Educational Apps Part 9 – Practical ideas for applying apps

Here are some great practical applications of iPad apps by mrandrewsonline. Each link takes you to a post on how he has used the iPad to enhance learning. There are a few ideas here so the idea was not to look at everything all at once. The use of apps in these posts ranges from the more simple ‘one off lessons’ to high level use across major units of work. When you read some of these you might say, “that’s awesome but I can’t do that, I don’t know enough about the ipad.” The point of this post is not for you to be able to go off immediately and instantly apply all these ideas. Its purpose is to show you the potential of the iPad and who knows, in 6-12 months maybe you too may be creating like Mr. Andrews (his peers) and his students using the iPad.

The great thing about the first two examples is that they can be applied across (dare I say) all subjects!

Design and Technology Project (Controllable Vehicle Project)

Apps used: Book Creator (teachers creating and instructional ebook & students creating marketing material), iMovie (as a presentation tool), Numbers (spreadsheet tool) and Garageband (creating jingles)

Case Study Part 1: How can the iPad change the pedagogy of a Design & Technology project?

Case Study Part 2: How the use of the iPad changed the pedagogy of a Design & Technology project.

Case Study Part 3: Using iPads as a creative and innovative approach to learning


Using Cartoon Style Apps

Examples of cartoon strip style apps: Strip Designer, ComicBook and Comic Life

Strip Designer: 10 easy ways to get started with iPads/iPods in the primary classroom (all examples relevant for secondary students)


Raising Writing Standards

Part 1: Raising Standards in Boys’ Writing using the iPad for Gaming – By Mr Williams

Part 2: Raising Standards in Boys’ Writing using the iPad for Gaming: Outcomes and Ways Forward By Mr Williams


Using Apps in Maths

10 Practical Ways To Use Apps in Primary Mathematics Teaching – By Mr Williams




Educational Apps Part 8 – Science

Here are some great reference and interactive apps for science. As well as the apps I have on my iPad which are presented below I have added some links at the bottom of this post to other blogs discussing science related apps. Click on the app icon to view the app in the app store for more detail and to purchase.


Solar Walk ($2.99)





This is my favourite solar system app. There are lots of apps based around the solar system. This one has some stunning images and functions. There is also a great list of short videos explaining the phases of the moon, tidal phenomena, major circles of latitude, zodiacal constellations, solar eclipses, earth’s cycles and size comparisons of planets.


NASA (free)





Images, news, NASA TV, videos, featured topics and information about each of the planets in our solar system plus all the NASA deployed satellites.


GoSkyWatch (frre or $3.99) and Star Walk ($2.99)






Use these apps to find the positions of planets, constellations and stars in our solar system. Point up to the sky and follow the directions as the app points you towards the planet, constellation or star in the sky. You can use your current location and time in GoSkyWatch or change these to see how it affects where the planet, star or constellation will appear in relation to the world.


Living Earth ($1.99)






Look at current weather conditions around the globe. View cloud formations, storms, current temperatures, wind speeds and humidity around the world. Capture photos of what is on screen and import to the iPad photo album for use in student work.


Video Science (free)






A large range of science experiments/explanations for upper primary/secondary students including: colour wheel, heat sensitive materials, air canon, bending glass, hovercraft, pinhole viewer and many many more. A great resource.


Science 360 (free)






A large range of science based video.Produced by the National Science Foundation.


Nova Elements (free)

Explore the interactive periodic table and view & build essential elements. Unfortunately the video in the app cannot be viewed outside the USA due to copy right laws. If you are looking for a high quality app with over 500 HD images, the ability to rotate images plus 3D capabilities then try The Elements – A Visual Exploration, at $14.99 it should be good.


Life Cycles






A great resource that explains the life cycles of frogs, ladybugs, the butterfly, plants, rocks, water, plus  phases of the moon, pollination & fertilisation, photosynthesis, nitrogen cycle and oxygen cycle.


Newtons Three Laws ($0.99)






An app that helps to explain Newtons three laws of motion. Has some interactive examples within the app.


Physical Sciences Glossary (free)  and Science Glossary










Science glossary provides scientific terms in alphabetical order with written explanations. Physical Sciences Glossary uses interactive explanations and videos to help explain Energy & Systems, Force & Motion, Electricity & Magnetism, Matter & Energy, Light & Optics and Sound & Waves.


3D Brain (free)






Learn about all areas of the brain and how the brain functions.


Skeletal 3D ($0.99)






View the human skeleton in 3D. The app also includes a skeletal encyclopedia.


