Category Archives: Free


Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 7.07.46 AMThis is another interactive whiteboard type of app.  It is similar to Show Me and Screen Chomp.  But it is even more closely related to Explain Everything due to its ability to move through more than one slide (or page) during a single recording.  Students can also scroll on the same slide/page if they need more room.

After hitting the record button, everything that is said in close proximity to the device is recorded – along, of course, with everything that is done on the screen.  Students have a choice of 10 ink colors – black, blue, red, green, purple, white, gray, brown, orange, and yellow.  The eraser and undo tools are also readily available.  Text can also be added.  It is quite simple to add an image to a slide/page.  Students can take a picture from the device’s camera or import one from the Camera Roll, DropBox, or the Internet.  Once imported, images can be moved, rotated, and resized.

Sharing is easily done by email, Facebook, or Twitter.  Students can access ‘Featured Lessons’ created by other users from within the app.  The Featured Lessons are grouped into the following categories: Computer Technology, Creative Arts, Health/P.E., Language Arts, Mathematics, Professional Development, Science, Social Studies, Special Education, Vocational Studies, World Languages, and Other.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies | Tagged , | Comments Off on Educreations

ABA – Problem Solving – What does not belong?

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 7.26.27 PMThis app introduces young students to simple concepts such as colors and directions.  It displays four images at a time and requires students to choose the one item that is different than the others.  The difference could deal with color, name, type, or concept.

Students do not earn points.  But feedback concerning accuracy is given each time a student selects an answer.

Although the app is for young students, there are several customization options that enhance the experience and make it more difficult.  You can also add additional pictures, concepts, and game sounds.

Picture List

  • Advanced Shapes
  • Animal Shapes
  • Basic Shapes
  • Concepts

Play Modes

  • Nouns Only
  • Descriptors Only
  • Descriptors and Nouns Only
  • Progressive Difficulty
Posted in Critical Thinking, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, PreK - Kindergarten | Comments Off on ABA – Problem Solving – What does not belong?

Motion Math Zoom

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 1.21.23 PMIn this app, students are able to ‘drop’ missing numbers down onto a number line.  The number line has different animals at various points.  The missing number remains stationary, but students are able to use a finger to move the number line.  They then tap the missing number – which is contained in a bubble – to drop it in place.

A star is earned each time a number is ‘popped’ (or dropped) into its correct spot.  If students do so quickly, they earn 2 stars.  For even more of a challenge, students can earn a third star by turning on the needle.  When on, the needle pops the missing number after so many seconds.

The free version unlocks six levels, but the paid version allows access to all 24 levels.  More difficult levels are unlocked as students successfully complete the lower levels.


  • Intro
  • Numbers: 1 – 1,000
  • Zooming
  • Negatives
  • Decimals: Tenths
  • Decimals: Hundredths
  • Decimals: Thousandths
  • Challenge
Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Math | Tagged | Comments Off on Motion Math Zoom

Pic Collage

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 9.31.53 PMStudents have the opportunity to creatively arrange photographs into collages in this app.  They can use the device’s camera to take pictures on the spot or they can import pictures that are already on the device.  They can also import pictures from the internet (by performing a simple search) and add text and/or stickers to each collage.  They can also add frames and/or backgrounds to each collage.

Once photos are added to the collage, a simple tap brings up options to edit the photo, edit the border, clip the photo, set the photo as the background, or copy the photo.  The photo editor allows users to enhance, add effects to, focus, and draw on the photo.

I’m impressed with the number of ‘free’ backgrounds, fonts, and stickers that come with this app.  However, make a note that additional sets of stickers can be obtained via in-app purchases.

Completed collages can be shared via social networking sites, saved to the device’s library, or emailed.  It also comes with the neat option to send a postcard of the collage (for a fee, of course).

Creative possibilities are endless with this app; it will quickly become a favorite for many students!


Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone | Tagged , | Comments Off on Pic Collage

U. S. Presidents!

Screen Shot 2013-06-20 at 9.52.56 PMThis simple (but free) app provides very basic information about all U. S. presidents.  It’s good as a quick reference, but certainly wouldn’t do much good if students had to conduct research for a major project.  Students can view the presidents in an ordered list or choose a president at random.

Here’s the information for President Barack Obama.

  • Term: 2009 – Present
  • Party: Democratic
  • Born: August 4, 1964
  • Currently living
  • Born in: Hawaii
  • Religion: Christian
  • Inaugurated at age: 47
  • First African-American President
Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Social Studies | Tagged , | Comments Off on U. S. Presidents!

Google Translate

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 10.05.07 PMWhile this may be considered more of a travel app, I believe it also has a place in an educational setting.  Like any app, it’s important to teach students when it’s appropriate to use an app such as this.

Here are the key features as listed in the built-in User’s Guide.

  • Translate text between 57 languages
  • Translate by voice by speaking the text instead of typing it
  • Listen to your translations
  • Display translations in full screen mode to make it easier for others to read
  • Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
  • Access your translation history even when you’re offline
  • Spell out the translation of non-Latin script languages in Latin characters to read it phonetically
  • Supplemental bilingual dictionary results for single words or short phrases

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Foreign Language, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone | Comments Off on Google Translate

Magic Spell

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 4.08.14 PMThis is a very basic spelling app.  The full/paid version (obtained via in-app purchase/upgrade) contains over 300 words for young students to spell; it’s not clear how many words are included in the free version.  Also note that the free version includes an advertisement that runs across the top of the screen. Nine word categories are included: Animals, Instruments, Colors, Feelings, Objects Around Us, Fruits & Vegetables, Numbers, Shapes, and All.

