more engaging and authentic.

Engage your students with interactive web sites

Whether we are using a Smartboard, iPad, or computer, we can
address multiple learning modalities (visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic), along with multiple intelligence’s and learning styles by using interactive web sites. Here is a wonderful list organized by subject, where you can find “all of the best K-5 online, interactive, educational games and simulations in one place!” Check some of these out – students love them.

6 iPad Apps for Creative Writing

A post on Edutopia.com has a list of 6 ipad apps that you can use with your class for Creative Writing.  A few of them could be used as classroom activities (by showing your iPad screen via your digital projector) to show steps in the writing process as well as modeling it.  All the apps listed cost a modest amount, yet for kids who have trouble putting pen to paper, just might inspire them to get started on a great story.

Animate your lessons with Stop Motion Video on your iPad

Lego MovieTurn your students into budding animators! There are a variety of easy to use animation apps, some of which are free, to capture and stitch together photos of characters and objects into seamless, fluent animated movies. Best of all, the process of designing, scripting and staging animations has tremendous educational potential, and can be a wonderful mix of art, science, history, language arts, and even math. Using these iPad apps, and materials such as clay, Lego’s, drawings, or toy figures, students can create short animated sequences illustrating or teaching a concept – all while involving student teams in collaborative discussion, collective imagination and creativity, problem solving, critical analysis and a lot of teamwork. Students will be completely engaged while you observe learning outcomes that they are not even aware of!
Here’s a few apps you can take a look at:

LEGO Movie Maker –  Free  (my favorite – can add sound effects, music overlay, and voice overlay, and save to photoroll)
Animate it 2.99
iStopmotion  9.99
StopMotion  Free
Stop Motion Studio  Free (has in-app purchases)
Stop Motion Recorder  .99
sMovie  6.99
Ostanovca   Free
Stop Motion Café  Free
Osnap  2.99  (Lite version is free)
MyCreate  4.99 (Lite version is free)

Looking for inexpensive yet good iPad cases for student used iPads?

We want kids to use the iPad(s) we have in the classroom, and we don’t want to worry about it getting broken.  Having a good cover on the iPad is essential, yet the price can approach $100 for some of the more rugged ones.  Here are two covers that are less expensive, yet offer good protection:




TuffKase makes one for $25 that includes a built-in stand




silicone ipad case

One for sale on eBay costs just $10.79 and offers a good grip for young students as well as good drop protection


Student Assessment using Mobile Technology

I’ve mentioned Socrative as a great online assessment tool. It’s free and allow students to use their own internet enabled device, such as a smart phone or iPad, in the classroom to answer formative assessments. Of course you could use computers or other school devices such as iPads or Chromebooks.

Another site that I just reviewed is Infuselearning.com , and I think I like this one even infuselearningmore!  It’s also easy to use yet has some features that Socrative does not have. It has a Draw Response where you can have an image/picture displayed on the student screen on which they draw or otherwise annotate. Students could label maps or diagrams, for example. You can also have a Sorting question where students sort a list – something not possible in Socrative.  You can also see the results of your assessment live, without having to download the results, and can see what each student has answered for each question. This is a great online tool and for using in the classroom.

iPad apps for students with Reading and Writing Challenges

Reading and Writing are at the core of many learners challenges.  The UDL (Universal Design for Learning) web site has a review of 25 apps that teachers can use with students. Check out ‘Readability’ (free) , ‘Book Creator’ ($4.99), and ‘Tools4Students’ (.99)

iOS Apps that Support Learners who Find Reading and/or Writing Challenging

Looking for K-5 iPad apps ?

I keep finding great resources out on the web where educators are lists iPad apps for a variety of subjects or purposes.  “K-5 iPad Apps According to Bloom’s Taxonomy” is a blog post on Edutopia.  Diane Darrow not only lists some great apps, but also reviews them from the classroom perspective.  She also provides a set of question to ask yourself when looking for apps in each of the 6 stages of Bloom’s taxonomy.


Looking for iPad apps?

Finding good educational apps can be challenging. Browsing through the iTunes store is mind boggling, and not very productive.  I discovered a site that is created by two teachers – Jayne Clare, a Special Education teacher, and Anne Rachel, an artist and Early Childhood educator. Their site has detailed and meaningful reviews and can be searched by grade level and subject.  This is one of the better sites I’ve seen for finding apps that are worth downloading.