Anatomy ($1.99)






An app for junior primary, primary and lower middle school. Topics include growing, skin, senses, hunger, breathing, heart, muscles, nerves and skeleton. A great interactive app.


Virtual Heart (free)






Learn about the heart. Set a heart rate and watch the heart respond. View the hearts interior, electrical system, valves, blood flow with or without labels.


Apps for science in primary education

Apps for science

Apps for science lovers

Science apps

Apps in education – science

Educational Apps Part 7 – Numeracy

Below is a great range of apps to support student learning in numeracy. Click on the icons to view the apps in the app store for more details and reviews.

Calculator HD (free)






Basic and scientific calculator.


Khan Academy (free)






Access the thousands of Khan Academy videos on the iPad. Videos cover all year levels.


PopMath ($0.99)






This app is structured in levels and allows the user to select +, -, x, /, or all four at once. Students need to tap the coresponding bubbles, i.e. 5+5 bubble and the 10 bubble.


Dinosaur Kids Math (free)




This app uses digits and groupings of dinosaurs to get students develop knowledge of addition and subtraction.


iKnow1- 100 ($0.99)






This apps assists students with counting to 100.


Mathmateer formerly (free) Rocket Math full version ($0.99)






This is a great math game. Students earn money by attempting math problems. This money can then be spent on building a rocket. Once the rocket is launched it enters space where students try to solve as many math problems as possible before the rocket falls back to earth.


Maths Martians HD ($1.99)






Select a times table set and see how fast you can tap through the answers.


Times Table (Times Table Lab)






Students see how quickly they can answer times tables in a grid format starting with a 5×5 grid.


Flash Tables ($0.99)






Use flash cards, tables listed with answers, grid style practice and a testing function.


Factor Samuri






A fun game teaching students their times tables. The aim of the game is to cut numbers into their primes but to not cut the primes.


Maths Bingo ($0.99)






Bingo style maths game with three levels and allows up to 10 players to play.


Geoboard (free)






Create geometric shapes on a geoboard using rubber bands. A great tool for developing knowledge of geometric shapes.


Convert Any Unit (free) (paid version $2.99)






An app to convert units of measurement.


Motion Math ($1.99)






A fun way to learn fractions. Students have to  tilt the iPad to make the fraction land in the correct place on a line, i.e. 1/2 must land half way along the line.


Teaching Number Lines (free)






Counting forward, backwards, skip counting and sequencing.


Fraction Basics (free)






A series of videos explaining the concepts involved in fractions. From understanding basic concepts to improper, mixed, equivalent, adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying fractions. Videos also cover converting fractions to decimals and percentages.


MathBoard Addition (free) MathBoard ($5.49 – covers +, -, x, /) The link on this image goes to the free addition version.






This app asks students to solve addition, subtraction, division and multiplication math problems.  If students get stuck the app has a problem solver section that shows the steps involved in solving the problem students are having trouble with.


Quick Graph (free) Quick Graph + ($1.99)






Graphics calulator.


Math Terms





Hundreds of maths terms explained. An excellent reference app.


Video Calculus (free)






A great range of well presented videos with Professor Burger who presents the concepts while they are explained on a white board format.


Algerbra Champ (free)






This app is set in the style of a street fighting game (there is no actual fighting). This app does not explain how algerbra works it only allows players to practice equations.


Educational Apps Part 6 – Literacy

Here are some apps to help students with literacy skills. Most are for junior primary or primary aged students. A lot of the information below is taken from the app store. Click on the images to go to the app store to purchase or get further information. I have also added some links to other sites below showing apps for liteeracy and English teachers, these links are more secondary based.

Check out Educational Apps Part 3 for Fotobabble and Wordfoto. Two great literacy based apps using photos.

Check out Educational Apps Part 5 for iMovie, Book Creator, Story Kit, Toontastic and Puppet Pals. Great apps for literacy.

Dictionary (free)






A great reference app for students to use. Also features a thesaurus. Time Magazine ‘Top 10 Back-To-School App’.


Reading Eggs – Eggy 100 (free) Reading Eggs – 250 ($2.99)






Reading Eggs Eggy Words 100 is a FREE application designed to help children recognise and learn sight words. Sight words are words that readers should know automatically “at sight”, such as he, the, was and where. This is a sample version of what is featured in Eggy Words 250.


Eggy Alphabet ($2.99)





Select a letter and then select an activity from join the dots, draw the letter, copy the letter and letter or not? Each of these tasks develops the students ability to sound, name and shape.


