Category Archives: Science

BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 1.35.50 PMI am a big fan of Brain Pop movies.  This app is geared towards students in grades Kindergarten – third.  Another version is available for older students.  Good ‘ole Moby (the robot) appears in all BrainPOP Jr. movies with his dear friend Annie.

This app does allow all students to watch one ‘free’ movie each week.  However, students with access to a subscription can log in to access part of or the entire collection of BrainPOP Jr. movies!  Bonus features (such as quizzes and activities) are included for each movie.

There are two different mobile-device based subscriptions.

  • Explorer – $1.99/month.  Provides access to the free ‘Movie of the Week’ and its bonus features plus 3 related movies (per week) and their bonus features
  • Full Access – $5.99/month.  Provides unlimited access to all movies and their bonus features

Note: Login credentials for the web-based BrainPOP sites also work on mobile devices via the BrainPOP apps.

Subjects and Categories

Science – animals, plants, habitats, conservation, land, matter, forces, energy, weather, space, science skills

Health – be well, be safe, relationships, be responsible, bodies, teeth, food, drugs

Reading & Writing – authors, reading skills, story elements, comprehension, phonics, word, sentence, communication, writing

Social Studies – American history, ancient history, biographies, holidays, communities, Native Americans, government, economics, citizenship, geography

Math – number sense, addition and subtraction, measurement, geometry, time, money, data and probability, fractions, multiplication and division

Arts & Technology – art, music, technology

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, Fine Arts, Free, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Math, PreK - Kindergarten, Science, Social Studies | Tagged | Comments Off on BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week

Easy Portfolio

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 4.10.51 PMDigital portfolios are still a fairly new concept in K – 12 education.  But apps like this make it easy to bring this new technology into classrooms at all grade levels.

After creating a new portfolio, it takes just a couple of taps to add records.  The records can be in the form of videos, images, audio files, notes, URLs, and documents.  The app easily retrieves records from DropBox or from the iPad itself.

Individual records or even the entire portfolio can be exported via DropBox or Google Drive.  The app links to tutorial videos and blog posts that help navigate the process of creating and maintaining portfolios.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Tagged | Comments Off on Easy Portfolio

Book Creator

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 10.37.18 PMThis app allows users to effortlessly create anything from a simple to complex book.  After choosing from portrait, landscape, or square orientation, the process is unbelievably simple.  Begin by adding text.  You can choose from all fonts installed on the device.  Also change the font’s size and color; make some or all words italicized, bold, or underlined.  Photos (and videos) can be added from the device’s library or directly from the camera, then moved and resized as needed.  Finally, sound can be recorded from within the app or imported from elsewhere on the device.

Completed books can be opened in a variety of apps on the device – such as in iBooks.  But each can also be exported to iTunes or as a PDF (no audio/video capability with this option).

Use the free version to make one book before committing to the paid version.

Posted in 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, iPad, Language Arts, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on Book Creator

Starlight – Mobile Planetarium

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 8.04.53 AMMake the solar system come alive for your child by the use of this app!  It uses the device’s internal navigation system to display which constellations, stars, and other parts of the solar system are currently in the sky above (the Location service must be on when using an Apple device).  It also lists the space objects that are currently below the horizon where you are.

Tapping a constellation, star, or other part of the solar system brings up a brief informative paragraph to read and an accompanying picture.

Note that there’s an in-app option to purchase the Planetary Sounds Pack to access sounds captured by several space crafts.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Learning Apps, Paid, Science | Comments Off on Starlight – Mobile Planetarium


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

Naming Parts of the Body

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 1.16.28 PMThis app is designed to help young students learn names and locations of parts of the human body.


  • Parts of the Body: Head, arm, chest, leg, foot, ankle, knee, elbow, hand
  • Parts of the Face: Hair, eye, cheek, chin, neck, mouth, nose, ear, forehead
  • The Senses: Nose (smell), eye (sight), tongue (taste), fingers (touch), ears (hearing)
  • The Skeleton: Skull, backbone, ribs, pelvis
  • Inner Organs of the Body: Brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, stomach

There are only two objectives for each of the five sections.  First, students drag pictures of body parts on the right side of the screen onto a picture of a human body on the left part of the screen.  The name of the body part is said aloud when it’s touched.  The body part will bounce back to the right side of the screen if it’s placed in an incorrect location.  Once all parts are properly placed, students have to then drag labels for each part from the right side of the screen to the picture of the body on the left side.  Again, the app reads each label aloud and incorrect placements will bounce back.

