Recommended apps for education

our pick of the best for 2017/18


What are the best iPad apps to use in the classroom?


I have been asked this question many times in the last 6 years and my answers have differed greatly as the App landscape is always shifting. Since the launch of iPad 2 in 2011, developers have released a number of fantastic Apps for education, some have gone the distance and are still used heavily today, whereas others have gradually faded out of the classroom and been deleted from devices. Others have failed to address feedback from Teachers and update their Apps with new features that ensure they continue to innovate and provide new opportunities for great teaching and learning experiences. 

It is always good to remember that the app is merely the tool and the teacher is what is really important and it is the teacher that should receive the most investment. A teacher that is knowledgeable and confident in using a small number of apps effectively is likely to be more effective than a less knowledgeable and confident teacher with access to 100's of apps. 

Core Apps

I have always emphasised the need to establish a set of Core Apps; a collection of tools that are cross-curricular and provide the best opportunities for the development of teaching, learning and assessment across any subject.

To help achieve transformation in the classroom, teachers need to be equipped with great tools that allow them flexibility and wide-ranging possibilities in how they are applied. I have worked with countless schools over the years that have 100's of Apps downloaded onto their devices, some of which are used very rarely. These Apps tend to be very subject content focussed, for example, Maths apps that are very much 'drill and skill' and enable pupils to practice and reinforce what they are learning. Now, please don't get me wrong, these kinds of apps are great and provide pupils with very engaging mediums through which to practice and develop their existing learning. They are also fantastic tools to utilise in Early Years settings based on how engaging they can be. They do not, however, provide the same level of scope for the development of how curriculum content is delivered and taught when compared to what I would class as Core Apps.
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The list

I have collated a list of my recommended Apps, segmented into the following categories: Creativity, Demonstration, Teaching and Learning, Collaboration, Assessment for Learning, Workflow, Computing and Programming. 

These are what I would class as my chosen set of Core Apps for both Primary and Secondary.

If you click on the image to the left you will be able to download your copy of my Recommended iPad for Education Apps.

I hope you find it useful and all feedback is welcome, including suggestions for apps that you feel have been missed and should be added. You can contact me via email at training@jtrs.co.uk.



This blog post was written by Craig Rulton, our Director of Marketing and Training.

Craig is an Apple Education Trainer and between him and his team, they provide training to over 8000 teachers and pupils every year. 

You can contact Craig via email at training@jtrs.co.uk or via phone at 0330 223 0500.

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