Common Sense


Best 1-to-1 iPad Apps for High School

In a 1-to-1 high school classroom, it's best to have top-quality content that'll pay off all year long. For high school students, iPads need to be loaded up with flexible apps featuring pro-level functionality that feels authentic. This list of the best iPad apps is curated specifically for these two purposes: long-lasting value and high-quality experiences. There are apps here that have great depth of content, useful support for teachers, and tools students can learn to use for the real-world, project-based, creative, and critical work essential to high school.

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Full-featured parent-teacher communication platform

Bottom line: Provided all parents have access, Bloomz can be a great way to get them involved.

Google Earth

Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom line: Google Earth offers less functionality than the PC version but still thrills.


Interactive slide show tool engages students and promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and brings slide shows into the 21st century.

Coach's Eye - Video Analysis

Robust video analysis for sports, science, fine arts performances

Bottom line: Cool video-analysis tool is great for the sports field and beyond, but prepare for an onslaught of hidden costs to access all features.


Impressive word processor and publisher with great sharing features

Bottom line: Impressive word processor makes layout and publishing a breeze, with easy file conversion and advanced features. And it's free for newer iOS devices.

Paper by FiftyThree

Beautifully designed digital sketchbook for any age

Bottom line: The simplicity and effectiveness of the app make this a powerful sketch and note-taking tool for the iPad.


Amazingly powerful audio workstation unleashes creativity

Bottom line: There's exceptional functionality in this solid, all-inclusive audio workstation that's fantastic for high-quality, anytime, and anywhere audio recording and sharing.

Tinycards -- Learn with Fun, Free Flashcards

Gamified flash cards feature great built-in content, spaced repetition

Bottom line: A smart, easy-to-use, and surprisingly fun way to study and review.

Canva - Graphic Design & Photo Editing

Create snazzy designs in seconds with flexible, cloud-based tool

Bottom line: A flexible, accessible way to get kids -- especially design novices -- creating digitally in your classroom if you have stable internet and time to get students set up to be successful.

Explain Everything Classic

Classic version of dynamic presentation tool still excites

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

Google Maps

Cool extras bolster top navigation app

Bottom line: Google Maps is an essential navigation tool that can empower students to explore their world.


Pro-quality HD movie maker is easy enough for beginners

Bottom line: This extraordinary tool for making movies anywhere is easy enough for beginners, yet has lots of headroom for advanced users.


Flexible desktop, mobile assignment tool works best with pro features

Bottom line: A flexible way to collect student assignments and offer written and verbal feedback, especially with the premium features.


Impressive organizational tool has limitless uses

Bottom line: This free information-management tool can help kids become tech-savvy and learn to better organize their digital lives.


Simple, elegant tool for creating presentations on mobile devices

Bottom line: Provides a solid mobile version of Apple's presentation app.


Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities

Bottom line: An excellent tool that lets students make their notes thorough and useful in the way that best suits their learning styles and abilities.

Office Sway

Cool scroll effects, flexible features boost visual storytelling tool

Bottom line: A great tool for design and presentation, if great visuals and easy sharing trump having some active viewing features present in other tools.

WordFlex Touch Dictionary

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

Bottom line: Dynamic, highly visual presentation makes learning new words exciting.

Animoto Video Slideshow Maker

Slick video slide-show tool lets kids tell stories and share them

Bottom line: Anything that happens during school can be turned into an engaging video slide show.

Autodesk Sketchbook

Impressive creation tool for teens serious about art

Bottom line: Gives students easy access to professional tools for creating digital art.

Explain Everything Classic

Classic version of dynamic presentation tool still excites

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

Adobe Spark

Super-flexible design tool for crafting fabulous images, videos, and sites

Bottom line: This free, one-stop shop for creating sleek graphics, web stories, and animated videos is incredibly easy to use and challenges students to think critically about visual presentation.

Haiku Deck

Sparse word use and high-impact visuals help focus presentations

Bottom line: Captivating presentations, as long as users know the basics and choose appropriate images


Slick DIY app with projects that have classroom potential

Bottom line: Cool project ideas and let tweens and teens showcase their creativity and instruction-writing skills; supervision required.

TouchCast Studio

Cool tool takes videos to next level, but some privacy concerns

Bottom line: TouchCast is a creative tool for students to use to present information, but teachers should monitor use.

Cogent Education

Think like a scientist: Solve biology case studies

Bottom line: Practice problem-solving skills and learn biology through interactive case studies.

Grafio 3 - Diagrams & ideas

Flexible app transforms sketches into pro-level designs and diagrams

Bottom line: A terrific choice for creating simple diagrams or presentations on iOS.

NPR News

Top-notch digital content takes students beyond the airwaves

Bottom line: Provides an easy, fun, and effective way to engage students with radio.

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