Top 20 Must-Have Educational iPhone & iPad Apps Used By Real Teachers in the Classroom

by Shara Karasic

With the advent of the 2011/2012 school year, teachers who have access to mobile technology are scrambling to find the best education apps for the iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone. Educators use apps for everything from communicating with students to inspiring creativity to dissecting virtual frogs. Luckily, we have lots of educators (including Apple Distinguished Educators) on Appolicious who share their lists of the best education apps for elementary, middle school, junior high, and high school.

These are the education apps most listed by educators on Appolicious.

1. 3D Brain (iPad, iPhone. Free)

Reviewed by educator lmorris: “This is a great learning tool for any student. It shows and describes all the parts of the brain.”

Subject/Grade: Science (Biology). 4-12.

Listed by: Alline, techsupv, and SkylineiPads.

2. Art (iPhone, $0.99)

Reviewed by educator lmorris: “This is a great app for learning about priceless pieces of art. With many pieces of art, the human form is the subject matter. Several paintings in this collection show the human body so teachers will need to use their best judgment. There is also an option to link high quiz scores to an online social gaming site. Appropriate for older students.”

Subject/Grade: Art. 6-12.

Listed by: justatitch, uwcsea and LaurieFowler.

Add your own list of educational iPhone or iPad apps or add a comment with your favorite education app or username of your favorite educator to follow on Appolicious.

3. BrainPOP Featured Movie (iPad, iPhone. Free)

BrainPop movies teach kids different each day in a variety of subjects, and include quizzes.

Subject/Grade: Language Arts, Math, Science. Social Studies. K-12.

Listed by: d9091, mnelson438, SkylineiPads and  Alline.

4. Early Jamestown (iPad. Free)

Reviewed by educator lmorris: “This app is a chapter from an interactive textbook series [of the early days of the Jamestown settlement]. At the end of the chapter, they give review questions. The chapters are written to keep student interest and the pictures are great.”

Subject/Grade: Social Studies. 3-6.

Listed by: klbruni331.

5. Edmodo (iPhone, iPad. Free)

Reviewed by 9th grade teacher justatitch: “We have an iPad pilot program at my school and this app is the most commonly used app for sharing stuff. It's easy to use and great for sharing documents and other information. I love it!”

Subject/Grade: Classroom Management. 8-12.

Listed by: sjunkinsAllineakuswara and justatitch.

6. The Elements: A Visual Exploration (iPad, $13.99)

Learn about the periodic table in a hands-on way. Choose any element -- copper for example, and see various copper objects - a Persian weave chain, a brass ring, a Chinese bronze - and then rotate them with your finger to get a 3D view. This is one of those iPad apps that brings learning to life.

Subject/Grade: Science (Chemistry). 8-12.

Listed by: Alline and elemenous.

6. Frog Dissection (iPad, $3.99)

Kind of amazing that instead of a real scalpel, and a slippery, formaldehyde-reeking amphibian that you dread slicing into, you can now dissect a virtual frog. The virtual frog is complete with pins to hold down the limbs, a marker to identify where you'll make the cut, scissors to open up the smooth abdomen, and forceps and scalpel to prod and poke at the internal organs. A robotic-sounding female voice guides you through the dissection.

Subject/Grade: Science (Biology). 6-12.

Listed by: Alline and meesterkurt.

7. History:Maps of the World (iPad, iPhone. Free)

Lots of different maps including ancient maps. Can be displayed on VGA.

Subject/Grade: Social Studies. 4-12.

Listed by: Alline, janstearns, and uwcsea.

8. GarageBand (iPad, iPhone. $4.99)

Reviewed by Apple Distinguished Educator  and K-5 teacher mrneedleman: “Great fun for creating music. Improves students' rhythm and counting ability.”

Subject/Grade: Music. 2-12.

Listed by: Alline, mrneedleman, and iteachlounge.

9. Mad Libs (iPhone. Free)

Great for reviewing parts of speech while creating a silly story.

Subject/Grade: Language Arts. 1-5.

Listed by: Alline, LaurieFowler, and mrneedleman.

10. MathBoard (iPad. $4.99)

Drills for basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Quizzes can be generated from wrong answers and timed or saved.

Subject/Grade: Math. 1-5.

Listed by: Alline and LRoe.

12. Motion Math HD (iPad. $2.99)

Reviewed by educational technology specialist randyrodgers: “Motion Math HD is a challenging game that requires players to place numbers (decimals, fractions, and percentages) on the proper location on a number line. This is done using the iPad's gyroscope. Players tilt the iPad left or right to make falling figures land in the appropriate spot on the line. It is easy to learn, but it becomes substantially challenging after a few levels. A great game for kids learning number sense, probably most appropriate for the upper elementary grades.”

Subject/Grade: Math. 3-6.

Listed by: elemenous.

13. NASA App (iPhone. Free)

NASA’s official app has space images and videos, a calendar of their missions, a and a launch schedule. You can also tap on satellites and learn about how and why they were launched into space. Inspiring to future astronauts!

Subject/Grade: Science (Astronomy). K-12.

Listed by: techsupv and wfryer.

14. Number Line (iPhone. Free)

This game has you put fractions, decimals, and percentages in order. Great for kids new to these concepts.

Subject/Grade: Math. 2-8.

Listed by: techsupv, Alline, SkylineiPads and LRoe.

15. Professor Garfield Cyberbullying (iPad, Free)

Teach kids anti-bullying messages and strategies for dealing with cyberbullies with the help of Garfield and friends.

Subject/Grade: Internet Safety. 3-6.

Listed by: mnelson438 and SkylineiPads.

16. Project Noah (iPhone. Free)

Spot and document flora and fauna in your local area.

Subject/Grade: Science (Biology, Botany, Ecology). 2-12.

Listed by: akuswara.

17. Stack the States (iPad, iPhone. $0.99)

Reviewed by educational technology specialist randyrodgers: “Stack the States is a geography quiz game in which users are asked trivia questions (e.g. What state's capital is Austin?) about U.S. states. When responding correctly, users drop the state onto the bottom of the screen, attempting to stack the states beyond a line about a third of the way up. When the line is reached, users are awarded a state as a prize.”

Subject/Grade: Social Studies. 1-5.

Listed by: elemenous and kellerisd.

18. Star Walk for iPad – interactive astronomy guide (iPad, $4.99)

Star Walk is a virtual planetarium. Point your iPad at the sky and see what stars, constellations, and satellites you are looking at in real-time.

Subject/Grade: Science (Astronomy). K-12.

Listed by: Alline.

19. StoryKit (iPhone. Free)

Students can create their very own storybook with this app by adding text and images.

Subject/Grade: Language Arts. K-12.

Listed by: elemenous, techsupv, wfryer and cchausis.

20. Toontastic (iPhone, iPad. $1.99)

Reviewed by assistive technology specialist hillavee: “Toontastic is so much fun! The interface is easy to use. Toontastic explains the elements of a story arc, breaking it down into segments that are manageable for any user. Multiple backgrounds are available, or use your own. Characters can be placed in the scene from the Toontastic library, or make your own. To "animate", simply record the story by moving the characters while talking! How much fun it is to spark the imagination with this ingenious app.

Subject/Grade: Language Arts. K-12.

Listed by: elemenous and hillavee.

Check out more iPhone and iPad education app lists submitted by educators.

Add your own list of educational iPhone or iPad apps or add a comment with your favorite education app or username of your favorite educator to follow on Appolicious.