15 Apps that are great for Teaching and Learning Anything:
Apps Gone Free (free): Every day there are apps that are free for one day in the App Store. Download this free app and find some that are chosen by experts. A free app that finds you free apps. I have found some great stuff with this one.
Aurasma (free): Aurasma is an augmented reality app that allows the user to take a video and lay it, virtually, on top of a still image. When the image is viewed through the camera with this app open, the video plays. This one has so much potential.
Book Creator ($4.99): The app is just what the name says. Drag and drop images, write text, insert audio or video, and more to create a book about whatever you want. Export it many different ways, including as a video on your camera roll. Once it's there, you can use aurasma to attach it to a still image (that's called app smashing!).
ClassKick (free): Cut and paste text or images to create assignments. Students use a class code to join and complete the assignments. In the teacher dashboard, the teacher can watch all the students complete the assignments, award stickers and points or feedback to correct work. Students can ask for help and work collaboratively. Great, easy app for learning and practicing any skill.
Explain Everything ($2.99): This is a powerful whiteboard app that can be used to record lessons about whatever you want. You can insert images, write an draw in any color, type text (including subscripts and superscripts in the recent update!), create multiple pages, and so much more. The videos that users make can be exported in a variety of ways, including to the camera roll.
Keynote ($9.99 if you don't have it, comes standard on new iPads): This is the apple presentation platform. It's easy to use and create beautiful presentations. I use Keynote to make presentations, but, instead of standing in front of the class, I share them with the iPads and the students work through the presentation at their own speed. The animations in Keynote make it easy to show a math problem in chunks. As a student taps, more of the problem appears.
Nearpod (free): Nearpod is one part presentation platform and one part student response system. Take any presentation you already use -- from a PowerPoint or whatever -- and export it as a PDF. Drag the PDF into Nearpod and slides are created. Then add interactive features -- quizzes, polls, websites, drawings, videos, and so on -- so you can get feedback from your audience as the lesson is happening.
Plickers (free): Pass out paper clickers to your students. Each one looks like a QR code of sorts. Ask questions and the students turn the plicker to represent the answer. Scan the plickers with an iPad or iPhone. See who was scanned and how they answered. This is a very simple student response system with easy set-up and data collection. I wrote about it here.
ShowMe (free): A very easy whiteboard app to use. Tap record, talk and write or draw, tap record to pause or stop. Images can be added, including excellent backgrounds as of the most recent update. Record a lesson where you solve a problem. Ask students to introduce themselves to the class. Put together a presentation about your genius hour project. The videos get stored at ShowMe.com where teachers can have accounts for their students and monitor their work.
Socrative (free): A great app to use as a student response system during a lesson, as an exit ticket after a lesson, or as an assessment. Create a free account at socrative.com and create your "quizzes" with this very easy platform. There is even a very cute game, space race, that students can play as they answer questions.
Sonic Pics ($1.99): Sonic pics is a digital storytelling app. Import photos and arrange them in order. Decide what to say about each picture. Then record your story. Export your movie to youtube or your computer to share with family and friends. It's so easy that my 7 year old made a sonic pic during one of our many snow days last year.
Strip Designer ($2.99): Create your own comic strip. Add images, text, and comic elements. Export as a PDF. My students use this app to create comic strip versions of the history of the atom. What was once a dull video (that had once been a filmstrip!) because a fun and creative lesson where students drop in pictures of Dalton and Thomson with images of their atoms and critical details. They export the PDFs and print them as their notes.
Subtext (free): Read almost anything together. Share a reading with your students through the app. Embed instruction, assessment items, discussion questions right in the electronic version of the reading and students can respond in the app. Teachers see the results in real time. Help students meet the challenges of the Common Core by using this app to help them read closely and cite evidence. Very cool app!
TapIt Free (free): Use this app one of two ways: 1) Create selected-response answer sheets that can be used with paper and pencil tests and quizzes or 2) Use it interactively "on the fly" as a student response system. The free account is very generous and kids like using it. The app accompanies the web service theanswerpad.com.
Toontastic (free with in-app purchases available): The best puppet show app I have seen for iPad. Students choose characters and backgrounds and then tells and record a story. The app combines intuitive ease for creating with cute graphics and lots of options, including draw your own characters and props.
