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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Resources for Using iPads in Grades K-2

Looking for advice on integrating iPads in K-2 classrooms? In this curated guide, we've compiled resources to help you find apps, learn about best practices, and explore ideas for engaging activities.
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

If you are teaching with one, a few, or a class set of iPads, finding the right apps and project ideas for your students can be a challenging task. We’ve organized some of the best resources from Edutopia and beyond to help you figure out what tools are best for your early elementary school students. Explore different ways to integrate technology into your instruction!

Favorite Apps

  • K-5 iPad Apps According to Bloom's Taxonomy (Edutopia, 2011)

    Higher-order thinking can definitely take place in an iPad classroom. Check out this list from Diane Darrow, an elementary library media specialist. She reviews iPad apps and shows how they connect to an updated version of Bloom's Taxonomy.

  • Apps for Basic Math Skills (APPitic)

    Appitic is a fantastic resource for educational iPad apps, and they sort different apps by category. Their list of addition apps contains descriptions and screenshots that will help you figure out which one is best for your young mathematicians.

  • Student Apps for Winter Reading (Edutopia, 2013)

    This list of apps focuses on seasonal storybooks. These are great choices for using in an early elementary school classroom for whole group or small group instruction. Whether you have one or many iPads, this list has something for everyone.

  • Mobile Learning: 5 Apps and Web Tools for Elementary School Students (Edutopia, 2012)

    If you are looking to grab the attention of your students, try out one of these fantastic iPad apps. Educational and engaging, this list gives teachers ideas on how to incorporate mobile apps and web tools into their curriculum.

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Best Practices

  • Stars, Sparkles and Praise: Motivation in Kids' Apps? (Edutopia, 2012)

    In this article, teacher and education director Carolina Nugent debunks three assumptions about how educational apps work to promote student engagement. She gives specific examples of different apps that can be used with elementary school students.

  • Apps in the Elementary Classroom (Edutopia, 2012)

    Edutopia blogger Mary Beth Hertz examines how iPads apps can be used with elementary school students. She discusses the role of educational apps for younger students and provides ideas for how teachers can integrate these apps into their curriculum.

  • 10 Resources For a Student-Centered 1:1 Program (TeachThought, 2014)

    This article provides an overview of best practices for launching a 1:1 program in your school, as well as links to useful resources for planning, professional development, and apps specific to this type of environment.

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Engaging Activities

  • Learning and Creating with iPads in Kindergarten (Park Tudor School, 2012)

    This delightful video from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis shows off how students in a kindergarten class used iPads to document the life cycle of butterflies. Students took their own illustrations and snapshots and made an iMovie showing what they learned.

  • iTeach with iPads (iTeach with iPads)

    Kindergarten teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator Kristi Meeuwse documents her adventures teaching with iPads in a 1:1 classroom. The activities and student work she shares on her blog will inspire you to try out new projects with your elementary school students.

  • Easy iPad Projects for Elementary School Students (Karen Bosch, 2013)

    Teachers will gather tons of ideas for engaging activities from this presentation. Karen Bosch is a technology instructor and Apple Distinguished Educator who has shared project ideas for elementary school students that can be used across the content areas.

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Have you used iPads with students in grades K-2? Do you have a favorite online resource for gathering ideas? Share your favorite activities, apps, and websites below!

Comments (4)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Karen Lirenman's picture
Karen Lirenman
Grade One/Two Teacher from Vancouver, Canada

As an Apple Distiguished Educator, the 2013 ISTE Kay L Bitter Award Winner for Innovation in a PK-2 Classroom, and a grade one teacher who has been 1:1 with iPads for the past two years my students' "go to" apps are pretty much creative open ended ones. Some popular apps include Draw and Tell, Book Creator, My Story, Skitch, Popplet, Pic Collage, EduCreations, Chatterpix, Explain Everything, and iMovie. I have blogged about how we use iPads for choice. I also shared screen shots of my students iPads with direct links to samples of how they have used those apps. My blog can be found at www.learningandsharingwithMsL.blogspot.com . I have also begun to create a K-2 iPad resource on my district's website which can be found here. https://www.surreyschools.ca/sites/E8JU47CFNJ/Pages/default.aspx Please feel free to contact me for more information re using iPads in a k-2 classroom. I am @klirenman on twitter.

Ashley Cronin's picture
Ashley Cronin
Digital Resource Curator at Edutopia

Karen, thanks for reaching out and sharing the info about your blog and K-2 iPad resources site. Very helpful!

Kristi Meeuwse's picture
Kristi Meeuwse
Kindergarten Teacher, Charleston SC

Thanks for including my blog in this round up! What an honor! We work diligently in kindergarten to create content and not just consume it. The creation apps we use are very engaging and the kids always produce far more than I ever expect them to. We use Explain Everything, Book Creator, Popplet, Pic Collage, and iMovie the most.

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

Thanks Karen and Kristi for adding your favorite apps and helpful links!

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