20 incredible apps teachers can use in a single-iPad classroom

Yes! You finally got your brand new and shiny iPad for the classroom! There’s only one tiny (read: enormous) problem. There’s one iPad and there are 25 students. So how are you going to use this iPad?

Don’t worry. There are so many apps you can use in your one-iPad classroom. That’s why I’ve made a list of 20 amazing educational apps for you. Take a look at these one ipad classroom ideas!

20 apps for the single-iPad classroom

Before you start using these apps, it’s useful to know how to project your iPad’s screen on the wall. Take a look at this post to see how you connect your iPad to a projector or a computer.

1. Plickers

Plickers is a real-time assessment tool and is both an online tool and a classroom tool. It lets your students share their thoughts in a glance, anonymously. You can see if your students understand your lesson topics. All students get to answer the questions, which makes them participate more.

Using Plickers requires the Plickers app and the Plickers cards. Go to the website to get them.

You ask a multiple choice question and the students answer it by showing the cards. The questions you ask must be inserted on the Plickers website. Each side of a card represents a question letter (A,B,C or D). When all cards are raised, you can simply scan the card with the Plickers app and it will show you what your students answered instantly.

Plickers is a great tool for formative assessment, warm-ups, exit tickets and lesson refreshers.

2. ClassDojo

ClassDojo is a free digital reward system in which every student gets evaluated on positive and negative behavior. Not only the teacher has access to ClassDojo, also the students and their parents can access the platform by entering a unique code.

As a teacher, you set up some “behavior tags”. A behavior tag consists of a description and an icon. You can add icons with a description of your own. Choose a description for the positive behavior tags and a description for the negative behavior tags.

Positive behavior gets the value “+1” and negative behavior gets “-1”. The teacher assigns the positive and negative behavior icons to the students.

The fun thing about ClassDojo are their little monsters. Every student is a different monster. It’s very visual and funny! You can assign the tags in front of your class, or you can let them see the weekly overview. That way they see whether they have been good (or bad) this week.

3. Classcraft

When you want to manage older students, you can use Classcraft. Classcraft engages students to live by your class rules in an interactive way.

Students can create their own avatars that have special powers at home. They play in groups. If someone ignores a deadline, it may fire back on the whole group. Working together and having respect for each other is very important.

Students can gain different points by playing by the classroom rules. For example: students who help other students receive a certain amount of points. When they have enough points, they can use a power like: the “warrior” can eat in class". They can also lose those points by not playing by the rules. If they lose all their points they get a sentence like: bring a treat for the whole class or hand in an assignment a day early.

End your week by assigning points to students and let them choose what to do with it.

4. BookWidgets

BookWidgets has some great widgets you can use in a traditional classroom with just one tablet or computer.

Use the Randomness widget to pick out students or to give students random exercises. Use your own imagination because you can decide what content to put in it. Click here to see an example.

You can also use the Flashcard widget. Project your iPad screen and let your students practice the words, one by one. Take a look at this example.

Another fun widget to use in front of your class is Hangman. Let your students guess the letters of a difficult term they just learned. If they found the word, they have to explain what it means. Here’s an example. Dutch students have to guess some animals in English.

I can go on and on about widgets that are suited for a single iPad classroom, because there are so many. The last one I want to show you is the Image viewer. Sometimes you want to show your students an image with a lot of important details on it, but you can’t zoom in enough. Just use the Image viewer. Zoom and pan around and let your students discover the image. Check out this example of a construction site.

Take a look at the widgets library for some examples and start creating your own widgets!

5. Evernote Scannable

This great app allows you to use your iPad as a document scanner. It automatically detects documents or notes of any size and offers enhancement options.

As it has a lot of other good features, I would use it in a single iPad classroom to share examples with students via the projector. You can, for instance, instantly show student work that is very good or encourage student’s reasoning about questions that seemed complicated.

6. Stage

Stage lets you create, collaborate, and demonstrate. Combine your camera with an interactive whiteboard so you can freehand sketch over live video or images, create Madden-style demo videos and get creative by inserting pictures, shapes, text and labels.

Record videos or screen capture images and save them directly to your device’s photo library.

To be more specific: use Stage to scan student work, books or worksheets. Then start annotating them in front of class while you are projecting your iPad screen. It’s a bit like Evernote Scannable, but with a live annotation tool.

7. Ibrainstorm

Use this app to create an interactive whiteboard, suited for brainstorming. The purpose of this app is to encourage students to capture and share their creative minds.

Let students use your iPad one by one to write and add notes to the board. You can start from scratch, or they can choose one of the 13 background templates. You can even brainstorm about how to put football players on the field!

8. Classroom Screen

This web browser app is just heaven! It has everything you need on just one screen.

Show students the time by adding it to the screen or add a timer to limit your students' working time. You can even add a traffic light and choose if the light is green, orange or red. That way, students know if they are too loud or if they have to keep quiet or not. Try to give your own meaning to the traffic light.

Another great feature is the possibility of using working symbols. Choose the right symbol that suits your lesson situation: collaborating, discussing, whispering or silence.

We’re not done yet. Use the textpad to write text on your screen or the drawing pad to make a sketch. You can turn your whole screen in a drawing pad, or just a little corner.

