We are currently using 3 iPads in our Grade 3 classroom – and loving them!  Wish we had more – but we are making the 3 work for us.  Recently, I was able to share some “must have” apps with my colleagues – it’s immensely enjoyable when you inspire people with a few really good apps that are engaging to use and have the potential to enhance learning for the students we teach.

By pure coincidence, I stumbled across two educators slideshare presentations (linked inside blog posts from my Must Reads RSS google reader feed).  Although I’ve been using many of the apps that both educators mentioned, there were a few that I will definitely check out.  I thought I’d share those (and links to the two educators) with you today. Guess what – they’re all FREE too! My favourite kind of apps!!

Monica Burns (blogs and tweets via @ClassTechTips) is a Fifth Grade Teacher at Alain L. Locke Magnet School for Environmental Stewardship (which I think is in South Harlem?).

Student podcasts about Math created by students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica.  These might be a bit too advanced for my G3 students – but some of you may find this app useful for students.

There are many fotopedia apps, specific to particular places – check out the National Parks one – it’s gorgeous!

Update Nov 2015: Unfortunately Fotopedia shut down it’s app in August 2015.

Beautiful nature images – I’m keen to explore this one – although I have a funny feeling that some in-app purchasing will be necessary to get the most out of this app (which will be a shame).


Great leaf images – perfect for our Structures of Life unit that’s coming up soon.

Perfect Captions perfectcaptions
I know some boys in my class that are going to have a lot of fun with this new app! I can’t wait to use – especially with our Character Unit!

acceleratedreaderAccelerated Reader
This needs to be individualised – and since we only have 3 ipads, I’m thinking that I’ll only use it with students who need this kind of practised reading the most, for a short period of time to see if it gives them the boost they are needing.

Now, I’ve always used iTalk (and I LOVE it – but unfortunately our personal devices (aka: my iPhone) and our school devices (aka: my laptop) are on separate parts of the wireless – this means that I can not get my iPhone and Laptop to “talk to each other” over the wireless!  The beauty of iTalk is being able to share the recordings without having to download to the laptop.  I usually transfer files at home.  I’ll be trying out QuickVoice for our running records and for students practising their fluency and expression.  I like students to record themselves at the beginning of the year, then again mid-year – reflect and then record themselves again at the end of the year – comparing the beginning of the year recording with the end of year recording.  Students are always amazed to hear their improvement.  Works especially well with EAL students.

scholasticreadingtimerScholastic Reading Timer (not available in NZ Store)
Was disappointed to find that this app isn’t available in the NZ apple store – enter backup plan – use B’s US apple ID.  (Kiwi’s always have a back up plan!)


Check out Monica’s full slideshare presentation here!  There might be some more apps that you’re not using in your classroom yet.

Carlos Fernandez oversees the Instructional Technology in Leon County Schools, Fl.  You can see his full slideshare presentation here.

A multi-device collaboration tool from Universal Mind. I’m curious to see how I can make the “flick of a finger” collaboration between my iPhone and the iPads in the class – I’m wondering what that will do to brainstorming in the classroom between my students and myself?  I’ll keep you posted!


School A-Z
Produced by the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the School A to Z app brings together a wealth of resources to help parents to understand and support their child’s homework. I’m thinking that this would be a really good app to introduce to my parents – most have an iPad or two floating around the house!

Hope that some of these apps might be new for you too.
I’m always interested to know if you try these apps out in your classroom and how it goes – so please come back and leave a comment!


Image Credit: TeachingSagittarian