Top 5 iPad apps for education

April 28, 2017
Lauren Martin
Lauren M., M.Ed

With so many iPad apps for education to choose from it’s difficult to pick just one. We’ve sorted through all of the educational apps for students and teachers and found the most comprehensive ones available for all subject areas and all grades.

  1. iTooch

By far the most comprehensive database of curriculum materials, iTooch offers thousands of activities for self-guided study or flipped classrooms for grades K – 12. If you teach elementary school, download one of the K – 5 Language Arts, Math, Science, or Health apps. If you teach middle school, download the grade 6 – 8 Math, Language Arts or Health app that meets your needs. High school teachers and tutors can use the grades 9 – 12 SAT Critical Reading, SAT Math, U.S. History, or Biology apps. Students can download the educational app on their personal iPads to independently navigate through an entire curriculum of thousands of long-term aligned activities. iTooch is perfect for a blended learning unit or flipped classroom. The EdTech app also means no prep planning and effortless supervision of summer school programs, study hall or tutoring sessions.

  1. BrainPOP Featured Movie

What better way to engage students than with animated instructional videos? Download the BrainPOP Featured Movie app for access to thousands of videos to introduce or review Common Core-aligned educational topics. Almost all of the videos feature the characters, Tim and Moby, who explain complex concepts in short simple video clips. BrainPOP educational videos teach skills and lessons in English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, Music, Art, Engineering, and Technology. Students watch the educational film clip and then take a quiz to assess their knowledge. Students can work independently at their own pace or teachers can project videos and quiz questions in place of a traditional mini lesson. As a bonus, BrainPOP also offers a Spanish-speaking and ESL version of the same app. What easier way is there to meet the needs of your ESL students?

  1. Pixton Comic Maker

Pixton Comic Maker is the perfect solution for teachers to differentiate the content, product, and process of their lesson plans for students with reading disabilities. Teachers in inclusive classrooms can help visual and kinesthetic learners comprehend and show mastery of complex concepts using comics, mind maps, character maps, storyboards, timelines, and more. In order for any student to learn, regardless of ability, they must be actively engaged in creating something meaningful and they must be able to visualize the concept or skill. Comic-based activities can be adapted to any lesson in any grade to ensure students always visualize and create meaning.

To differentiate content, teachers can introduce Math, ELA, Social Studies, Health, or Science skills with images. It is easy to illustrate events, historical figures, multi-step processes, and literary devices using the characters, backgrounds, props, and dialogue bubbles in Pixton Comic Maker. Student engagement and comprehension will improve whenever a comic strip character, instead of a lecturing teacher, introduces new terms, instructions, and skills.

To differentiate process and product, students can illustrate historical timelines, scientific systems, math steps, writing processes, literary analysis, and more on the Pixton Comic Maker educational app. Students with reading disabilities, ADHD, and behavioral issues will improve focus and quality of work when they can show mastery by illustrating comics on an iPad. High-interest comics contain description boxes and dialogue bubbles to ensure student activities are as rigorous as they are engaging.

  1. Abitalk

Abitalk offers educational apps for each grade level and subject area for grades K – 5 Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, and even Chinese-Language teachers. Each subject-specific app contains about twenty passages that contain relevant vocabulary and concepts, and are followed by exercises to assess comprehension. ELA teachers can practice informational text skills through science and social studies content. Students can also use the educational app to learn sight words, phonics, grammar, and grade-level vocabulary. All subject-area teachers can reinforce reading comprehension skills and grade-level vocabulary during their content-specific lessons. Finally, teachers can upload any lesson, text or set of questions to the Abitalk app to instantly create a blended or flipped classroom for students to enthusiastically read and take quizzes on the engaging EdTech app.

  1. ScootPad

If we could recommend just one educational iPad app for Special Education, Math and English Language Arts teachers, it would be ScootPad. ScootPad essentially replaces the teacher, providing targeted differentiation and individualized interventions aligned with the RTI (response to intervention) model. How does it work? Teachers can choose which Math or ELA lessons and assessments students focus on each day, or they can allow students to move at their own pace through a pre-selected curriculum. ScootPad offers multimedia-rich, interactive instructional lessons, hundreds of grade level aligned eBooks, diagnostic and formative assessments, spiraled instruction, and practice of skills. Based on ongoing assessments, ScootPad differentiates instruction to meet the needs of each individual student. The app instantly adds extra review and practice for the skills a student has not mastered, and spirals or revisits skills to ensure longterm retention. Teachers have instant access to student performance, unlike anything possible with paper and pen assessments.

When students need individualized, differentiated support, mix and match the five best iPad apps for blended learning, flipped classrooms, homeschooling, intentional study halls, special education RTI support and inclusive classrooms.

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