The best is yet to come… QR codes! Add a QR code to the screen. Of course, your students would need a device at their disposal for this. Just add the website you want to link to, and he will generate another QR code.

It’s also very handy to have a calculator on your screen to do some quick calculations or to pick out a student randomly with the random name picker.

If you want to change the background image, or the language settings, that’s possible too. You can choose between 7 standard languages or add your own translation yourself.

9. Keep the score

This web app is amazing for getting your classroom under control. Assign scores to your students in just a few minutes set up.

Students can get scores for answering correctly, handing in homework on time, being nice in class, etc. You choose. They can also lose points for being disrespectful, forgetting their textbook, and so on.

You can also play games with it and make a competition out of your lesson. Beware not to punish your students to fast by withholding points. This might become an issue later on. Students won’t dare to speak up anymore.

10. Too noisy

When you want your students to be quiet, you can use the app Too Noisy. Open it on you iPad and make sure your students can see it. You might want to connect your screen to the projector or computer.

Challenge your students to keep the needle of the noise meter out of the red part. This app might come in handy to keep students quiet during group work.

Another way to use it is to help yourself from speaking too loud. If you have to raise your voice, this means that the class is too loud. You can tell your students you won’t speak louder so they know they have to lower the murmuring in order to understand the teacher.

11. Classroom timer

There’s not much to tell about this one. It’s a timer. That’s it. Use this app when you want to set a time on your students' work or when you want to set a time to their thinking process.

The timer looks more fun than the timer in “Classroom Screen”. The apps shows you an alarm clock where time is ticking away.

12. Random fact of the day

This is a fun app you can use to kill a dead moment. Just open this app and show it to your students on the big screen.

Talk about the fact with your students. Who didn’t know it and who had already heard of it? Some facts are really funny and some others are very interesting and informative. If you do this the first 3 minutes of every lesson, students will go home with some extra knowledge. They will even explain it to their parents and brag about it. Well, I would!

13. Wheel decide

Sometimes it’s very quiet in the classroom when you ask a question. That’s because nobody wants to answer, knows the answer or they are just lazy. On the other hand, you have students that are always raising their hand.

use “Decide Wheel” to randomly pick out students. You can even use it for other difficult decisions or for games.

Change the words on the wheel into names, questions, calculation, terms or translations. Spin the wheel and let students solve the question or calculation.

14. 100+ buttons and sounds

If you are the funny teacher, you should really take a look at this app. It’s a sound board with over 100 different sounds.

So how can you use this in your classroom? It’s easy. Use it to encourage your students when they have to do a presentation.

Use the drum roll to announce a winner, the censor when you hear students saying a wrong or bad word, the applause to acknowledge the student’s work and many more.

Choose the best sounds for in the classroom and add them to your favorites. If you trust your students, you can hand over the tablet and let them introduce other students with the sound buttons.

15. The Brainstormer

This app isn’t an app that helps you to collaborate on ideas and gives you a solution to brainstorm easily. This app gives you the idea.

Use Brainstormer in art lessons, and language lessons to give students an idea to start from. The app gives them inspiration to start with. Let them write a story, using the Brainstormer app. I’m very curious what the result will be!The app can also help you to pick out a topic for the next writing assignment.

16. Tap Roulette

Tap roulette is a very simple app that basically chooses someone by picking a finger.

Students have to put their fingers on the screen. Tap roulette detects them and chooses one. It’s so simple, but your students will love it!

Let students pick out a team leader this way or choose who has to give feedback to another student. There are a lot of decisions to make in a classroom, so this app will be used a lot!

17. My rebus

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with some original rebuses. This web app helps you to make a rebus in seconds. Just insert your sentence and it will convert the sentence into a nice rebus. you can even choose the difficulty level!

Use a rebus to spice up your lessons and make it more visual. I always loved to solve them as a kid. I still do!

18. WordClouds

Make some nice word clouds with this Wordclouds app. Use it in presentations to visually support text.

Add a file with words or type the words at that moment. Choose between a lot of different sizes so your word cloud can fit any screen beautifully. The web app also helps you to put the words in a chosen shape or colour.

19. Mad Libs

If you have a dead moment in class or are an English language teacher, you should definitely try this app out. Project your screen and play this word game with your students.

The purpose is to let your students fill in the blanks in a sentence that is given. You’ll see that they will be creating very funny stories that way. Mister Phil N. DeBlanks helps you to fill in the blanks. Got it? :)

20. TED-ed

TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. TED-Ed wants to celebrate the ideas of teachers and students around the world. Everything they do is with only one goal: supporting learning.

They produce a growing library of original animated videos and providing an international platform for teachers to create their own interactive lessons.

TED-Ed has grown from an idea worth spreading into an award-winning education platform that serves millions of teachers and students around the world every week.

What I love about TED-Ed videos is that they explain things I never even thought about and are actually great to show your students!

These were my top picks for the classroom with just one device. All those apps are suited for an iPad, and most of them also work on Android. I hope you have some inspiration now to use that iPad in your classroom more often.

20 apps for the single iPad classroom

Lucie Renard

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BookWidgets enables teachers to create fun and interactive lessons for tablets, smartphones, and computers.

Choose from over 40 exercise templates (quizzes, crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, ...), and adapt them with your own content.