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Updated by Michelle Simms on Feb 07, 2014
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Great iPad Apps for Education

Great apps for primary school students and/or teachers and parents. Curated by a school librarian. Prices are in NZ$.


Price: Free (at the moment)
Create and share a quick animated video called a Gami. The finished product looks great and it is surprisingly easy to make.

Haiku Deck - Presentation and Slideshow Maker with Beautiful Charts and Graphs

Price: Free
An excellent presentation app that comes with a bank of Creative-Commons licensed images.

Puppet Pals HD By Polished Play, LLC

Price: Free, $4.19 for Director's Pass
Students can create their own puppet shows, dragging characters onto stage and recording their voices. Great for acting out scenes, practicing another language or having characters discuss concepts learned in class. It is definitely worth buying the director’s pass as it is a lot of fun to take a photo of the student and use them as a character in a show. You can even use the school as a background.

Chicktionary for iPad By Blockdot, Inc.

Price: Free
A fun game where students can unscramble letters to create words as many words as possible.

Evernote By Evernote

Price: Free
This is a award-winning organizational tool that can be installed on iPads and any other computer or phone you use. I love the way I can access my notes and to-do lists on my PC at work or my laptop at home, as well as anywhere I go with my iPad. You can do all sorts of things with it – take notes, photos, make recordings… Notes can be tagged and organized into notebooks. It’s a great way for teachers to combat the paper war and keep track of everything in one place.

Operation Math™ Free By Spinlight Studio

Price: Free with addition equations only, or $5.29 for full version with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
With a villain, Dr Odd, secret bases, and spy missions to complete, this award-winning app is very popular with students. It is designed for children aged 5-12.

Stack the Countries Lite By Dan Russell-Pinson

Price: Free, Full version $2.59
This is another app that students really enjoy playing. The idea is to correctly choose an answer to a question about a country. The bit that appeals to children is that then you get to drop your country and stack it on other countries to reach the chequered line and win. You can customize the game to suit the student’s knowledge, for example you can choose to focus on your own continent or the whole world, and you choose what categories of questions you want to include. This is a fantastic way for students to learn about other countries while having a fun experience.

The Monster at the End of This Book...starring Grover! By Sesame Street

Price: $6.49
This is a fantastic book! If I was on a desert island and I had to choose one book app (?!) then this would be it. I love the way students, even the big ones, interact with this story. This is a classic Sesame Street book that is even better when animated and interactive.

NineGaps Free By Quadion Technologies

Price: Free, Full Version: $1.29 (iPhone app compatible with iPad)
I love this description of the app..."sudoku meets calculator, has baby, calls it NineGaps" (iPhone Footprint). Be warned, the app is just as addictive as sudoku, and the highest level in the full version requires serious thinking!! There are three difficulty levels in the free version, which means students can choose the level that suits them.

Math Racing By 21x20 Media, Inc.

Price: $1.29
This game allows students with different maths abilities to compete against each other. Each player is able to set their own ability level (easy, medium or hard) and choose the problem type they want. Each correct answer moves the player's car forward. This app is the one that has peaked my son's interest and encouraged him to answer his maths questions faster.

Bluster! By McGraw-Hill School Education Group

Price: Free
This is a versatile app that is a lot of fun! It is a vocabulary game that lets you harass your opponent with tornadoes and blizzards There are single player, team and head-to-head modes, different grade levels to choose from and different match types too (including prefixes, synonym, rhyming words & adjectives).

Plague Inc. By Ndemic Creations

Price: $1.29
Due to the time involved with this simulation it is better suited for at-home play. Its rather spooky music and aim to wipe out the human race means it is more appropriate for mature Yr 6 students. There is lots of learning to be done while trying to evolve your plague - my eldest son (11) has learnt about virus transmission, geography and genetic mutations.

iCAN Count Money New Zealand By Ahmed Tawakol

Price: $1.29
This is a great NZ specific app for practising using money. I love the 2nd game that has a student make a total in two different ways - this means my youngest son can't pay for everything with lots of 10c pieces like he was in the 1st game!

i-Prompt Pro By OurApps4U Limited

Price: Free
This app is great for when students are videoing themselves presenting their work or narrating a story. It works like a teleprompter and scrolls their script at an appropriate pace for them to read. You can adjust the speed and font to suit the student.

Spellosaur By Simulant

Price: Free, Full version: $5.29
I love this app for spelling practise. You add in your words and the app speaks them or you can record them yourself if you want to, which is useful. Learning the words involves listening and choosing the correct word, completing the word, unscrambling the word and then simply spelling the word. You can then test yourself on the words and there is also a review function. There is a variety of ways to learn words which keeps kids interested and focused on learning.

Bobo Explores Light By Game Collage, LLC

Price: $6.49
This is an award-winning, interactive science book. Bobo is a robot who helps explain science concepts in a way that keeps children engaged and entertained. This is a big hit with some our students.

Dropbox By Dropbox

Price: Free, with 2GB of space
When you get an iPad one of the things you may want to do is get photos, documents and videos off your iPad and onto your computer. Some longer video files are just too big to email. The way I do it is to use Dropbox. With the app on your iPad and set up on your computer it is relatively simple to share items between the two.

BrainPOP Featured Movie By BrainPOP® (and BrainPOP UK & BrainPOP Jr)

Price: Free, in-app subscription for access to all movies
These are awesome apps that show a short animated movie each day covering a new subject. Tim and Moby are a boy and robot team who appear in the movies. With a touch of humour they concisely deal with a range of interesting subjects. There is a quiz afterwards to test your knowledge. The US and UK versions occasionally deal with country-specific topics but for the most part these are amazing apps that I can't believe are free. There is also BrainPOP Jr for younger kids (5-9 yrs) with Annie and Moby. It's good too but I find Annie's voice annoying.

SonicPics By Humble Daisy, Inc

Price: $4.19
This app lets you make a narrated slideshow using your photos. It is very easy to use and you can save the finished product to your camera roll, YouTube or very easily send it to your computer via wifi. An excellent app for digital storytelling and also for creating social stories for special needs students.

Book Creator for iPad By Red Jumper Studio

Price: $6.49
Free version is called Book Creator Free
This is a fantastic app for creating your own books. Best of all you're not limited to words - you can add photos, video and music and record your own voice. Laying out the books is easy and then you can read it in iBooks or send it via email or Dropbox. You can print it using AirPrint or export it as a PDF.

Teacher Clicker - Socrative By Socrative

Price: Free
This is an app that lets you create quizzes and share them with your students/children. It is used in conjunction with the Student Clicker app (also free). The whole thing is pretty easy once you've got the hang of it and is a great way to test comprehension. Students might also want to have a go creating their own quizzes. If you're using it with a class you can get a comprehensive report on how everyone has done and what questions they are having trouble with. The space race option lets students compete in teams to get their rocket across the screen.