The first apps you need when deploying a class set of iPads

Having now had the iPads for over a term I want to share some of the essential apps that have almost become invaluable for when we have been using the iPads in class. These apps are used nearly everyday and in most subjects.

Airserver - $14.99 - This app has to be downloaded on your mac/laptop and is used to mirror your iPad on your computer which can then be displayed on a interactive whiteboard. There are other apps similar like Reflection app but I have found AirServer as the most reliable.
I know a few people also recommend AppleTV however this is a lot more expensive than the software. If your WiFi is strong enough AirServer is a great way to mirror your iPad onto your interactive whiteboard.

 HippoRemote - Free - Allows you to turn your iPhone/iPad into a wireless keyboard or mouse for your PC/Mac. This app is fantastic for a teacher moving around the classroom wanting to save time on children walking all the way to the front of the class to share an answer on the interactive whiteboard or for a teacher giving a presentation and not having to constantly turn and click your laptop to move your powerpoint on.

Dropbox - Free - This is the most essential app I have used so far. So many apps have an in built export option to dropbox. Dropbox is basically a online storage space/disk drive. By syncing your iPad account and laptop account there are no need for wires. You have to download the software on your laptop/mac which installs a folder in your documents. Then any files you save into your iPad dropbox app will appear on your laptop and vice versa. So for example if I wanted to upload pictures for all the children to access I can put them into the dropbox folder which all the iPads can then download. You get 2.5gb free which increases to 5gb before you have to purchase more. It is the quickest way of retrieving the children's work an store it in one central place.

Explain Everything - £1.99 - This is THE presentation tool. With an easy to use interface, children can import pictures and annotate them while recording their explanations. It can then be exported as pictures or videos and shared in lots of different apps. Not only pictures, websites can be imported to create tutorial videos. I have used this app with KS1 and KS2 children and you can read about how I have used this app so far this year: Labelling in Year 1, Sharing our Research, Using the app in Numeracy, Guided tours of our School, Football analysis videos.

Pic Collage - Free - This is a great app to create posters, topic front covers, collages etc. The reason I have included this app in this list is that it is a great app to get the children familiar with the way an iPad works. Pinching your fingers to zoom in/out, taking photos or typing to search the web are all essential skills that this app works on. A lesson creating posters about themselves is a great way to introduce the children to the way the iPad has to be used. Again it has been used plenty within my school such as: All about me posters, putting children into stories, local area research.

Audioboo - Free - I have found that this is the best app for podcasting. The app is free and allows you to record a 'boo' which is then uploaded to you account on the website which can then be shared or embedded in your blog/website. Very easy to use and has been great for children sharing work, evaluating topics, recording the development of children's oral reading, creating newspaper podcasts the possibilities are endless. Again something we have used and you can see the examples here: a report on global warming, a oral 100 Word Challenge, a cricket report, reviewing a school performance.

Apps Gone Free - Free - This isn't an app that children will access but for teachers on a tight budget it can be very useful. This app provides a handful of daily apps that for a limited time are completely free. Not all the apps will be relevant however every so often a really useful app will appear which can be downloaded. For example, Pinnacle Studio, a super video editing app was free which is normally £8.99. Therefore you would be saving £££££s by having this app.

There are plenty of other really useful apps that I have used and I am keeping a running list of every app I try within my school with links to the context of how I have used it. I have put together this list just for the essential apps that will be used despite the topic or subject and will hopefully make your iPad deployment that little bit easier. For the complete list of all the apps I have used please see below or click here.


  1. Thanks so much for the list of apps! This will be my first full year with an iPad classroom! Appreciate everything you have blogged so far! Can't wait to share the info with others!


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