Saturday, September 7, 2013

Great Apps for Classroom Use

I found this excellent post at the TUAW website and had to share it verbatim. Full credit goes to the site as indicated by this direct link there.  If you click on the image below, you will go directly to the source. Of the Apps noted in this review, some of my favorites are Explain Everything, Weebly, the Camera (so obvious but not used enough and will have a separate blog post about it coming up shortly), iMovie, Dropbox (though am using Google Drive often for cloud storage as well), Puppet Pals (especially for younger students, but fun for all), and Popplet (a graphic organizer, web generating tool). These apps are ordinarily used on iPads, but some are available for any device or other devices (such as iMovie on a Mac) and Dropbox for any device. Weebly is a web-based tool that can be used on any device. It is an excellent tool for easily creating a website. Let us know which of the teacher recommended apps interest you or you use.

Apps teachers use to tame the classroom and teach their students

It's the start of a new school year, which means you've probably got a stack of new books on your desk, a drawer full of new pencils and an iPad that desperately needs some new apps. TUAW is here to help you build a new app list, and we did so with the help of some friends.
We consulted with students, teachers and some of the top tech and educational bloggers to generate this list. In this article, we highlight the teachers who lead the classroom. Here are the apps that they use:

Kelly Tenkely of Anastasis Academy in Centennial, CO.

What makes Anastasis unique is our approach to learning. We are an inquiry based school that believes students must be involved in their own learning. We have a 1:1 iPad program that is a BYOD (bring your own device), and the iPad is the only supply on our supply list.
I chose the iPad as our common learning device because it is so incredibly intuitive. Preschool through ninth grade can pick it up and immediately put it to use for a wide variety of learning activities without being taught how to use it first. We are paperless in that all student work gets digitized. Even building projects get captured digitally. We purchase the educational apps that the students need as a school. Below is a list of our favorite titles.
Meraki This is Cisco's free device management platform. We use it to manage devices (including restrictions) while students are on campus. Meraki lets us purchase apps through the Volume Purchase Program and push them to student devices as needed. There is also a virtual backpack that lets us share files and documents with teachers and students. Fantastic tool and free cannot be beat!
Evernote We use Evernote as a complete ePortfolio solution. All student work is documented in Evernote. Evernote is a great ePortfolio because parents can access it easily, it is easily searched, and students can record learning that is both natively digital as well as not. If students create a physical model or project in our prototype lab, they can easily take a picture directly in Evernote. We also love the sheer number of apps that integrate seamlessly in Evernote. If students complete a project in iMovie, Keynote, Pages, etc. that does not seamlessly integrate, students create a note with the title of the project and list where the project can be found on their device. This makes it easy to keep track of all learning. Teachers and students have shared notebooks to share work.
Camera This is an obvious app but one not to be overlooked! This is probably our most used app. Students are constantly documenting their learning with the camera. Whether it is field work on a field trip, a project that they are documenting steps of, or a presentation they are giving, our students have a HUGE collection of evidence collected with the camera.
iMotion HD This has become one of our students absolute FAVORITE ways to document learning or progress. Students use iMotion HD to reflect on learning, tell a story, document scientific process, and as a creative outlet. Kids of all ages really love this app!
Koostik Because we use the camera so often, our students discovered that they need a way to prop their iPad up for recording. While many cases have this ability built in, they leave a lot to be desired. One of the great field trips we took was to the Koostik headquarters where our students saw how iPad and iPhone sound could be amplified without power. While we were there, our students commented on how cool it would be to have a Koostik that they could use for recording. Koostik created special stands for our students that are perfect for keeping the iPad propped and stable during recording (we used to use stacks of books!) (Technically, this isn't an app, but it's used with an app, so it's cool!)
Voice2Note Lets students turn their Evernote voice notes into text. This is a fantastic app for students who struggle to get their ideas out in writing (often a problem with Dysgraphia). Also wonderful for emerging writers who have a great vocabulary but struggle with spelling and limit their writing as a result. This is an app that works with Evernote to turn notes into blog posts. This is the way that students "publish" their finished work to share with others publicly. We use the #comments4kids hashtag on Twitter to help our students get feedback from other educators and students. Our kids love getting comments on their hard work from around the world.
Dragon Box This is the most amazing math app I've ever seen. It is the perfect complement to our program because it lets students (as young as 5) play with and discover algebra without knowing that they are actually doing it! It is a little bit of a virtual card game that helps students recognize patterns and rules found in Algebra. Brilliant! Number Pieces- This is another math app that helps students develop a deeper understanding of place value. We love the hands on discover approach that it offers!
SketchNation Lets students create their own app. They can use Sketch Nation to prototype ideas or creatively reflect on learning by creating a game.
Weebly Lets students easily create their own website. Our students created to raise awareness about social justice issues during one of our inquiry blocks.
Paper A beautiful way to sketch out/share ideas. Students use this app for ideation when they are working on design thinking.
Skitch Skitch is another ideation app we love...integrates seamlessly with Evernote!
Composer Pro students can create their own interactive ebooks without knowing a lot of coding.
Tapose Students can do research and take notes side by side in this app. Very useful for new learning!
FactorSamurai a fun way to practice math facts :)
Explain Everything a recordable whiteboard where students can record their thought process. This helps them break down learning and allows teachers to go back through their thinking one step at a time.
Rover Let's students access flash content from their iPads. We only wish it was a little more reliable!
Other common Apps that we use regularly: Pages, Keynote, iMovie,iBooks, Kindle, MobiCip (filtered web browser), Dropbox.

