History: Maps of the World is a free iPod & iPad app for Social Studies, History, and Geography teachers, compiling maps from different eras throughout history. Viewers can explore maps by theme, historical events, and geography.
The digitized maps are easy to navigate using touch gestures, and can be zoomed in to show fine detail. While the app is a large download, the maps are available for offline viewing.
For: Teachers, Upper Primary and Secondary Students
Tools 4 Students is an incredibly useful iPod Touch / iPad app, providing teachers and students with 25 editable graphic organisers to organise their thinking and comprehend new information.
Students can save their work on their iPad, export to Dropbox, or email completed organisers to their teacher, who can share them via Google Docs or print them off. The app can also be projected onto an whiteboard for whole-class demonstrations and activities.
The Science 360 app brings a world of science news, information, images, and videos to the iPad. Featuring a unique 360 degree view, users can find content through touch gestures, or via keyword search using the keyboard.
The app makes it easy to save and share favourite images and videos, and offers an option to download full-resolution images for offline use. It is recommended for casual browsing, rather than for specific research.
This app is very data intensive, and requires a strong WiFi internet connection to be useful.
The iBooks iPad app is so much more than a glossy bookcase. It is a place where you can share ePub e-books, PDF files, and student (and teacher) created resources; enabling users to curate & create a library of digital reading material on their iPad.
For: Teachers, Students, Administrators
Requires WiFi?: No for reading. Yes for uploading and sharing content
Share student work (in PDF or ePub format) with parents and classmates as digital portfolios or yearbooks
Use the built-in highlighter and sticknotes to practice reading comprehension skills
Share digital textbooks (requires iTunes 10.5.3 or later)
Teacher Tips: How do I add material to iBooks?
To add PDF and ePub materials to iBooks on your iPad, you can import files via iTunes, import from Dropbox or GoodReader, or save files directly from Safari. It is possible to save and share students’ work in ePub format from other applications, such as Pages for Mac.
You can purchase quality eBooks from the Apple iBooks Store, or find free eBooks on Google, which may be a better option for educators.
Teachers may also like the dotePUB browser bookmarklet (available for Safari), which enables users to save ANY website as an ePub file, which can be added to iBooks via iTunes. (Tip via iPads@Burley).
Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis is presented as the future of digital textbooks, and is a truly innovative, visually stunning text. Written by Al Gore, Our Choice is the sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, and is a rich multimedia exploration of the science of climate change and climate action.
Using a ground-breaking touch interface*, this app is highly recommended for secondary science students, and anyone interested in taking action on climate change.
*Please note: This app downloads multimedia & chapter content in the background when opened for the first time, and it is recommended you wait for the lengthy (1GB+) download to complete before trying to interact with it.
Comics and cartoons have a HUGE range of educational applications across the primary and secondary curriculum, and can be easily integrated into a range of subject or topic areas.
Comic Life for iPad is an easy-to-use comic / cartoon creation app for students from Grades 1-12. It provides a range of templates, and enables users to import pictures (from their Camera Roll, or Creative Commons sources on the Internet), captions, and special effects (thought balloons, onomatopoeia).
This app mirrors the Windows / Mac version of Comic LIfe, and allows users to print, email, or share their comics on Facebook. Comic Life for iPad also features an “in-tray” option, which allows users to share comics with other iPad users nearby).
The Elements: A Visual Exploration, by Theodore Gray, is a simply stunning iPad app with mesmerising high-definition graphics, videos, and detailed information for every element in the Periodic Table. While users can’t copy information out of the app, it is possible to save screenshots.
This app is available in American and British English versions, and is translated into French, German, and Japanese (check the description).
For: Secondary Science Teachers and Students, invaluable in Chemistry
Cost: $16 (Worth every cent, but be warned – it’s a 1.7GB download) (Download Link)
Requires WiFi?: Yes , but only to access online features)
Popplet is a hugely popular mind-mapping tool which enables teachers and students to visually represent and organise information using text, hyperlinks, images, and sticky notes (popples). Available as a web application (beta, via subscription) and iPad app, Popplet is remarkably simple to use, and is suitable for all ages.
Popplet requires a free account (we’d suggest creating class / group accounts for students), and completed ‘popplets’ can be saved as JPG or PDF files, embedded into web pages, or shared via Twitter, Facebook, and Email. Printed popplets make great classroom displays.
Penultimate is a powerful note-taking app for the iPad, enabling users to create an infinite number of beautiful electronic notebooks using different paper formats.
You can hand-write notes with your finger or stylus (recommended), use different coloured pens, and import photos (from your camera / camera roll). Coming with advanced editing options, this app is ideal for sketching pictures & brainstorming ideas.
Better yet, you can back-up or share your Penultimate notebooks via Dropbox, Evernote, or Email; and project your work on an IWB using an iPad VGA connection cable.
For: Teachers, (Older) Students, Administrators
Cost: $2.99. Some paper formats require an in-app purchase
Socrative is marketed as a “student engagment” and “instant assessment” e-clicker device which runs off ANY web browser (on your laptop, smartphone, iPod, iPad, etc).
It enables teachers to quickly and easily set up short multiple choice / short-answer / quiz assessment activities, which students respond to using their own devices. Student responses are collated, and displayed on the classroom screen or emailed to the teacher.
According to educational research by deJong and Lane et.al (2009), many students and teachers find “clickers” extremely engaging, so Socrative may well be worth experimenting with (depending on your preferred teaching approach). It is a cheaper alternative to traditional (hardware) clicker response systems.
For: Students, Teachers (in 1:1 or BYOD classrooms), University Lecturers
Cost: Currently Free (Requires Teacher Registration)