George Lucas Educational Foundation
Technology Integration

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.

May 5, 2014 Updated March 15, 2016
Photo credit: Kevin Jarrett via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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.

  • 7 Apps for Student Creators (Edutopia, 2015)

    Millennials and digital natives live in a creation-based world and teachers can use iPads to help students make sharable content. This list highlights apps that promote higher-order thinking, encourage collaboration, and invite real-world learning.

  • 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.

Best Practices

  • 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.

  • My Favorite Free and Easy Apps for World Languages (Edutopia, 2015)

    In this post by Edutopia blogger Don Doehla you’ll find a selection of great apps for the world language classroom. It contains ideas and tips for blending favorite multi-purpose apps with apps specifically designed for the language being studied.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Engaging Activities

  • Plate Tectonics: Moving Earth Science (Kevin Morrow, 2015)

    This science unit is organized as an iTunes U course and includes lots of resources for teachers. Created by Apple Distinguished Educator Kevin Morrow, middle school teachers are sure to find inspiration for lesson ideas.

  • 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.

  • TechChef4u on Pinterest (Lisa Johnson)

    Blogger and Apple Distinguished Educator Lisa Johnson has dozens of Pinterest boards that focus on technology integration. You’ll find lesson ideas and inspiration for activities that use iPads to elevate and energize learning in your classroom.

Have you used iPads with students in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade? Do you have a favorite online resource for gathering ideas?

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  • 6-8 Middle School

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