The app has a built-in reports feature where you can view the total number of correct and incorrect attempts for both the objects and labels.  It can easily be reset for a new user, but it’s not possible to save the data for retrieval after a reset has been done.

Other than muting the iPad’s sound entirely, there isn’t a way to prevent the app from reading aloud the body parts.  The voice sounds like a computerized older British woman; I wish a voice that was more appealing to younger learners was used.

Despite it’s title – Naming Parts of the Body – I want more from this app, especially at this price point.  I think there should be the ability to tap on each part and bring up more written information (similar to an encyclopedia entry) or even short video clips (of a real beating heart, for example).


Posted in 1st - 2nd, iPad, Paid, PreK - Kindergarten, Science | Tagged | Comments Off on Naming Parts of the Body

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 2013-03-27 at 8.12.34 AMOther options may exist, but I think the process of editing video footage into a ‘movie’ is quite simple using this app.  This is especially true if you’re already familiar with the computer software version of iMovie.  Make a note that more editing features and tools are made available when the device is in landscape (rather than portrait) mode.

When you begin a new project, you’ll have to decide if you want to create a new ‘movie’ or a new trailer.  Think of a trailer as a preview to an upcoming movie you may see at a theatre.  You can choose between the following trailer genres: Adrenaline, Bollywood, Coming of Age, Expedition, Fairy Tale, Narrative, Retro, Romance, Scary, Superhero, Swashbuckler and Teen.

iMovie will prove to be quite intuitive for most users.  In true Apple style, many onscreen tips and prompts can be accessed with a simple tap of the question mark towards the top of the screen.  It’s easy to import video clips, pictures, and audio files that are already on your mobile device.  But you can also record audio or additional take pictures and videos from directly in the app.  In addition to songs and other audio files you may already have, the app comes with an assortment of theme music and sound effects.  The processes of trimming, splitting, and deleting clips are also quite simple.

An array of options exist to complement your ‘movie’.  For example, you can select from one of eight themes: Modern, Bright, Playful, Neon, Travel, Simple, News, or CNN iReport.  Theme music can also be turned on or off.  Continue to customize your ‘movie’ by adding transitions and adjusting the audio.

A built-in ‘Help’ section extensively covers the following topics: Create a project; Create a trailer; Share projects, trailers, and media; and Use AirPlay to stream videos to your HDTV.

Once you’re satisfied with your new ‘movie’, you can share it to the camera roll, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, or CNN iReport.  You can also send it to iTunes.

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Language Arts, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on iMovie

Explain Everything

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 8.39.26 PMThe name says it all – Explain Everything.  This app is used for screencasting (screen recording).  It’s similar to recordable interactive whiteboard apps such as Show Me and Screen Chomp.  However, it’s much more complex.  I think it’s more like a recordable version of PowerPoint or KeyNote.  I actually think it’s more appropriate for teachers to use rather than students.  I can see this primarily being used by teachers for tasks such as recording instructional movies.  Although students could easily import existing PowerPoint/KeyNote presentations and turn them up a notch using this app.

Explain Everything is extremely robust – which perfectly justifies its price point.  Start with a blank slate or import almost any type of existing file.  I appreciate that you do not need to create an account; this makes it easier if you do decide to use this app with students.

If you get this app, or are even interested in reading more about it, download the FREE eBook from the iBookstore!  It’s jam-packed with tutorials, videos, and full explanations of the app’s tools.

Posted in 6th - 8th, 9th - 12th, Fine Arts, iPad, Language Arts, Learning Apps, Math, Paid, Science, Social Studies | Comments Off on Explain Everything

Planet Earth 3D

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 2.51.47 PMThis app makes a great resource for classrooms that study any component of planet Earth.  The graphics are visually appealing.  The accompanying texts are brief, yet informative.

The app is divided into 4 sections: Structure, Rotation, Moon, and Habitat.


– Internal Layers: The Crust, Upper Mantle, Lower Mantle, Outer Core, Inner Core

– Atmosphere Layers: Exosphere, Thermosphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere, Troposphere

– Lands & Seas: All 7 continents and 4 oceans


– Rotation

– Revolution

– Seasons


– Introduction

– Rotation

– Tidal


– Desert

– Fresh water

– Ocean

– Rain forest

– Tundra

– Urban

Background music plays, but you can easily turn it ‘off’.  Also, you do not need an internet connection to  fully use this app.  I highly recommend it for use in science classrooms!

Posted in 3rd - 5th, 6th - 8th, iPad, iPod Touch & iPhone, Paid, Science | Comments Off on Planet Earth 3D