I have been using iPads in the classroom for about 6 years now. In that time, iPads in education have changed. One thing that has remained the same is the need for quality apps to use in the classroom and it helps if they are free!
FREE apps to use in the classroom
1. Bluster Is a Literacy app by McGraw Hill. Several skills are tested and there are a few different modes to try. My class likes that they can play the game together and compete against each other. McGraw Hill has a few other free educational apps, which offer in-app purchases.
2. Skoolbo My class loves this one! It is a competitive game that tests Common Core skills. Students create an account and work to improve their scores. Plus my students love competing with others students also playing Skoolbo from around the world.
3. Chickionary Test your students ability to spell and build words with this fun game. Chickionary is fun and engaging. This is a huge hit year after year!
4. Common Core Standards is a helpful app for teachers. You can quickly access all of the Common Core Standards for each subject and grade level.
5. Daisy The Dinosaur This fun and interactive app helps teach beginning coding skills. This app is great for STEM.
6. FarFaria is a reading app that offers a vast library of eBooks for kids to read and listen. “The best thing about this app is that it allows the child to read it independently or there is a feature that will read it to them. … When you pick your book this is when you have the option to read it alone or have it read to you. … This is such an amazing way to help students gain a love for reading.” -Heather, Second Grade Perks
7. Hooked on Phonics’ Reading Pro App is loaded with videos, games and stories, Reading Pro teaches 7 to 10-year-olds strategies for learning new words, and lets them practice reading them in the real world.
There are a variety of FREE educational apps out there, but these are my classroom favorites. We use them in my classroom daily and I hope you find these apps useful in your classroom.
More and more I have been turning to Google platforms for everything! Google offers so many great free programs like Sheets, Docs and Slides. These take the place of any Microsoft Office or Apple Productivity products. The benefit of these programs is that they are stored online so you can work on the same document from any device and they are able to be used collaboratively. This means your students could all work on the same project at the same time and all be in different places. All you need is a Google account.
Google has now turned all of these into iPad apps. You can still access them online when away from the app.
Another great way to use Google in the classroom is to use Google Classroom. All your students need is to have a Google account and they can access your digital Google Classroom. This is a great place to assign digital copies of texts or even hand out digital assignments to turn in. Google Classroom now has a free app! Students login to the app and access all of your content. This is a great addition! Last year the kids had to go to the web address which was tricky at first with little guys! If you have tried to use Classroom in the past and you weren’t convinced try again because it has been updated and is easier to use for students and teachers.
The native iPad apps like iMovie, Pages and Keynote are some of my favorite apps! They are free on new devices but are pricy paid apps on the older devices. (If this is the case for you, use the free Google applications above.) These apps are similar in function to the Google apps (other than iMovie) but you can really dress up the project with the Apple alternative. The possibilities of what your class can accomplish with these apps is endless. In class we have used iMovie for creating their own campaign adds, creating digital book reviews (we added QR codes of the reviews to the books) and as a presentation platform for any project. I use Pages when students publish their writing and they can email it to their parents. Keynote also makes great slide show presentations.
About the All-Star Blogger
I am Ashley from Teaching In Bronco Country. I teach 3rd grade at a 1 to 1 iPad school near Denver, CO. I have been teaching for 9 years and I love integrating technology in to my daily lessons. I enjoy teaching 3rd graders Literacy and Social Studies. I share my classroom and teach part time. When I am not teaching my favorite things to do are reading, cooking and being a mom.