The Days of the Week ($1.99)






A simple app with one specific job – to teach the days of the week.


Read Me (free)






An app that comes with a wide range of free stories which can be read to or by a student. Some are better than others within the app. There is also the option to purchase more books within the app. These are not overly expensive at around $0.99 for 5 books. Max has used this app and loved one two series called Tuffy’s First and Tuffy’s Second Adventure (9 books in total), he was disappointed when they finished.


Rocket Speller (free)






Of all the apps on my iPad this is the one my 2 year old Hugh will play right through to the end, I assume it is beacuse every 3 words he gets to select another part ot his rocket. The levels allow someone from age 2 up to play the game.


Sightwords (hangman)






This game contains 45 site word lists for students to choose from. The game requires students to select site words after having them spoken by the iPad. When an incorrect answer is given another section of the hangman is completed.


The very hungry bear and The cranky bear (both $4.49)






FEATURES – Collect fish hidden throughout the book to unlock a SPECIAL SECRET interactive!! – Beautiful illustrations and adorable animal characters – Fun animations and sounds to find on every page – Choose to record your own audio, or be read to! App store.







SPECIAL FEATURES – You be the narrator: Record and play back your own voice! – Tilting the device on special pages adds depth to wonderfully animated pages. – Find 5 hidden cards to unlock a secret surprise! App store.


Dr. Seuss LITE (free) Full version ($4.49)






Experience Dr. Seuss’s “The Cat in the Hat” as an interactive storybook app. The magic of storytelling is combined with features that entertain and promote literacy to offer an immersive and enriching reading experience! App store.


Toy Story (full version free – great value)






Features *Cinematic, Interactive Read-Along app featuring your favorite characters from the award-winning Toy Story movie. *Choose Read to Me mode to hear the story read aloud, or follow the story at your own pace.  You can even Record your own voice narrating and hear it read back to you! * Explore delightful Animations and Surprise features within each page. * Get creative with Finger Painting, sing along to Songs from the movie, and play fun interactive Games! * Tap to play Sound Effects and character voices from the film. * Relive magical moments from the film with Movie Clips throughout! * Jump to your favorite part of the story with the Visual Page Index, or resume where you left off. * Turn pages manually and move back and forth through the story as you wish! App store.


Hairy Maclary






Features: • Tap the language button to view the new “Australian sign language” feature. • Swipe-to-Read™ the words to hear and playback the story at your own pace. • Touch-to-Hear™ individual words spoken. • Touch-to-Spell™ to hear the letters that spell each and every word. • Auto Play to enjoy the narration. • Use the My Narration function to read and record the story yourself and customize your book. • Paint mode can be used on each story page! • Paint has a paint palette, brush width, move and zoom, and undo abilities! • Tap the paint palette icon and tap a color to change the paint color! • Tap the brush palette icon and change the slider to change the brush size! App store.


Educational Apps – Apple in Education

English iPad Apps

iPad English – a whole website devoted to English and the iPad

Apps for English learners

A high school English teachers iPad apps


Educational Apps Part 5 – Get Creative with Music, Video, eBooks and Animation

I see potential for all of these apps to extend students creativity and engage them in their learning. The music apps excite me the most. Not being a music teacher I can still see the potential of every student in a music class having an iPad with a variety of instruments that students have learnt a song on and being used to record that song. Think of an instrument and search for it in the app store, chances are there will be an app for that instrument. Baby DJ is cool and my kids love playing this and creating their own beats and saving them. While the animation apps PuppetPals and Toontastic allow students to create clever little animations (in app purchases required for Toontastic). iMovie turns the iPad into a video editing suite that allows students to create movies with the one device – brilliant! iMotion uses stop motion technology – take photos every 1 sec (you can set your own times) and put them together to create little animations. Use Lego characters with iMotion to create a short iMotion story. Book Creator and Story Kit allow students to make and share their own stories, procedures, reports etc by inserting text, images, sounds and video. The descriptors below are from the Apps store.






GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Enjoy a range of Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug an electric guitar into your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Gather your friends to play and record like a real band with Jam Session.* Use the built-in microphone or a guitar to record or capture any performance. Then mix up to eight tracks to create a song you can share in email or send directly to Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud.







This drum sounds awesome! Mandala hang drum is the first simulator of the 1st generation hang drum for iPad & iPhone & iPod Touch!


Baby DJ






Baby DJ is a music app for kids and their parents. — Bright, fun and user-friendly interface for beginner DJ — 17 children’s songs in our own 9-track format — New songs every week — Record your own mixes and Baby DJ World Top on — Baby DJ has been completely revised in version 2.0 — Original melody and beats sync system — Vinyl mode and scratch — Track Volume Control System on the iPad.








