Finding apps isn’t difficult. Finding education apps is only a bit more challenging. Finding free education apps is also possible. Finding free education apps worth downloading is a different story entirely.
The following is our list of the 55 best apps for learning we can find. Some are formal learning–math drilling and phonics, for example–while others are RSS readers, social media platforms, and the like. These are purposely not all purely academic, “training” apps that focus on individual skills, but rather the an array of apps students could use daily to improve their ability to think, connect, and use information.
A few notes:
1. Some require in-app purchases, but we tried to limit these. We also tried to limit the number of “lite/free” versions of more robust paid apps.
2. With some of our recommendations, we include a brief statement of why you should use the app, others we include the developer’s commentary.
3. Even though they apps are numbered, they are in no particular order.
4. We have included a wide variety of apps. It might be that 25 of the best 50 are phonics instruction, but the list is not geared to a single grade level or content area.
5. We’ve got an Android version coming in the next few days.
The 55 Best Free Education Apps For iPad
1. Google Maps
Developer Description: View 360-degree panoramas of places around the globe with Street View; View high resolution satellite imagery of locations around the world.
2. BrainPOP Featured Movie
Developer Description: “…explore more than 750 Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Engineering & Tech, Arts & Music, and Health subjects right on their mobile devices. All movies are close captioned, so it’s easy for them to read along.”
3. Best Books for Tweens
Developer Description: “This app is a fun way for parents, teachers, librarians, and readers to get more information about top rated books at the fifth and sixth grade level. Tag a book as “I want this” or “I’ve read this” to add it to your list. You can email your list out for an easy way to show which books you’re interested in getting and which books you’ve already completed.”
This app is a fun way for parents, teachers, librarians, and readers to get more information about top rated books at the fifth and sixth grade level. Tag a book as “I want this” or “I’ve read this” to add it to your list. You can email your list out for an easy way to show which books you’re interested in getting and which books you’ve already completed.
4. Pocket Body Lite
Developer Description: “(This) full body app, with its elegant design and nine layers of musculoskeletal, neurovascular, and internal organ visual content, contains over 70,000 words of learning material.”
5. Video Science
Developer Description: “A growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.”
Developer Description: “Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.”
7. See.Touch. Learn.
Developer Description: See.Touch.Learn. to build custom picture card lessons and automatically track their child’s responses. Includes a starter set of stunning, high-quality images and 60 exercises created by a certified assistant behavior analyst!
8. Sight Words for Reading HD
Developer Description: “This app helps students learn sight words, the most common words in children’s literature. It covers a few words from both the Fry’s and Dolch lists. Words are presented in context in fun videos. This helps learners understand the meaning of the words, which aids in reading comprehension.”
Developer Description: “Instant access to all the media, news, events, and information you need.”
Developer Description: “When you find an interesting article, video or web page that you want to read, watch or view later, put it in Pocket. Once it’s in Pocket, it automatically syncs across to your phone, tablet and computer so you can view it anytime on any device, even without an internet connection.”
11. Adobe Inspire
Developer Description: “Adobe® Inspire Magazine is a free publication that contains original content geared toward informing, enlightening, and inspiring creative professionals and hobbyists. Documenting the best of web and interaction design practices for over 10 years, each bimonthly issue features articles, tutorials, and videos by experts about new and emerging technologies as well as best practices to help you excel at your job.”
12. Teaching with Technology Video Library
Developer Description: “The NETS video library is a collection of video of actual classrooms, enriched by additional material such as lesson context, teacher handouts and even student work, accessible alongside the video.”
Developer Description: “What did Earth’s continents and oceans look like 250 million years ago, or 1 billion years ago for that matter? Can we say anything about Earth’s climate as far back as our planet’s origin? Use your fingertips to scroll through Earth history for the last 4.5 billion years.”
14. Phrasal Verb Machine
Developer Description: “At Cambridge University Press, we know that Phrasal verbs are complicated for non-native English speakers to learn and use. We also know that it’s essential to use them if we want our writing and speaking to sound natural. However, studying unending lists doesn’t seem to be the best way to learn and use them efficiently. Phrasal verbs are, more than anything, action. And action must be visual. The more visually stimulating the learning, the better we will understand and assimilate the phrasal verbs.”
Developer Description: “SkyORB features many functions as a 3D real-time representation of the planets position around the sun, the ability to hold your device and point toward a visible star and planet and reveal the name by tracking the GPS position, compass orientation, the elevation from the gyroscope, warn the user when a phenomenon is occurs as a full moon, a planet really visible, which is worth the observation.”
SkyORB features many functions as a 3D real-time representation of the planets position around the sun, the ability to hold your device and point toward a visible star and planet and reveal the name by tracking the GPS position, compass orientation, the elevation from the gyroscope, warn the user when a phenomenon is occurs as a full moon, a planet really visible, which is worth the observation.
Developer Description: “Edmodo makes it easy for teachers and students to stay connected and share information. Use your iOS device to send notes, submit assignments, post replies, and check messages and upcoming events while away from the classroom.
Developer Description: “Give a non-verbal child or adult a voice! TapToTalk turns an iPhone™, iPad™ or iPod touch® into an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. TapToTalk makes communication fun, like another “game” on this cool device. Just tap a picture and TapToTalk speaks. Each picture can lead to another screen of pictures.”
Developer Description: “The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface.
Developer Description: “With Duolingo, you learn a language completely free, without ads or hidden charges. You have fun while you learn, leveling up and competing with friends. You have the opportunity to translate real-world texts in the language you are learning, and in doing so, help us translate the Web into other languages”
20. Virtual Manipulatives
Why You Should Try It: Math with visual, digital objects that represent meaning!
21. Toy Story 2 Readalong
Why You Should Try It: It’s among the most elegant and what-you’d-expect-a-kid’s-book-on-the-ipad-to-look-like examples of an “iBook” we’ve seen.
22. Google Earth
Developer Description: “Fly around the planet with a swipe of your finger with Google Earth for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore distant lands or reacquaint yourself with your childhood home. Search for cities, places, and businesses. Browse layers including roads, borders, places, photos and more. Visit the Earth Gallery to find exciting maps such as real-time earthquakes, planes in flight, hiking trails, city tours, and more.”
23. Google Chrome
Developer Description: “Sign in to sync your personalized Chrome experience from your computer, and bring it with you anywhere you go.”
Why You Should Try It: You probably already have, but this is native way to view a wide variety of documents on the iPad.
25. TED Talks
Why You Should Try It: TED Talks consistently delivers passionate arguments from people that love learning. Whether or not they’ve oversaturated the market or jumped the shark entirely, they’re a must-have resource for the progressive educator.
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Originally published by Teach Thought and written by TeachThought Staff