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Resources for Using iPads in Grades 9-12

Looking for advice on integrating iPads in high school 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
Author & Speaker, ADE , Founder of ClassTechTips.com
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Photo of high school student With iPad

If you’re a high school teacher looking for iPad resources targeting your needs, you’ve come to the right place. Students in grades 9-12 will engage with technology in different ways than younger children. They can create content, interact with their peers, and explore a range of topics using an iPad. Whether you’re in a BYOD setting, in a one-to-one program, or simply looking to use one iPad effectively, this list has apps, activities, and ideas for your high school classroom.

Favorite Apps

  • Create Engaging Presentations With Free iPad Apps (Edutopia, 2015)

    Students can become content creators on iPads with engaging presentation tools. These iPad apps are perfect for high school students looking to share what they’ve learned and create a product connected to the real world.

  • 20 Awesome BYOD and Mobile Learning Apps (Edutopia, 2014)

    If you're teaching in a BYOD setting or using a class set of iPads with your high school students, check out this comprehensive list of apps. Vicki Davis describes how each app can be used in your learning environment and offers tips for BYOD classrooms.

  • Test Prep With Virtual Tools: 10 Flashcard Apps for Mobile Devices (Edutopia, 2014)

    There are lots of different study tools for iPads and this post covers a wide range. You’ll find a handful of apps that can help students learn and review a wide range of subjects. Many include multimedia support and interactive games for students.

  • 5 Apps for Making Movies on Mobile Devices (Edutopia, 2014)

    This article highlights five different apps that can be used to make movies with tablets. Students can create high-quality videos that show off their creativity as well as their understanding of a topic. Their final product can be used as an assessment or shared with the entire school community.

  • 6 iPad Apps for Creative Writing (Edutopia, 2014)

    High school English teachers can choose from this list of low-cost iPad apps when using technology with their students. There are strategies for gathering ideas for new stories and ideas for how to publish your students’ creative writing. This list includes a mix of resources for students of all ages.

  • The Epic BYOD Toolchest (51 Tools You Can Use Now) (Edutopia, 2014)

    Vicki Davis shares a wealth of apps and platforms that can facilitate teaching and maximize learning within a BYOD classroom and school environment. Her favorites include Explain Everything, ThingLink, and a few you’ve probably never heard of!

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Best Practices

  • Empowering Teachers With Tech-Friendly Formative Assessment Tools

    Formative assessment -- gathering information about student understanding before the big test -- can be easier and more efficient with technology tools. This article provides apps and ideas for teachers who want to check in on comprehension and mastery during a lesson.

  • iTunes U (iPad in Education/Apple)

    If you’re working with high school students who have access to an iPad, then iTunes U is just what you’re looking for. This fantastic course platform gives teachers the power to organize class work and assignments for their students. If you aren’t ready to build a course yourself, check out the resources available in another teacher’s iTunes U course and share that content with your students.

  • 1:1 iPads in Minnetonka Classrooms (Minnetonka Public Schools)

    Schools interested in rolling out an iPad program with teens should check out this section on Minnetonka Public School’s website. It provides video examples of iPads in action as well as resources that one-to-one programs can use as a model. They have handpicked apps to use with students, prepared a helpful guide for parents, and much more.

  • The 4Ss of Note-Taking With Technology, by Beth Holland (Edutopia, 2014)

    Any system of note taking (digital or otherwise) helps students master cognitively demanding tasks if it provides support and helps them save, search, and share.

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Engaging Activities

  • Using Tablets to Teach Sensitive Subjects (Teaching Channel, 2013)

    In this video from Teaching Channel, a teacher uses tablets in the classroom to help students talk about tough subject matter. Instead of jumping into class discussion (where they might be hesitant to share), students use a screencasting app to record their thoughts. A teacher’s guide and supporting materials accompany the video.

  • Travel the World From Your Classroom: Free iPad Apps for Virtual Field Trips (Edutopia, 2013)

    This list provides an overview of nine, free apps for virtual field trips that can be used in your high school classroom. Instead of asking students to research a destination by looking in an encyclopedia, these apps can give teens a new appreciation of Gettysburg, wildlife, and outer space. Apps for virtual field trips are a great choice for all subject areas.

  • Accessing Multimedia Using QR Codes (Edutopia, 2014)

    QR codes, an exciting medium for kids learning how to use mobile devices, are a natural tool for linking students to resources you want them to find.

  • Real Classroom Stories: Brandi McWilliams (Real Stories/Apple Education)

    This site tells the story of Brandi McWilliams, a high school teacher in Kansas who uses iPads with her students. Watch a great video overview, and find examples of assignments that are perfect for high school English language arts classrooms.

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What are your favorite apps or lessons for using iPads with high school students? Share a must-read blog post or resource in the comments below!

Comments (5) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Cheryl Davis's picture
Cheryl Davis
District Curriculum & Instruction Technology Specialist

Thank you for this wonderful curated content on iPad resources for 9-12. Very helpful for high school teachers! Agree, iTunes U is a great place to find fantastic content that students and teachers can access via iPads. I've collected a few samples of courses and books in this course: "iTunes U Courses for High School" https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/itunes-u-courses-for-high/id694393731 It's great that so many teacher are creating and sharing lessons and ideas on implementing mobile technology for learning.

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Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Author & Speaker, ADE , Founder of ClassTechTips.com

Thanks Cheryl for sharing this iTunes U course - such a helpful resource for high school teachers!

patriotmm's picture

Alot of great ideas and resources! Thanks for sharing the iTunes U course!

Yanglish's picture

The goal of education is to prepare students to become productive members of society. Teaching iPads skills is a critical part of that preparation.

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