Make beautiful HD movies anywhere with iMovie, the fast and fun movie making app that puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips. Browse and play projects in the Marquee view. Create Hollywood-style trailers or sophisticated home movies in minutes.* And share your finished projects with the world – right from iMovie.








iMotion HD is an intuitive and powerful time-lapse and stop-motion app for iOS. Take pictures, edit your movie and export* HD 720p videos to your device or directly to Youtube. Time-lapse is a cinematography technique which accelerates movement. It can be used to photograph cloudscapes, plants growing, crowds… Stop motion is an animation technique which makes a physically manipulated object look like it’s moving on its own.








Lights, Camera, Play! Toontastic is a storytelling and creative learning tool that enables kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons with friends and family around the world through simple and fun imaginative play! With over 2 million cartoons created in over 150 countries, parents and teachers rave about the app… and kids can’t stop creating!








Simply pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them on to the stage, and tap record. Your movements and audio will be recorded in real time for playback later.
This app is as fun as your own creativity. Act out a story of Pirates on the high seas, fight as scary monsters, or play the part of a Wild West bandit on the loose. You can even combine any characters however you want!


Book Creator






The simple way to create your own beautiful iBooks, right on the iPad. Read them in iBooks, send them to your friends, or submit them to the iBookstore. Ideal for children’s picture books, photo books, art books, cook books, manuals, textbooks, and the list goes on.




To create your story:
* Write some text.
* Illustrate by drawing on the screen, taking a photograph of something you see, or drawing on paper and then photographing the paper, or attaching photos from your album.
* Sounds can be recorded for telling your story or as sound effects.
* Layout the elements of your story (text boxes, images, and sound clips) freely by dragging them or pinching to resize.
* Add, reorder, or delete pages from your book.





Educational Apps Part 4 – Productivity and Design & Food Technology

Attendance (free)





Do you want to do away with your paper attendance rolls? This will not take the place of the DECD home group roll we take at PBAS but it will take the place of our secondary subject rolls. This is an exceptionally easy app to use. Once your students are entered you just follow the prompts to take the roll. The roll can be emailed so a paper version can be produced. The school requires a paper copy to be kept on file. I have used this app during term 4 and found it so much easier than the paper version. For a start I always take my iPad to my classes but did not always remember to take my paper version, hence it was never filled out very accurately. I will be using this app for attendance from now on.


iCabMobile ($1.99)

This app is a Web browser like Safari, Internet Explorer, FireFox or Google Chrome. The great thing about this app is that it allows you to download video from the Internet, store it in the browser then save it to your photo roll on your iPad. Other browsers do not do this. I use a lot of skills video in PE sourced from You Tube and previously have had to download it on my laptop, convert it to an mp4 file, place it in a folder that syncs with my ipad and then plug in my iPad so it syncs through iTunes. Watch the video below to see how easy you can download video to your ipad from iCabMobile. Once video is downloaded it can be used in any app that allows the importing of video i.e. iMovie or use it to view You Tube clips offline with your class.

Design and Food Technology











Both of these apps are for the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). This is England’s equivalent of our SACE. These two apps are basically text books and provide a huge range of information that I could see being useful for our senior students (someone might tell me otherwise as both of these subjects are not in my field of expertise). Definitely worthy of a look. If you type design technology into the search bar of the app store you will also get apps called; Design and technology, iDT HD, Resistant materials, Systems and Control, Electronic Products and Design & Technology: Food.




Educational Apps Part 3 – Photography

Being creative is one of the great strengths of the iPad. Taking the time to understand how the iPad can be used in creative and more open ended ways is important. All of the apps featured in this post can be used to encourage Blooms higher order thinking; analysing, evaluating and creating. The other thing that creative apps are often good at is sharing. Students can create work within the app and share it via uploading to the web or emailing the product. This opens up great potential to connect student learning with parents.







Fotobabble is an easy to use app great for any age group from Reception to Yr 12. The basic premise is to take a photo, add some audio describing what the photo is about (analysing/evaluating). There are some other basic editing tools including enhancing the photo, applying some basic effects, some basic stickers, photo orientation, cropping, brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, free hand drawing onto photo, Add text to photo, redeye, whiten and remove blemishes.

By creating an online account using your school email a username and a password you can share photos from the app directly to the account. This is almost instant. The photos can be uploaded as public or private and when you go to the account online you can get a link that you could share with others.

