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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Resources for Using iPads in Grades 6-8

Looking for advice on integrating iPads in middle 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.
By Monica Burns

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There are many resources from Edutopia and across the Web for middle school teachers who are integrating iPads in their classrooms. At this age, students can use iPad apps in different subject areas and become content creators using their devices. Teachers can introduce a variety of skills to students, and students can demonstrate their understanding of concepts using innovative iPad technology. Check out the list below for suggestions on amazing apps and to browse tips from teachers on how to use iPads throughout the school day.

Favorite Apps

  • Stream Videos with Free iPad Apps (Edutopia, 2013)

    If you have one, a few, or a class set of iPads, you’re sure to find something on this list that will connect to a lesson in your curriculum. With these video apps, teachers can help students gain background knowledge of a topic and make connections to the real world.

  • 7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills (Edutopia, 2013)

    Anna Adam's annotated list of resources for helping students learn about coding is perfect for middle school students with access to an iPad. You may want to have them try out Tynker or Hopscotch as an introduction to programming before moving on to more challenging tasks.

  • Free iPad Apps to Teach Current Events (Edutopia, 2013)

    Students in middle school should be able to discuss important issues facing people in their own community as well as countries around the globe. With these apps, you can access up-to-the-minute news reports to share with students or ask them to investigate topics they find interesting.

  • 6 Apps and Web Tools for Middle School Students (Edutopia, 2012, reviewed in 2014)

    These six apps are handpicked for middle school students. Whether you’re looking to engage students by taking polls or grab their attention with educational cartoons, this list offers some great ideas for using iPad apps across the content areas.

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Best Practices

  • 10 iPad Tips (Teaching Like It’s 2999, 2012)

    Jennie Magiera is an Apple Distinguished Educator and Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership with a fantastic website full of resources for teachers. Her post on “10 iPad Tips” is perfect for educators kicking off a one-to-one iPad program or simply looking for ideas on how to better manage these devices in their classrooms.

  • The Step-By-Step iPad Workflow For Teachers (Edudemic, 2013)

    This article provides an overview of how to use Google Drive on iPads. By using this workflow with your middle school students, teachers can make collecting assignments simple while decreasing the amount of paper they use on an everyday basis.

  • Apple iPad in Education – Independent Girls Secondary School (Square Group, 2012)

    In this video, educators and students from a girls’ school in the United Kingdom discuss how iPads have transformed their learning environment. Educators describe how they use iBook Author to bring content to their students and how iPads enable their students to participate in a wide range of activities.

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Engaging Activities

  • Using Technology to Teach Health and Wellness (Edutopia, 2012)

    Edutopia blogger Mary Beth Hertz's list of resources will help teachers tackle topics related to eating healthy. Her list includes three iPad apps that might just fit into your next science unit!

  • Tons of Classroom Examples Using Augmented Reality With @Aurasma (Kleinspiration, 2013)

    Erin Klein is a teacher from Michigan who writes a blog with technology ideas for students of all ages. Augmented-reality activities like the ones described in this post are perfect for grabbing the attention of middle school students across the content areas.

  • MathyCathy’s Blog (Cathy Yenca)

    Apple Distinguished Educator and middle school math teacher Cathy Yenca shares tons of ideas for using iPads with students. Her posts cover assessment tools and iPad activities including NearPod and ThingLink.

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Have you used iPads with students in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade? Do you have a favorite online resource for gathering ideas? Share your favorite activities, apps, and websites below!

Comments (3)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

MathyCathy's picture
MathyCathy
Middle School Mathematics Teacher with a 1:1 iPad Classroom in Austin, TX

Additionally, here are just a few ways ThingLink can help with student content-creation, as well as a "table of contents plane" for links that students will easily access, all in one place!

http://www.mathycathy.com/blog/tag/thinglink/

Monica Burns's picture
Monica Burns
Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
Blogger 2014

Thanks Cathy for adding resources for Nearpod and ThingLink - two fantastic tech tools!

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