Educational Apps and Resources for the iPad and iPhone

Apps for Education

Teachers, parents and therapists are buzzing with the exciting potential and possibilities of using the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad for learning and education.

The number of apps (applications) in the iTunes store is mind boggling, and with more and more apps becoming available every day (for Android phone users too) – how do you filter through all the apps and dig out what is useful?

When searching for apps and evaluating them, having very clear ideas about the purpose and function of the app is helpful, you could think about questions such as;

What do I want the app to do?

What learning do I want to occur?

Is the app really educational?

What is the value in the classroom, for my child/student/client?

Can the app be used for cooperative learning activities, turn taking and group learning?

What is the cost of the app? If it is free, does it have advertising or a link that a student could easily be distracted by?

There are many apps that can be used to support learning, (e.g. maths, literacy, reading, writing, science, learning a foreign language, vocabulary enrichment, social skills etc…) ranging from apps for very young children and extending to supporting learning in tertiary education settings and beyond.

I’ve found a few apps with Australian and New Zealand content that you might like to investigate and listed some links to educational app reviews, classroom and school implementation information and blogs. There are teachers utilising technologies as learning tools in their classrooms in many inspiring, innovative and creative ways, I hope you enjoy reading about their journeys.

(Note: I’ve gathered this information to share, I’m not recommending any particular apps, or websites)

Some Australian Apps:

123 sheep $1.19 1 2 3 Sheep! is an educational game for kids from developer App-titude Learning. Set on a farm, 1 2 3 Sheep! has been designed as an intuitive and interactive way for young children to learn and understand simple counting concepts. Featuring an Aussie sheepdog and farmer. The game features 3 different mini-games – Helicopter, Round Up and Jump

Dreamtime FREE – Every Aboriginal painting tells a story. Dreamtime is a collection of Australian Aboriginal paintings, along with the Dreaming stories as told by the artists. Each Dreaming story reflects the artist’s beliefs and spirituality, and describes the relations and balance between the spiritual, natural and moral elements of the world. 64 Dreaming stories are included in this app.

DigiMacq FREE Parramatta City Council has developed DigiMacq: a multimedia tour that takes you on an adventure through the streets of Parramatta (New South Wales, Australia), 200 years ago.

OZ radar HD $1.19 – current weather conditions around Australia, satellite and infrared images, maps and searchable locations. Similar in appearance to the Bureau of Meteorology BOM website.

Australia Facts: $1.19 comprehensive facts on the different regions of Australia. The user can easily navigate using the touchable map to find information on every region. History, Language, Transport, Geography, Maps, Main Cities, population etc are provided so that it can be at your fingertips anytime.

History: Maps of Oceania: $5.99 An educational collection of high-resolution historical maps about Oceania.

LawPad: $16.99 Allows users to access current Commonwealth Act compilations from the Commonwealth of Australia’s ComLaw web site.

RIDBC Auslan Tutor: Key Signs- FREE RIDBC Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind. As part of RIDBC’s 150th anniversary, experts at RIDBC have developed an application called, ‘Auslan Tutor: Key Signs’ 150 key signs which can be downloaded free for use on the iPad

RIDBC Auslan Tutor: $49.95 The RIDBC Auslan Tutor is a portable video-based Australian Sign Language (Auslan) teaching resource developed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch. It is designed for families of young deaf children to assist them to learn Auslan and promote early communication between parent and child. Over 500 signs are included. These signs were carefully chosen as those most needed by families in their interactions with, and teaching of, their young deaf children


Some New Zealand Apps and links:

Kiwa Media have developed several apps, including Multi-Language QBooks QBooks combine a narrator’s voice with original picture illustrations and touchable text that is synchronized to highlight and sound when the word is touched. There are great puzzles and games to enjoy as well.
Sebastian’s Tail, QBook™ offers a multi-language experience. Each QBook includes the narration, text, games and user interface in US English, Spanish, Portuguese and Maori

One Day a Taniwha HD $5.99 In Maori mythology, Taniwha are mythical water beings that live in deep pools, lakes, rivers, dark caves, or in the sea.

They are often regarded by local people as protective guardians of that stretch of water or place. Aunty Bea brings this wonderful creature to life in both verse and song. In this book Taniwha befriends a little boy and invites him for a swim in the deep blue sea.