ZipGrade (free to try, $6.99/year): Download answer sheets from zipgrade.com. Scan them with this app. Makes grading selected-response items a cinch to grade. The app gives great item analysis -- how many students chose each answer -- and if you made a mistake on the key, you can fix it and it regrades all the papers instantly.
Atoms in Motion ($2.99): Add and take away atoms, increase and decrease the temperature. Change the volume. Watch how they interact. Get a conceptual understanding of particle motion and the gas laws.
Chem Crafter (free): There are lab manuals with experiments to do in this app with a retro vibe. Begin with experiments between metals and water and then move up to acids and metals. I just downloaded this one this summer, so I haven't actually taught with it yet. It might be good for helping students understand the activity series or periodic families. It plays like a game, but does have educational value.
Chemistry 101 by Zientia (free and $6.90): An augmented reality app that is really cool for creating compounds from elements and imagining that at the particle level. Print out two cards. Open the app and view the cards. Choose two elements and tell the app how they would react. If you're right, they will.
Chemist-Virtual Chem Lab ($4.99): It's a virtual inorganic chemistry lab for iPad. The art is great and the possibilities are almost endless with over 200 reagents to choose from. I don't think virtual labs should ever replace actual labs, but virtual labs do have their place as inquiry experience, pre-labs, makeup labs, and extension activities.
ChemLab ($0.99): This one is included on the list because it's silly. The app helps students practice writing formulas correctly. Drag elements that make a compound into a flask. Do it wrong and it blows up. A free flashcards app would probably provide better practice, but this one has a cute factor and a game quality that makes students like it.
Elements 4D by Daqri (free): This augmented reality app steals the show. After creating cubes from the templates provided, you view the cubes in the app through the iPad's camera. The cube becomes virtually filled with the element on that side of the cube. Crack two cubes together and the elements react. It's very cool to see the reaction between sodium and chlorine like this. If you teach chemistry, print out the templates and grab the free app and try it. You will squeal.
The Elements - A Visual Exploration ($13.99): This is really the only periodic table app you need. And it is expensive but that's because it is so beautiful and packed with goodness. Like the periodic table itself, this app has hidden gems everywhere you poke around. Lots of good data, stunning images, facts galore, and a love of the periodic table.
goReact (free): The excellent Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago created this app with over 300 virtual chemical reactions, including some real world applications.
Lewis Dots (free): Select atoms and drag and drop them into molecules. Good for practice. Take screenshots and they get stored in the camera roll.
Mahjong Chem (free): Basically a chemistry matching game. Simple, but good for practice of all kinds of things - polyatomic ions, oxidation states, solubility rules and so on. My students play this one for fun sometimes when they have some downtime.
Molecules ($13.00): Theodore Gray's sequel to The Elements is a beautiful interactive experience. Read the interesting prose to learn the chemistry of everyday things. Touch the images to reveal videos or to spin them around and view from all sides. Touch the molecules to open a model pane where you can drag the molecule around and explore its structure. View molecules as 2D, 3D or space-filling. This is an experience that is not available in any other app.
StoichSim ($0.99): One of two apps I love by TJ Fletcher, StoichSim uses a bar graph format to show what happens to the masses of reactants and products during a chemical reaction. The app is loaded with 4 reactions that students can toggle between. A lab manual is included with activities or it could be used in an inquiry way to deduce relationships. I like this for helping students understand the concept of the limiting reactant.
The Chemical Touch Lite (free): TCT Lite is an app I use for teaching periodicity. The elements are color-coded and the colors represent measurements of certain properties, like red for a large electronegativity and purple for a small one. You can deduce the trends in properties by looking at the colors. You can also tap each element to see the actual values for each property. As a good alternative to the standard graphing (or I used to do the straw cutting activity), this is a good app.
TickBait's Universe ($1.99): I first learned of the movie Powers of Ten from the kind colleagues on Chemed-L. This app is an updated version of that concept for kids who are growing up with mobile devices. Adorable graphics and a "come look at this" quality, this app draws kids in. It's great for helping kids understand what the powers of ten mean and why we use scientific notation. Great for helping to concretize our abstract content.
TitrationSim ($0.99): A second great app by TJ Fletcher, this one is just what the name says. You see a buret and a pH reading. You run a titration and watch the pH. You can change the acid and base to several different combinations. The jump in pH is very realistic near the endpoint and the app gives students a good idea of what it will be like to titrate. The teachers in my department all use this one as a standard prelab to our spring titrations.