107 favourite iPad apps for learning

Jacqui Murray

IMS Expert on websites/online content, tech advice and computer support.

Jacqui is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a Cisco blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller for her agent that should be out this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

If you’re interested in technology textbooks for K-5, visit Structured Learning. You’ll find the tech curriculum Jacqui Murray and hundreds of schools across the nation use.

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Tablet computing and mobile devices promise to have a dramatic impact on education. A growing number of schools across the world are jumping on the digital bus and embracing iPads as the latest tool to teach literature in multimedia, history through games and simulations, and maths with step-by-step animation of problems.

In my school, we have been rotating one set of iPads this year and it gave me an opportunity to collect quite a few apps on a variety of subjects. Here's my favourites - all 107 of them:

Drawing

  • AirSketch (free)--Turn your iPad into a wireless whiteboard! Project live sketches to a local computer.
  • Drawing Box (free)--Drawing Box is the most suitable app to learn and practice drawing and painting. With reponsive smooth pencil and brush strokes, graphical and intuitive interface, you can use it to make a quick sketch or a detailed study on the go.
  • How to Draw--Listen, follow the instructions and draw on your screen. See how easy it is.
  • PS Express--Phtoshop Lite--Adobe's free app for editing photos on your iPad, iPhone, or iPad touch.
  • SketchBoard--Like to draw your own ideas? Want to keep them all in one place for further search? sketchBoard is simple yet powerful.

Geography

  • Atlas--Barefoot World Atlas is an interactive 3D globe for iPad that invites children to explore the regions and countries of the world, discovering hundreds of fascinating features and immersing themselves in the rich wonders of our planet.
  • Stack the Countries Lite Terra--Stack the Countries Lite makes learning about the world fun! Watch the countries actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!
  • Stuck on Earth--A new kind of travel app that brings you the best places in the world to visit, photograph, and experience. It's the ultimate app for explorers, photographers, and daydreamers.

Health

  • Human Atlas (lite)--With this free download you can experience just some of the power of the Blausen Human Atlas. Turn the 360 degree rotatable Human Body figure, see narrated 3D animations of five common medical conditions
  • SRN Client--Student Response Network (SRN) is a powerful “virtual Clicker” student/audience response system designed for use in wired school computer labs or with wireless laptop groups.

History

  • Early Jamestown--interactive textbook exploration of the early days of the Jamestown settlement and the state of Virginia.
  • Pass the Past--educational game to help students prepare for Virginia's Standard's of Learning (SOL) exams with a focus on World, United States and Virginia history, civics, and geography.
  • US History--McGraw-Hill Education’s American History Time Line is a fun and informative way to navigate the history of the United States.

Languages

  • Chinese Pad--Only touch the panels, you will be instantly good Chinese speaker. Over 400 word & phrases are available for speaking, hearing, and seeing the Chinese character spelling
  • Dictionary--Dictionary.com app
  • iLearn Chinese--introduces Chinese characters to non-native speakers or young kids in a fun and intuitive way: to understand their origins as pictures of the objects they represent.
  • Merriam Webster Dictionary
  • KT Dictionary--English Chinese

Maps

  • Kids Maps--What are the major deserts of the world, the highest mountains, or the longest rivers? The Kids World Maps app will help you answer these important geographical questions.
  • LandFormer--Raise and lower terrain to solve puzzles in this unique and challenging game.
  • Stuck on Earth--A new kind of travel app that brings you the best places in the world to visit, photograph, and experience. It's the ultimate app for explorers, photographers, and daydreamers.
  • TapQuiz Maps--Play TapQuizTM Maps for an easy and quick way to master geography. Learn the countries of the world through a fun and engaging game!

Maths

  • Alge-Bingo--Winner of 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge - helps students develop their algebra equation solving skills within a bingo game.
  • Algebra Intro--Free. Have you forgotten most of your algebra? Algebra Touch refreshes your skills using techniques only possible on your iOS device.
  • CalcMadeEasy--Free--One of the Best Calculators for iOS devices. CalcMadeEasy FREE version comes with fully functional Scientific Calculator and Notepad with automatic note taking capability.
  • Elevated Math--Elevated Math provides initial instruction or intervention on math topics that cover place value, estimation, large digit addition all the way through Algebra I (two years of math instruction!)
  • Egberta's Equations--Egberta the macaw has a nest full of tasty eggs that Cliff the climber wants to eat. Unfortunately, the eggs are on top of a tall cliff. Help Cliff reach the top and get the eggs by completing equations.
  • Flash to Pass--easy-to-use, elegant program designed to facilitate mastering the basic math facts learned in Elementary School.
  • Fraction Basic--free video app provides a quick and simple way for you to learn and understand the basics behind fractions.
  • Free GraCalc--A powerful, flexible graphing calculator . . . and it's free!
  • Grade 1 Math--Simple and easy to use math drill app for your 1st grader!
  • Grade 2 Math--Simple and easy to use math drill app for your 2nd grader!
  • Grade 3 Math--Simple and easy to use math drill app for your 3rd grader!
  • Hungry Fish--Practice mental addition and subtraction with Motion Math
  • iFormulae--simple library consisting of various formulae, equations with their example.
  • Math Bingo-- If you need a way to break the tedium of repetitious math fact practice, get your students and iPad and let them have at Math Bingo
  • Math Board Addition--good basic addition practice
  • Math Drills Lite--Graphically rich and fun environment allows a single student to learn basic math skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  • Math Glossary--MathTerms is an illustrated glossary of mathematics terms in English and Spanish.
  • Math Puppy--Bingo Challenge Educational Game
  • Math Ref (free)
  • Math Zoom--An animal adventure through the world of numbers!
  • Mental Math--Amaze and delight others as you multiply, divide, and square at lightning fast speed.
  • My Math Flashcards App--My Math Flash Card App is for mastering basic elementary math facts. Its an easy to use and customizable application to enable focused learning.
  • Pearl Diver--Collect all the pearls, avoid the crocodiles. Play the Willie Creek pearl diving game, great for kids aged 2-12
  • PercentageOff--Easy to use and accurate
  • Quick Graph--a powerful, high quality, graphic calculator that takes full advantage of the multitouch display and the powerful graphic capabilities of the iPad and iPhone, both in 2D and 3D.
  • Ruler--With a single touch your iPhone turns into a top accurate ruler.
  • SoundBuilder--most powerful heart sounds and murmurs app ever designed for a mobile device.
  • Undersea Math--Learn Addition Visually - Solve all levels on the treasure map to find the treasure chest.

