iPads in the Classroom, Part 2 of 2


By Holly Valentine

Do you have iPads or other kinds of tablets in your classroom but struggle to find the perfect apps to download for student use? If so, you are like teachers all over the world who are striving to keep up with the latest technology that will supplement teaching and learning.

In "iPads in the Classroom—Part 1", I shared my experience setting up and managing an iPad classroom. Once I had the management piece down, I was faced with the thousands of free apps to choose from. In the beginning I thought the more the better, but boy was I wrong. Too many choices led to confusion, overload, and too much hopping instead of using them for their purpose—to build skills and independence. If I had started with just a few apps and really focused on one subject area at a time, it would have gone much better.

Take time to really investigate and explore apps before you give them to students. In the beginning, I would browse the App Store, find some free ones, play with them for about two minutes, and then download them onto the student computers. Although the apps were initially appealing, students soon discovered problems with them (like they were free for only one level and then there was a charge). Sometimes I ask students to be reviewers. I put the app on just one or two iPads, ask them to use it, and then have them share their thinking.

These are a few that have worked well for us. If the app world is overwhelming to you and you are wondering where to begin, these might be a good place to start. See if they will meet the specific needs of your students.

Reading

  • Hooked on Words
  • Word Seek
  • 4 Words—Guess the Word
  • Toontastic
  • Raz-Kids (The app is free but membership to Raz-Kids is not)

Math

  • Sushi Monster
  • Wee Kids Math ($1.99)
  • Math Bingo for Kids
  • Squeebles Multiplication ($.99)
  • Operation Math ($2.99)