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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.
Monica Burns
EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com
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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

  • 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.

  • 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 iPad Apps for Outdoor Adventures (Edutopia, 2014)

    This list of seven apps proves that technology has a place in the great outdoors. Find apps to help kids identify birds and trees, navigate with maps, tie knots, and explore national parks.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools (Edutopia, 2015)

    With tools like Socrative, Kahoot, Zaption, Chatzy, and Plickers, teachers can use tech for immediate feedback about how students are learning and understanding the lesson.

  • Support English-Language Learners With Scannable Technology (Edutopia, 2014)

    With QR codes and AR triggers, you can give your English language learners a quick, fun way to supplement their language acquisition with audio and visual prompts. This post includes lots of ideas for getting started with scannable technology in your classroom.

  • Explain Everything: Formative Assessment and Screencasting (iTunes iBook, 2014)

    This iBook by Apple Distinguished Educator Reshan Richards is a fantastic resource for iPad teachers. It includes information for teachers looking to empower students as content creators.

  • Lynda.com’s Teacher Tips YouTube Channel (Lynda.com/YouTube)

    When you’re looking for ideas for the best way to use different tools with your students, figuring out the nuts and bolts of different apps can be challenging. Lynda.com’s Teacher Tips YouTube channel has tutorials for different edtech products and processes, including Adobe Voice and how to plan lessons on an iPad.

  • Jeanne Halderson’s iTunes U Story (Apple and Education)

    In this video Apple Distinguished Educator Jeanne Halderson explains how she uses iTunes U to give students choice when using iPads. It’s a powerful story demonstrating how iPads can foster an environment of individualized learning.

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Engaging Activities

  • Digital Storytelling and Authentic Assessments (Edutopia, 2014)

    Children love telling stories. These apps will keep them creatively engaged and provide a means for assessing and sharing their products.

  • 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
EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

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

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