George Lucas Educational Foundation

Great iPad Apps

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My school is getting all the teachers iPads to use in the classroom. Are there any good Apps that are a must for me to use? Any good iPad tips?

Any and all tips appreciated!

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Karen's picture
preschool special education teacher

We are getting an Ipad for our classrooms--all are pre-k special education classes (autistic, developmentally delayed, speech delays, motor delays, behavioral delays...). Any recommended apps to use with this population?

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Karen,
This question, as you might have guessed, is a particularly popular one. One small piece of advice (which I will proceed to disregard): before you rush out to purchase lot of different apps, think about what you want to achieve with the iPads. What are the transformation opportunities afforded by the devices? This is a good place to start, rather than looking through lots of different apps and getting bamboozled by the breadth of choice available.

Having said that, here is a fantastic list of apps available for students with Special Needs:

Hope that helps. And please, if you find any good ones, share them here!

Karen's picture
preschool special education teacher

Thanks Keith. We don't have them yet and definitely don't plan on buying apps without knowing what I want to use it for, but having something to kind of guide me on what to look for certainly helps. Right now I'm working on gathering recommendations for different apps so I can then look at them before I download once we get the iPads :)

Toby's picture
Teacher Liaison

Hi Karen,

The Starring You Books app would be perfect for your classroom, and it's completely free for teachers. The teacher can put the child's photo and name into the story, which makes them the star. I've talked with special education teachers, specifically those with kids on the autism spectrum, who have raved that this app instantly grabs their students' attention, allows for discussion between the teacher/student, and engage their students in learning.

Hope it helps!

Stacie's picture

Wow! Thanks for the information. I love finding new ways to use iPads in the classroom.

Kara Carpenter's picture
Kara Carpenter
Former teacher, expert in cognition & learning, and co-founder of Teachley

I used to teach second grade, and I've created an iPad app to teach addition strategies: Addimal Adventure. It's currently FREE in the app store, and we're about to release an update that will let you create multiple student logins, so the game will adapt to each child. Check it out and let me know what you think:

Dan Callahan's picture
Dan Callahan
Professional Learning Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

Hi Amanda,
Luckily for you, there are a ton of great apps out there. Instead of focusing on apps for specific content areas, I recommend choosing apps that you can use in all day long. Here's what we use in my school:

Some of those are free and some are paid. If you have limited funds to purchase, I strongly recommend prioritizing Explain Everything, Book Creator, and iMovie over other paid apps.

MarkH's picture

Hi Amanda!

I am looking for beta testers for Brainfeed, my new iPad app. Brainfeed features educational, inspiring and entertaining short videos for children 7+, tweens, teens, and even inquisitive adults. Videos are selected to be age-appropriate, curriculum-based, engaging and visually stimulating. And the good part is the app provides a safe, child-friendly viewing experience free of advertising and inappropriate content.

Brainfeed will launch on the App Store in February 2014. However, before I launch, I want to get feedback from parents and children to make sure that there are no teething problems when it goes live.

As a thank you for testing the app I will give you a complementary 6 month subscription to the service, with absolutely no obligation once the trial period ends. If you're interested in helping out, please send me an email at

If you want more information before committing please see my website at

Thank you,
Mark Hoffman

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