After selecting a category, a picture of an object appears.  The app then states the object’s name and displays the correct spelling.  The letters immediately then scramble and fall to the bottom of the screen.  The user then has to drag the letters back into their correct positions.  A ‘magic wand’ appears in the top right of the screen to assist when students run into trouble coming up with the next letter in the word.

You’ll find numerous ways to customize this app under Settings.  You can turn on or off the following:

  • Background Music
  • Sound Effects
  • Voice Over
  • Random Words Order
  • Capital Letters
  • Show Letter Hints
  • Spell Completed Words
  • Show Magic Wand
  • Sort Words by Length

Unfortunately, an option does not exist to prevent the app from initially spelling the word for the student.  Although it’s only shown briefly, it’s possible for students to just recall how to spell the word and then quickly drag the letters back into place.  For this reason, I encourage you to select another spelling app for the wee one in your life.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, PreK - Kindergarten | Tagged | Comments Off on Magic Spell


Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 9.01.44 PMSince my students played ‘The Stock Market Game‘ this year, I had the need for a kid-friendly stocks app.  (Unlike the iPhone, the iPad does not ship with a native stocks app.)  As you can see on the icon, this particular one was developed by Yahoo.  My students enjoy using this app on their iPads while making transactions on their laptops.

The app is divided into 3 sections, all appearing simultaneously: My Watch List, detailed information about a Specified Stock, and Stock News.

My Watch List – The name is self-explanatory.  Search by company or symbol to add stocks to watch.  They are saved and will be there the next time you open the app.

Specified Stock – After tapping a stock in your My Watch List or by searching for a company or symbol at the top of the screen, detailed information appears.  You can see its current price, change (in percent and in monetary amount), its opening and previous close prices, overall high and low, 52 week high and low, volume and average volume, dividend and yield, and more.  An adjacent section also displays charts ranging from 1 day to 5 years.  Tapping this section expands it to fill the entire screen.

News – Scroll through a selection of stock market-related news stories.  Tapping each one opens it in a separate screen that fills the iPad.

My early elementary students (third grade) were able to peruse this app to watch stocks.  I think it contained perhaps too much information for them, but they were able to obtain the information they needed without being too distracted by what they did not need.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Free, iPad, Social Studies | Comments Off on MarketDash

Khan Academy

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 2.00.58 PMThis is the app version of the website  It features over 4,000 video tutorials that cover a myriad of mathematics, science, humanities and test prep skills.  While the videos found in the app wouldn’t completely replace more traditional math instruction, they do serve as yet another resource students can use to help comprehend and reinforce many skills.

The iPhone and iPod Touch version only allows users to view videos.  However, the iPad version allows users to download videos for viewing offline, use sub-titles to navigate, and login in to track watched videos.

Video Categories


  • Arithmetic and pre-algebra
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry and precalculus
  • Calculus
  • Probability and statistics
  • Differential equations
  • Linear algebra
  • Applied math
  • Recreational mathematics

Science and Economics

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Cosmology and astronomy
  • Organic chemistry
  • Finance and capital markets
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Computer science
  • Healthcare and medicine
  • LeBron asks
  • Projects
  • Projects
  • MIT+K12
  • Entrepreneurship


  • Art History
  • History
  • American Civics

Test Prep

  • SAT Math
  • GMAT
  • California Standards Test
  • Competition Math

Talks and Interviews

  • Key media pieces
  • Our vision
  • School pilots
  • Thoughts on education
  • “The One World School House”
  • Other features

Coach Resources

  • Khan Academy in the classroom
  • For teachers
  • For educators in other learning environments
  • Classroom case studies
Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Math, Science | Comments Off on Khan Academy


Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 2.06.21 PMThis is another impressive app by Tap to Learn.  I’ve also reviewed their Fractions and Tiny Chicken Learns Math apps.

Upon opening, the user has four choices:

Learn – First, select from one of four categories: Bar Graph; Line Graph; Pie Chart; or Mean, Median and Mode. Then tap through between 7 – 12 slides in each tutorial series.  Each series provides a thorough explanation of the topic.

Bar Graph – After selecting either ‘Beginners’ or ‘Advanced’, the student will answer multiple choice questions about bar graphs that appear on the screen.

Line Graph – After selecting either ‘Beginners’ or ‘Advanced’, the student will answer multiple choice questions about line graphs that appear on the screen.

Pie Charts – After selecting either ‘Beginners’ or ‘Advanced’, the student will answer multiple choice questions about pie charts that appear on the screen.

The three Practice sections offer immediate feedback and keep track of the number correct and the number attempted.

It’s hard to complain about a free app, but I do wish Tap to Learn would also include a Practice section for mean, median and mode since the skills are included in the Learn section.  Regardless, the Learn section is quite beneficial and the Practice sections that are included make this app a great choice.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, Math | Comments Off on Graphs