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Updated by Emily Stout on Jul 11, 2016
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Emily Stout Emily Stout
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Apps Worth Buying

This is a list of apps worth buying because of the educational value and open-ended opportunity for creation. Vote on your favorites and/or add your own!

Book Creator for iPad - create ebooks and pdfs, publish to iBooks

The simple way to create your own beautiful iBooks, right on the iPad.
Read them in iBooks, send them to your friends, or submit them to the iBooks Store.
Ideal for children’s picture books, photo books, art books, cook books, manuals, textbooks, and the list goes on.

Flip Boom Cartoon

Connect with Your Creative Touch!

Create your own animated cartoons with Flip Boom Cartoon! Use your imagination to create a drawing or choose a clip-art image, then make it move. Plus, share video and more using the same iCloud or via AirDrop! Share on social media, email or be featured in our iPad magazine: BOOM Time. 
It’s that easy and fun! 

Looks like the word is out! Flip Boom Cartoon and BOOM Time have been awarded the Silver Honor for excellence by the Parents’ Choice Foundation.

Puppet Pals 2: Free

• “Puppet Pals is an amazing app that lets you create animated cartoons.” -David Pogue (NewYork Times)

Children unlock creativity with this easy to use (but hard to put down) interactive puppet show! Even young children can create high quality cartoons from their imaginations. Kids can even star in the show along side the built-in characters!

Teachers: Engage students by allowing them to act out historical events, practice language skills, or deliver a killer book report. The cartoons that kids are making have delighted thousands of teachers and parents around the world - let yours be next to experience this award-winning digital addition to your classroom. The finished projects are easily shared to be watched by others (share via email, Facebook, or simply copy the video file to your computer and distribute how you see fit - Hint: students love to see their work displayed on a classroom blog).

Superhero Comic Book Maker - by Duck Duck Moose

An award-winning creative app to ignite the imagination. Create personalized animated comic books with monsters and superheroes. Build comic strips and narrate the story. Includes 55 scenes and coloring pages and stickers. AGE: 2+.

PLAY CATEGORY: Creative

ACTIVITIES

MAKE A COMIC BOOK:
- 27 background scenes: skyscrapers, space ship, the moon, wild west and more
- 170+ animated stickers with sound effects
- 29 crayons and 29 colored pencils
- Drag and drop multiple scenes to create a comic strip
- Narrate the comic book story using the self-record feature
- Tap the stickers to make their mouths move
- Move the stickers to create your own movie

Explain Everything ™

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.

Create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a laser pointer. Rotate, move, scale, copy, paste, clone, and lock any object added to the stage.

Add new or existing photos and videos. Import PDF, PPT, DOC, XLS, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and RTF files from Evernote, Dropbox, Box, GDrive, WebDAV, Email, iTunes, and any app that allows you to open these files types using "Open In…". Export MP4 movies, PDF documents, PNG images, or XPL project files directly from your iPad.

No account is necessary to use Explain Everything and share creations.

11

iMovie

iMovie

iMovie puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips, with a beautifully streamlined interface and Multi-Touch gestures that let you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your video library, quickly share favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-style trailers. And with iCloud, you can enjoy them in iMovie Theater on all your devices.

Draw and Tell HD - by Duck Duck Moose

Draw and Tell is an award-winning creative tool for children of all ages that encourages imagination, story telling and open-ended play. Use the tool to draw, color, decorate with stickers, create animations and record stories. AWARDS: 2012 Parents’ Choice Gold Award; Selected by Apple as New and Noteworthy; Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Award. AGES: 3-9.

PLAY CATEGORY: Creative

ACTIVITIES

DRAW: Be creative!
- 27 crayons, paint brushes and colored pencils
- Rainbow and glow-in-the-dark crayons
- 150+ stickers with animals, food, cars, letters and more
- 32 backgrounds and 22 patterns
- 60+ stencils (iPad version only)

TELL: Create a story.
- Talk about your drawing or tell a story
- Move the stickers as you talk
- Create your own movie

VoiceThread

Create and share dynamic conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos -- basically anything there is to talk about. You can talk, type, and draw right on the screen. VoiceThread takes your conversations to the next level, capturing your presence, not just your comments. Anyone can join the discussion from their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC -- anytime, anywhere.

Stunningly simple and accessible, VoiceThread is already in use by architects, executives, kindergartners, professors, and engineers around the world. More than 25% of the top Universities in the U.S. use VoiceThread to connect and communicate around digital media.

Popplet

Great for work. Great for school. Popplet is a platform for your ideas. Popplet's super simple interface allows you to move at the speed of your thoughts. With Popplet you can capture your ideas, sort them visually, and collaborate with others in realtime. Quickly and easily!

★ Apple has featured us in "New and Noteworthy", "What's Hot" and "Get Stuff Done" ★
★ MacWorld gave Popplet 4 stars ★
★ Fast Company has included us on their website in "Work Smart 2" ★
★ Great reviews from TUAW and PadGadget ★

People use Popplet to:

  • Explore Ideas: Brainstorming, Mindmapping
  • Plan Projects: Diagrams, Process Charts
  • Record Thoughts: Journals, Notes, Lists
  • Collect Inspiration: Mood Boards, Scrapbook, Travel Plans
  • Create Galleries: Photo albums, Portfolios, Presentations
  • Study: School Projects, Class Notes
Toontastic: School Edition

Lights, Camera, Play! Toontastic is a creative storytelling app used in thousands of schools around the world that enables kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons. With over 7 million cartoons created in 200+ countries, parents and teachers rave about the app... and kids can't stop creating!

Toontastic: School Edition scaffolds storytelling skills with a built-in Story Arc and ignites students' imaginations with 50+ playsets chock full of pirates, princesses, and far away galaxies. That's every character, setting, and feature in Toontastic unlocked automatically with each new release - an 80% savings! Toontastic teaches key storytelling skills that help promote creativity at a young age and map directly to Common Core standards for K-8 classrooms. For more information and best practices for using Toontastic in the classroom, visit: http://launchpadtoys.com/edu

Little Bird Tales - Easy Digital Stories For Kids

Capture the Voice of Childhood: Easy to create digital stories with recorded audio!  

Green Screen by Do Ink

Featured in "Best New Apps in Education" in iTunes. Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and images right on your iPad. Classroom-tested by kids and teachers, this app emphasizes ease-of-use and simplicity while still enabling you to get fantastic results. With Green Screen by Do Ink, you can tell a story, explain an idea, and express yourself in truly creative and unique ways. 

You know what a "green screen" effect is, right? It's used in the movies to make it look like the actors have landed on an alien planet, and it's used on TV to make it look like your local news announcer is standing in front of an animated weather map. The green screen effect works by combining images from multiple sources into a single video. These images can come from photos or videos in your camera roll, or from the live video camera. 

ZooBurst

ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own augmented reality 3D pop-up books. Our iPad app is designed compliment our web based storytelling community and help you view your stories “on the go.”

Version 1.0 of the ZooBurst iPad app contains the following features:

  • Gallery: The ZooBurst Gallery showcases some of the amazing stories that have been brought to life by members of the ZooBurst community.

  • My Books: Existing ZooBurst members can log in and view any of their own 3D Pop-Up Books by tapping on the My Books button. Note that version 1.0 of our iPad app only supports viewing your books, but stay tuned for an iPad version of our popular 3D book builder!

  • Story Codes: A ZooBurst “Story Code” is a special printed symbol that identifies a ZooBurst book, much like how a barcode uniquely identifies a product in a grocery store. You can use the “Story Code” button to “scan” for stories that have been attached to physical objects.