12 iPad Apps to Help You Become a More Effective Teacher

Many teachers use modern technology to assist them in their profession. If you are a teacher, it is helpful to keep up with some of the latest electronics, including the iPad. Considering the immense number of applications available for this Apple product, it should come as no surprise that there are some that can help you in the classroom. Choose among those that can help you manage your time and improve your organization skills, and those that will interest your students.

Stay Organized

Being an effective teacher requires that you stay as organized as possible. This will make your job a bit easier, and allow you to spend less time searching for various tools, and more time teaching. Consider the following organizational iPad apps.

  1. The Teacher’s Assistant
    If your classroom features computers, it is often important to monitor what students are doing in order to maximize productivity. This free application by LanSchool Technologies lets teachers transmit messages to students from the iPad to their computers. You can also use this app to limit their access to the Internet, and blank out their screens if necessary.
  2. Outliner
    Making lists can be a daily duty in the classroom, so an app for this is quite helpful. Outliner allows users to make lists with items that they can check off, or just take notes with bullet points. Many teachers will find this iPad application useful for creating rubrics to distribute among students, or grading sheets to keep to themselves.
  3. Keynote
    This is an app that works great for lectures and presentations in the classroom. Rather than relying on note cards or just your memory while lecturing for much of the class period, you can refer to your key points on this application. Having a lesson plan neatly typed out and organized on the iPad allows you to use your time wisely.
  4. Teacher’s Pick
    Tired of having to use popsicle sticks with students’ names on them before you call on anyone? Teacher’s Pick makes it easy to keep a list of students in your class, and helps you keep track of participation points. Each student can be marked as active or inactive so that you are always up-to-date on which students to call on.
  5. Presentation Timer
    There is nothing more disappointing than running out of class time on days your students are presenting projects. Prevent the possibility of having to postpone or cancel presentations from students by keeping a timer on your iPad. Students will appreciate the fact that this free app gives two warning rings before sounding the alarm that time is up, especially if you tend to dock points for going over the agreed upon time.
  6. Teacher Calculator
    This app is quite simple, as it is meant just for teachers who need to figure out the percentage of questions each student got correct on assignments. You could pull out a regular calculator and enter in the numbers to determine a score, but that would require always having access to one more electronic product. If you normally use the iPad daily anyway, why not use it to help grade papers by comparing the number of correct answers to the total number of questions for each student?

Keep Students Engaged in Your Lessons

No matter the age of your students, it is important to keep them interested in learning. Some subjects are a bit drier than others, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find unique ways to keep the interest of any student. Use your iPad with the following apps to capture the attention of students of any age.

  1. Beautiful Planet HD
    If you aim to get your students excited about geography, geology, or varying cultures, this app makes it easy. Show your students over 570 awe-inspiring photographs of all the continents and nearly all the countries of the world. Many people learn best when they are interested in the subject, and a collection of stunning pictures just may grab their attention and keep it.
  2. Magic Piano
    Not every classroom has the room or the funds for its own musical instruments, but Magic Piano is a start. This app lets you make your own keyboard on the screen, and then follow light beams to play a song. You can use it to begin teaching the importance of music, or let your students each have a turn at tapping the screen like a keyboard to create a beautiful sound.
  3. Dr. Seuss’s ABC
    Younger students will appreciate this amusing way to learn the alphabet. You can read the book to children while showing them the large color photographs, allow them to listen to a narrator reading the e-book aloud, or set it on auto play in which the pages turn themselves. You should note that when the narrator reads it out loud, each word is highlighted as it is said, allowing students to learn to read while being entertained.
  4. The Elements: A Visual Exploration
    Forget the typical periodic table of the elements poster that hangs in every chemistry classroom. Entice your students to really delve into learning about each element with the ability to show close-up images of each one, next to the important facts. They’ll never forget the unique properties of each one when they witness full-color photographs and videos of interesting experiments involving some of them.
  5. Web Reader
    Choose either a male or female voice to read web pages out loud. This is perfect for reading stories to younger children while you grade papers or do other tasks on days you are strapped for time. You may also use it to read students’ papers to you out loud, or even catch up on the news every morning while you prepare for the school day.
  6. iResponse
    If your classroom is particularly high-tech, and every student has an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, you can use this app to send questions to each student. Once they answer, you can compare each response to the correct one, and create a graph of all the answers submitted. This makes for an interactive learning environment that is sure to keep students more engaged than usual.
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