Vol.#25: FREE iPad Apps for English Language Arts Classrooms

20130421-194503.jpgAs I moved forward after my early ventures with iPads and Apple TV, I needed a starting place to further explore the collective wisdom from the 4/1/13 #engchat and the list of iPad Apps deemed useful to the English Language Arts classroom. Although my principal has said he will find funds to pay for Apps, I decided to first make a list separating the paid and free Apps. It just seems logical to start with the free ones – there are so many that can do so much.

I also wanted the handy “synopsis” provided by the Apps’ own home pages or iTunes Previews all in the very same location to save my time and sanity as I further my research.

That compilation is what follows.

Alphabetical list of FREE ELA Apps with descriptions:

  • Animoto “….. took less than five minutes to make an impressive, share-worthy video. …. a great option for the holidays or any special occasion …. when you’d want to share photos with loved ones.” -MacWorld ~iTunes Preview
  • Audioboo “Audioboo is an application for recording and sharing your voice with the world. This free version allows you to create audio up to 3 minutes in length and post that to your own account on the web. You can add titles, tags, geolocation info and a photo to the recording before you upload it and we’ll save all that with the file. The audio can then be shared with your followers or via Facebook, Twitter & other social networks by managing your account at http://audioboo.fm.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Diigo “Web Highlighter for iPad Safari – Make your Safari feel like iBooks!
    Web highlighter for iPad Safari has the following features: Highlight the webpage, just like in iBooks. Bookmark the page with tags, add sticky notes, store bookmarks, highlights, sticky notes in your diigo account.” ~Diigo Website
  • Dragon “Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Dropbox “Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website!” ~iTunes Preview
  • Edmodo “Award-winning Edmodo for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad makes it easy for teachers and students to stay connected and share information. Use your iOS device to send notes, submit assignments, post replies, and check messages and upcoming events while away from the classroom.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Educreation “Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a great video tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and talking. Explain a math formula… Create an animated lesson… Add commentary to your photos… Diagram a sports play… With voice recording, realistic digital ink, photos and text, and simple sharing through email, Facebook or Twitter, now you can broadcast your ideas from anywhere.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Evernote “Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Flipboard “Find everything that matters to you from world news to life’s great moments. Just tap the [+] to save anything from the web – stories, photos, audio and more – into your own magazines to flip through later or share with friends.” ~Flipboard Website
  • Google Docs – Save from Safari on the iPad Desktop for free. (Not an App.) See this link for more information on why and how from Google.
  • Google Drive “Get started with 5GB for free to safely keep all your stuff in one place and then access it from any device, anywhere. Store documents, pictures, or other files – even the big ones – using Google Drive and easily share them with anyone.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Haiku Deck “Haiku Deck is the simple and fun new way to create stunning presentations – whether you’re pitching an idea, teaching a lesson, telling a story, or igniting a movement. Featured on the iTunes “New and Noteworthy” and “What’s Hot” lists, Haiku Deck makes it fast and fun to create beautifully designed slideshows you’ll be proud to share.” ~iTunes Preview
  • iBooks Author “iBooks Author is an amazing app that allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks — and just about any other kind of book — for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, mathematical expressions, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could.” ~iBooks Author Home Page
  • Poetry Magnets “Poetry Magnets is a fun way to build poems! Select a category and pass around your iPad with your friends. Great way to embarrass or impress your friends!” ~iTunes Preview
  • Pocket “When you find an interesting article, video or web page that you want to read, watch or view later, put it in Pocket. Once it’s in Pocket, it automatically syncs across to your phone, tablet and computer so you can view it anytime on any device, even without an internet connection.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Prezi “Create, edit, present, and share your prezis anywhere with simple, intuitive multi touch gestures. Drag to pan and pinch to zoom in or out of topics, just like you do in any map apps. Revise and retouch your prezis, correct typos and adjust your presentation on-the-fly. Prezi for iPad is the perfect companion to your Prezi experience.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Show Me “Turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard! ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use, no matter how young or old!” ~iTunes Preview
  • Socrative “Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Engage the entire classroom with educational exercises and games while capturing student results in real-time. Interact with the data to further student understanding in the moment, and review the reports to prepare for future classes. Socrative will even aggregate and grade your pre-made activities! Saving you time, so you can engage more with your students on an individual level. Create a library of activities and share them with your colleagues and learning community. Not a 1:1 school? That’s okay! Have students bring their own devices and join in the learning!” ~iTunes Preview
  • StoryKit “Create an electronic storybook. Make use of the little gaps in life – on the sofa after dinner, in the back seat of the car, or on a train – to do something creative together.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Subtext “In Subtext, teachers can embed instruction and scaffolding right in the pages of almost any digital book or ePub. You can layer in web links, videos, assignments and quizzes—opening up limitless opportunities to engage students, foster analysis and writing skills, and assess student progress. Subtext supports the Common Core Standards across reading, language, writing and 21st century digital skills.” ~iTunes Preview
  • YouTube “Watch the world’s videos and keep up with your favorite YouTube channels with the official YouTube app for iOS. Sign in to access your subscriptions, playlists, uploads and more.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Zite “Zite is an intelligent magazine that helps you discover interesting things to read. Your Zite is as unique as you are. Zite learns what you like and gets smarter as you use it. Zite analyzes millions of articles each day and brings you the best of your favorite magazines, newspapers, authors, blogs, and videos.” ~iTunes Preview
  • Zoodle Comics “Create and publish your own comic strips on the iPad with Zoodle Comics! When you are done creating your comic strip, preview it using multiple layouts, then save it or share it with your friends and family. Save the resulting comic strip to your photo album or share it on Facebook.” ~iTunes Preview

PAID Apps Mentioned in 4/1 #engchat:               (which I’ve decided to tackle later)

What great ways to use iPads in an ELA classroom have I missed? Please share in the comments!


8 thoughts on “Vol.#25: FREE iPad Apps for English Language Arts Classrooms”

  1. This experance that Ms Speaks let us have was very educational and also extremly fun. A great way to teach thank you Ms Speaks 🙂


  2. Thanks for sharing the list, as many of these are useful beyond the ELA curriculum. Have you used Subtext yet? I am currently IN LOVE with its utility for reading informational texts in class, and using the discussion to engage students. It allows me to provide skill-level appropriate scaffolding for my below-grade-level, at-grade-level, and above-grade-level readers.


    1. Yes! It topped my personal list to try from these Apps based on the descriptions. I got some time to use Subtext this week with one-to-one iPads, which was FANTASTIC. I liked that it allowed for collaborative close reading, and I had many students like that they could being their earbuds and the App would read the text to them.

      What were some of the ways you scaffolded nonfiction text for your students using Subtext?


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