Ideas for Fotobabble include:

  • create a class online account to store student photos.
  • Share your students work with their parents. Email a link to parents so they can view their childs work.
  • Students take an image of an experiment in science and record audio over the top explaining the experiment and results. Text could be added to the photo i.e. the name of the experiment. Students could produce more than one photo which together showed a process with audio explanation.
  • Students could take a nature photo i.e. the mangroves or the beach. Students could explain the habitat and the types of animals that lived in that habitat.
  • Students could take a photo of a piece of art work and use audio to explain the process they had to go through to create the piece and what new skills they learnt along the way.
  • Students could take photos of a historical landmarks (locally or on an excursion). Using the audio function students could record information they have learnt about the place they visited.
  • JP students could take a photo of a math concept using counters or blocks i.e. patterning. They could then add audio explaining the concept in the photo.








This app allows you to take a photo then recreate the photo using a word set. Type up to 10 words in a word set and apply it to the photo. The photo is then recreated using just those words. The words are used in different shades and sizes to generate the picture. Students could take a photo of an object or person and generate a word list that describes that object. The type of words used will differ depending on what you might ask a student to do. For example simple descriptive words to describe the positive aspects of a person to more abstract terms that may link to a political image. Again this app could be used from Reception to Year 12. The photos can be emailed directly from the app or saved to the photo library on the iPad. When the iPad is plugged into a PC the photo can be copied from the photo library to the PC.








Apply depth of field to your photos. Give a professional look to your iPhone/iPad photos by selecting what stays in focus and what doesn’t. This is is called depth of field and can normally only be achieved with an expensive SLR camera. Teaching students how to compose photos could be one application for this app or just to improve the quality of photos that we use for our newsletters and school magazine.

Educational Apps Part 2 – Productivity

Here are some apps that allow you to access and view files from the Cloud. All of the Cloud based storage apps require an account to be set up online and then they can be placed on your PC desk top. Combined they give around 13G of free storage space in the Cloud. Each has an iPad app that allows you to then view/edit files on your iPad. The added benefit is that the information is also stored in the folder on your desktop and can be accessed offline. Any changes you make offline are automatically uploaded to the Cloud when you connect to the Internet. All can be accessed online so if you are somewhere where your computer is not you can access your files online.

Click on the app icons below to view or purchase the app from iTunes.

SkyDrive (free)

Create a Skydrive account and get 7GB of free storage. Then get the SkyDrive app on your iPad to access your Office files on the iPad. Viewing only capability no editing.

Dropbox (free)

Create a Dropbox account and get 2GB of free space. A valuable account to have as a lot of apps sync with Dropbox. Get the Dropbox app and access Office documents on your iPad. Viewing only no editing within the app. However you can sync to apps such as QuickOffice Pro and CloudOn to edit the documents.

Google Drive (free)

Create a Google Drive account and receive 5GB of free space. If you already have a Google account i.e. You Tube or Gmail you can already access Google Drive. Get the app to view only all your Office documents on your iPad. You can sync to apps such as QuickOffice Pro and CloudOn to edit the documents.

NOTE: All of the above can sit on your desktop and you can edit all documents fully on your PC which then upload to the cloud and sync with your iPad apps.


CloudOn (free)

An app for accessing your Office Documents from Dropbox, Google Drive and another cloud storage app called Box. It is a bit clunky and not as smooth as Quick Office Pro but its interface is very similar to Office which is an excellent feature that Quick Office Pro does not have. It saves any editing back to your cloud storage app.

Quick Office Pro ($10.49)

Edit and create new Office Documents in this app. Edit documents from Google Drive or Dropbox or create new documents within the app. Save documents within the app itself or  drag and drop them back into into Google Drive or Dropbox to be saved. There is also a function to email the documents off the iPad allowing you to then store the document where you like. The app contains ‘How to’ documents for Power Points and Word but not Excel although it gives you an example document to view. The interface is not the same as Office and requires some time to learn all the functions and how to access them. Once this is done however this is a powerful app.

DropVox ($1.99)

Want to record audio and upload it to the Cloud EASILY? Record a conversation with a student about their work for reference later, get students to record an oral presentation, ask a small group to present their group work by recording audio or share the audio file with parents, teachers, other students by email. This app, as the name suggests, links directly to Dropbox. The only functional button within the app is record/stop. Once stop is pressed the audio is automatically uploaded to Dropbox into a folder called DropVox. All the user has to do is press record and press stop, everything else is done for you. You can then access this audio wherever you can access your Dropbox account.