Glen & Monique Storey, husband and wife teachers from New Zealand

Glen & Monique Storey are teachers in New Zealand. They're lucky enough that each child in their classroom has a MacBook and access to iPads. They're passionate about using apps that engage and motivate learners in the classroom. As developers they bring their experience as teachers and their love of technology to create great apps such as Silent Light and BookBot.
OS X Apps
Skitch (OS X) A free, easy way to annotate and modify pictures, pdfs and websites.
Wunderlist (OS X) A really easy and simple way to be organised. Great design and support.
Mindnode (OS X) A really simple and elegant way to create and manage thinking.
Pixelmator A great way to edit and create more complex pieces of art.
And, of course, the obvious OS X apps that everyone probably knows about: iMovie, iPhoto, GarageBand.
iOS Apps
Explain Everything If I was only allowed to have one app on my classroom iPads, it would be Explain Everything. An absolutely fantastic way to create and share evidence of learning. We use this every day, with every student in our math program and it shows real evidence in developing student learning. (We have examples of kids' work if you need them).
Puppet Pals 2 A really fun and creative way to create narratives or share writing. Kids love Puppet Pals and can quickly and easily create great content.
Silent Light We have a large, open-plan classroom, and Silent Light is one of our essential tools at helping kids manage their own learning and noise level.
100s Board, Rubber Chicken Apps Although a simple app, 100s board is a fantastic tool to use with kids when teaching them about numbers, addition or place value.
Type Drawing A fantastic way to merge writing and art in a creative and unique way. (We have examples of kids' work if you need them).
Poplet The best brainstorming tool that we've ever come across. Simple and adaptable to whatever you might need. Brainstorms can be emailed, saved to camera roll etc.
Math Slide (a series of apps) Great motivational and multiplayer apps to help kids learn their basic facts.
Action Movie Action Movie is great at providing a bit of incentive when writing as a class, especially for boys.
Thank you again to this specific web page for this information which is acknowledged accordingly, and as noted the information has been copied and credited. For those who want the URL as well, here it is, long as it is:


  1. I am always looking for some great apps to use with my students who struggle with writing or even reading. So many of them have great ideas in their heads and they have trouble getting them on paper. I especially like the one called Voice2Note. I have always observed students getting stuck on how to spell something rather than on getting the idea on paper. Or better yet, they write something and cannot read it back to an adult. Therefore many of these apps will probably be helpful for me.

  2. Type Drawing looks like a great creative app for younger students. I like the idea of using drawing apps like this, or apps like Paper to introduce primary kids to iPads.

  3. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! I've spent about an hour looking at some of these apps and I can't wait to integrate some into my classroom! Evernote and Voice2Note seem to be the ones that immediately stand out although I'm sure all of them are amazing!

  4. The list of apps are really helpful, there is so much good stuff out there! My hope is that eventually my school will get some iPads and I can integrate them into the classroom. However, I love using my camera throughout the school year. I take pictures of my students learning, practicing, demonstrating good listening and having fun. They respond so well to it! I also frame their pictures and put them up around the classroom, they love it!

  5. This list of apps is fantastic! I am eager to share the list with my colleagues and with some of my friends who have children. Though simple, I especially liked the app entitled "Math Slide." As a fourth grade teacher, I can't hound the class enough to practice their basic math facts. I could use any resource that motivates them to practice their facts - multiplication and division in particular. My hope is that our district will unlock some money to purchase more iPads for our classrooms. Our school has a few floating around, but they are used more for students with special needs. Perhaps in the future we will see more iPads and laptops in the hands of students.