Mind Mapping--Thinking

  • iBrainstorm Project--Capturing and sharing your inner most creative genius has never been easier. Introducing the first multi-device collaboration tool from Universal Mind.
  • Popplet--Great for work. Great for school. Popplet is a platform for your ideas.

Music

  • Easy Beats--free version of our drum sequencer built from the ground up to be the quickest and easiest way to create great sounding 4 bar beats.
  • GarageBand--turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio
  • Guitar--tudioShare allows the novice or professional musician to record, mix, and share your music with friends, fans, and fellow musicians anywhere in the world.
  • Soundrop--Draw lines and watch as Soundrop uses them to create music!
  • Toontastic--you and your kids can start your own garage band
  • Virtuoso--play the piano

News

Notes

  • Note Lite--To-do/Diary
  • Jots--acts like a piece of paper
  • Notability--Notability powerfully integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organizing so you can take notes your way
  • Note Taker HD--the iPad app for professionals in need of note-taking software
  • Paper Desk -- Leave behind your paper notebook for your next class lecture or meeting. PaperDesk is a simple, easy-to-use notebook replacement made specifically for the iPad
  • ShowMe--Turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard!

Photos/Pictures

  • SonicPicsLite--the easiest way to turn your images into custom slideshow movies to share with your family and friends

Reading

  • Audio Books--apps for books purchased through Audio Books (and free ones)
  • Cat LITE -- Dr. Seuss
  • Free Books--download any of our 23,469 classic books, and read
  • Kindle App--optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
  • StoryKit
  • StoryLines--award-winning game of 'telephone' with pictures.

Resources/Research

  • BrainPOP--Bring learning to your fingertipsTM with the BrainPOP® Featured Movie app
  • Heritage fotopedia--With 30,000 awe-inspiring photos, this much loved app has been called the world’s largest photo book, an inspiring travel guide
  • Khan Academy--unofficial app for Khan Academy, a non-profit video channel covering topics ranging from high school math and science to banking and venture capital
  • SparkVue--collect and display live data from iPhone etc to the iPad
  • TED app--TED's official app presents talks from some of the world's most fascinating people

Science

  • 3D Brain--Use your touch screen to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures.
  • 3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tools
  • Elementals--A fun periodic table where every element has its own unique personality.
  • EMD PTE -- periodic table
  • Explore the Animal Kingdom--Let your kids go on a safari and discover the animal world anytime!
  • Google Earth App
  • GoSkyWatchP--Easily and quickly identify and locate stars, planets, constellations and more by simply pointing to the sky
  • LeafSnap HD--he first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution
  • Molecules--Molecules is an application for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers.
  • Rocket (free)--official app for the PEI Rocket
  • Science 360--The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science360 for iPad provides easy access to engaging science and engineering images and video from around the globe and a news feed featuring breaking news from NSF-funded institutions.
  • Science Glossary--A glossary of scientific terms and short biographies
  • Science House--growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom.
  • Simple Physics

Studying

Writing

  • Bluster--word matching game develops vocabulary and word understanding for school- aged children
  • Futaba--fantastic multiplayer game AND a fun way to help children learn new words
  • Quickoffice
  • Sight Words--Help Your Child Learn to Read
  • Spelling Test--FREE* version of My Spelling Test

Thinking

  • Educreations--turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard; share your ideas with others
  • Tangram
  • Vault Breaker--Train your brain with our cool logic and memory game, by guessing the secret code for the vault in as few attempts as possible.

Miscellaneous

  • Color Uncovered--Explore the surprising side of color with Color Uncovered, an interactive book that features fascinating illusions, articles, and videos developed by the Exploratorium.
  • Learning Structures--Ideas to organize your lessons or meetings in an inspiring way
  • Letter School--for handwriting
  • PBS Kids--Watch videos from your favorite PBS KIDS television series anytime, anywhere (in the USA).
  • Puppet Pals--Create your own unique shows with animation and audio in real time; popular with my play-acting kids
  • Scan--fastest, simplest and most user-friendly QR Code and barcode scanner available

What iPad apps do you prefer? Please share them in the comments section below.

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