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Best 1-to-1 iPad Apps for Learning

It can be tough to figure out which iPad apps to load onto tablets when your classroom is 1-to-1, or if you're using iPad carts. The last thing you want is to commit to an app and use it for a week or, even worse, a day. This hand-picked collection of classroom-ready iPad apps is a good place to start. Each is highly rated and tuned well to the needs of teachers and students from elementary school to middle and high school. There's a mixture of apps with tons of content that'll keep students engaged and learning, tools for teachers to assess and manage classes, and opportunities for students to think, create, and share.

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Classroom Management and Teaching Apps for iPads

TinyTap - Educational Games

Book-and-game builder empowers creativity, boasts vast content library

Bottom line: With some patience and planning, this game maker can be a classroom game changer.

Classkick

Easy-to-use, real-time monitoring, feedback, and assessment for 1-to-1

Bottom line: It's a great option for teachers who want to go paperless, provide specific feedback, and encourage collaboration among students in 1-to-1 classrooms.

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

Bottom line: A powerful multimedia learning and communication tool that demonstrates student progress over time.

Nearpod

Interactive slideshow tool engages students, promotes collaboration

Bottom line: This effective tool leverages the capabilities of 1-to-1 environments and offers both teacher- and student-paced learning.

Recap: Video Response and Reflection for Education

Multimedia reflection app puts a new spin on class discussion

Bottom line: By promoting regular self-reflection and inquiry through Recap, teachers can support more authentic learning and self-assessment among their students.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Appealing app guides meditation, promotes compassion

Bottom line: An accessible, well-designed tool for making meditation a daily practice for both students and teachers.

Educreations

Enliven lessons and presentations with easy-to-use whiteboard tool

Bottom line: An easy, functional way to create presentations on the fly.

Showbie

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.

Notability

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.

Quizlet

App to find, create, use digital flashcards; website is better

Bottom line: A convenient way to find, create, and review digital flashcards, which have all the advantages and disadvantages of paper flashcards.

Arts and Creativity Apps for iPads

Artsonia Kids Art Museum

Online art museum empowers students to exhibit, explain their work

Bottom line: A well-loved digital art museum that allows students to share work and reflect on their artistic process while helping teachers assess student understanding of artistic concepts.

ScratchJr

Drag-and-drop programming is an effective intro for budding coders

Bottom line: With a little adult help, this is a rich platform for getting kids into programming and digital creation.

Toontastic 3D

Flexible tool hands kids the reins for creative animated storytelling

Bottom line: Despite some lack of variety and simple drawing tools, Toontastic 3D remains a terrific, versatile storytelling tool.

Wizard School!

Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning

Bottom line: There's plenty of material to inspire kids to embark on learning adventures that get them to explore, create, and share safely on the screen and off.

Cozmo

A little robot with big personality brings code to life

Bottom line: From Cozmo's engaging personality to endless programming possibilities, this little robot will capture your heart and spark imagination.

DIY App - Creative Community for Kids

From cardboarding to cooking, this app helps kids find the fun in DIY

Bottom line: Fabulous way for kids to get skills and share their projects digitally.

Book Creator

Magically easy way to create and publish digital books and multimedia

Bottom line: This is a top-quality creation tool that lets students of many ages and abilities publish their own digital books.

Educreations

Enliven lessons and presentations with easy-to-use whiteboard tool

Bottom line: An easy, functional way to create presentations on the fly.

Paper by WeTransfer

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.

GarageBand

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.

Canva

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.

iMovie

Movie editor will satisfy beginner and intermediate creators

Bottom line: Despite some limitations with editing, it’s the perfect tool to get teachers and students started with digital video production.

Photoshop Express Photo Editor

Top-notch photo editor helps perfect pics for creative projects

Bottom line: This is a powerful, free creation tool from the industry leader in photo editing.

Animoto: Slideshow Maker

Slick video slideshow tool lets kids tell stories and share them

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

ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies Apps for iPads

Khan Academy Kids

Creative, smart mix of pre-K to K activities is a breath of fresh air

Bottom line: It's tough to stand out in the crowded early learning space, but this collection does just that, offering a one-stop shop for creative learning of foundational skills.

DragonBox Numbers

Explore the concept of numbers through puzzles and fun gameplay

Bottom line: Though there are a few kinks, kids experience fun gameplay while internalizing fundamental number concepts.

BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

High-quality animated videos engage young kids in a variety of topics

Bottom line: Great videos, though kids' learning should be enhanced with interactive elements to encourage deeper, more active learning.

Skybrary – Kids Books & Videos

Kids can "go anywhere, be anything" with vast book and video library

Bottom line: Wonderful and practical way to get kids excited about learning and reading -- the greatness of the classic TV series, updated for the 21st century.

Epic! - Unlimited Books for Kids

Free, expansive digital library unlocks treasure trove of books

Bottom line: This large collection of books and videos on a wide variety of topics is an easy -- and free -- enhancement to any classroom library.

Google Earth

Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications

Bottom line: Google Earth is an engaging and completely open-ended app perfect for use across the educational spectrum.

LightSail

Robust, full-featured reading tool measures meaningful literacy gains

Bottom line: A powerful, well-designed literacy platform for developing engaged readers.

News-O-Matic EDU

Flexible, interactive daily stories for elementary school students

Bottom line: Engaging, high-quality news stories help students learn about the world.

Grammaropolis

Animated parts-of-speech app enlivens grammar lessons

Bottom line: It's a cute concept that makes sense out of sometimes hard-to-understand grammar concepts.

NASA

Visually super NASA-backed treasure trove may overwhelm

Bottom line: A visually stunning way to get kids interested in science and space exploration.

Dictionary.

Vast word reference features tons of content and word games

Bottom line: Powerful tool crammed full of games, classic reference information, and flexible controls.

Pages

Writing and publishing tool is an increasingly satisfying option

Bottom line: With useful new book creation features, Pages is a much-improved publishing tool for Apple-oriented classrooms.

DragonBox Algebra 5+

Mesmerizing step-by-step puzzler sets the foundation for algebra

Bottom line: This innovative game-changer teaches algebra, changes the way kids learn it, and even changes how they feel about it.

CueThink

Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning

Bottom line: An innovative, community-based platform that helps students plan, strategize, and collaborate.

Lab4Physics

Bring physics to life using lab sensors built right into your smartphone

Bottom line: Use your smartphone to gather data and study speed, gravity, waves, and other physics concepts.

Cogent Education

Think like a scientist: Solve biology case studies

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

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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