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Best 1-to-1 iPad Apps for Middle School

This curated list of middle school iPad apps represents not only the best of the best but also apps that are well suited to classrooms where every student has a tablet. There's a mixture of apps with tons of ELA, math, science, and social studies content. You'll also find apps that keep students engaged and learning as well as tools that help teachers assess, manage classes, and craft opportunities for student thinking, creating, and sharing. Most importantly, these apps are curated specifically for their long-term value; you won't find any one-and-done experiences, but rather deep experiences that pay off all year long.

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Classroom Management and Teaching Apps

Nearpod

Interactive slideshow tool engages students and promotes collaboration

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

Time Timer

Easily conceptualize, manage, and visualize time

Bottom line: Goes above and beyond standard timers to include handy customization and visual cues.

Educreations

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

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

Explain Everything

Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations

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

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.

Doceri Interactive Whiteboard

Teachers, students can spice up presentations with well-done tool

Bottom line: Students can learn how to create unique slideshow presentations and demonstrate processes and problem-solving skills by recording as they go.

Keynote

Simple, elegant tool for creating presentations on mobile devices

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

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

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.

Green Screen by Do Ink

Versatile, easy-to-use moviemaker yields great results

Bottom line: High-quality movie maker has numerous uses for students projects.

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.

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 - Photo Editor & Design

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.

Adobe Photoshop Express

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.

Adobe Premiere Clip

Decent on-the-go video editor shines when using other Adobe tools

Bottom line: It's a good tool that gets better when using other Creative Cloud apps, but the limited features make this a hard sell for anything other than introductory editing.

Microsoft 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 the active viewing features present in other tools.

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.

ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies Apps

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.

FluencyFinder

Tool lets teachers save time, track data while testing reading fluency

Bottom line: Makes the process of testing reading fluency easier by providing a timer, mistake counter, and data collection in one place.

BrainPOP Featured Movie

Incredibly engaging cartoons on a wide range of topics draw kids in

Bottom line: These short videos are undeniably valuable as a teaching tool for elementary and middle school kids.

Crack the Books

Interactive biomes textbooks impress; subscribe for premium features

Bottom line: If it fits your budget, an excellent interactive science resource that can work for students who have a range of reading abilities.

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.

CueThink

Social approach to problem-solving promotes deep math learning

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

Project Noah

Contribute kid research to stellar crowdsourced field guide

Bottom line: An outstanding resource that makes science relevant with lots of classroom potential.

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.

Wordflex Touch Dictionary

Amazing interactive visual dictionary makes exploring words exciting

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

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