What bird NZ FREEprovides a concise pocket reference guide to some of the interesting birds that can be seen around New Zealand. Allows you to hear and see them and also provides interesting trivia in a fun “Top Trumps” style card format. Bird images and sounds copyright

Learn te reo Maori Learn some Maori using a drill-based approach. Enter the word and repeat the word. Review allows you to see the word in English and Maori. Quiz Mode allows you to test yourself. Touch the speaker icon to hear the word.

Kiwiana $2.49 AUD Learn Te Reo Maori, read a Kiwi Slang Dictionary, play a Quiz, complete a picture puzzle with 40 pictures, listen to the NZ national anthem, bird sounds, and more.

Vodcast: kpe TV (only for NZ) Pt England School has created a weekly video podcast. kpeTV is the show where you will get to see what REALLY happens at Pt England School! Every week students will take you into a classroom and you will get to see some of the work they are doing through the video clips they create with their teachers.

Catalystwo – a small software company developing for iPhone/iPad/Mac based in New Zealand. Apps include FastFinga,

Australian Based Education Implementation Information and websites Parramatta Catholic diocese iPad Pilot Program

  • Most appropriate learning settings supported by iPads
  • The relevance, appropriateness and educational value of various Applications (Apps)
  • Any problems that might arise either from a technical and/or learning teaching perspective from deploying iPads into classrooms.
  • Student engagement from use of iPad.
  • The possibilities for creativity and innovation an iPad may afford learners in today’s world.
  • Financial implications (capital & recurrent) of the introduction of iPads into schools.
  • Most appropriate iPad model for classroom use.
  • Role of the iPad in supporting students with learning difficulties. “Ringwood North Primary School presents our Podcast/Vodcast website, which showcases the creative talents of our students and the innovative work they are involved in. Episodes are written, recorded and produced by the students” by Ricky Buchanan, easy to understand information about Apple and Mac products for users who have a disability Reviews of apps and information, Australian website


Other online resources and links to find information about apps for learning

How do you decide what is a useful app for learning?

The team at have put together a useful chart to assist in rating an app.

Their website and blog are all educational IPod/iPad app focused. educational apps rated from 1 – 5

Free iPad Apps Elementary – good website with live links to educational apps

Kathy Schrock’s iPads4teaching – has links for using the iPad in the classroom for learning, creating, collaborating, evaluating apps and more.

Great Reasons to Love Learning on an iPad iRead is by a group of teachers in Escondido Union School District dedicated to the idea that digital audio can be a powerful learning tool for all students. Teachers are using digital audio tools (iPods, mics, Garageband, iTunes, Keynote, etc. and various accessories) to improve reading the iRead teachers have compiled a great resource! A spreadsheet of educational apps categorized under subject and grade level additional information, price and links are included. ( I was very excited when I found this website! So useful) With over 300,000 apps in the app store, teachers may need a bit of guidance finding good apps for their classrooms. Apps reviewed by educators. Education Apps Reviews, very useful. This list of apps for education is compiled as a handout resource. The document lets you know the name of the app, what it does and, better yet, it’s categorised (Art, Books, Reading, Writing, etc.). It is not meant to be exhaustive and is not a suggestion on what apps to buy or download. It is always helpful to review the ratings on apps before purchasing. For review of apps, click on the review button when you are on the app download page in iTunes. If a lite version is available, generally they are free or cheaper, so they can be a way for you to try an app. Reviews of educational apps in various subject / learning areas, information about implementing and administering mobile technologies, comparison between iPad and Netbook. iPad Resources for Administrators & Teachers. Informative and useful articles and Websites reviews of a wide variety of apps for education, regular updates and new additions. iPad Curriculum is a collection of the applications, practices, and deployment of the iPad as a learning device. Fraser Speirs documenting his journey implementing iPads for learning in his school. Lots of practical and problem solving information. The directness of the touch screen interface means that children can easily figure out a number of different apps with very little instruction. A huge list of great apps for kids of all ages. The apps are divided into multiple categories but are almost all educational and/or focused on encouraging creativity. creators and reviewers of family-friendly apps, high-quality, educational, interactive and useful iPad apps for education High School iPad Apps Top 10 Educational IPad Apps Intriguing apps for educators iPhone and iPod Touch Apps for possible educational uses iPads & apps for teaching & learning Science iPads and iPods in Education 10 Tips and Tricks for using the iPod Touch in Classrooms Blog by Eric Sailers and information about apps for special education

2 useful blogs containing information and app reviews by Kate Ahern – “Teaching Learners with multiple needs” Resources and ideas for teachers of learners with severe, profound, intensive, significant, complex or multiple special needs.

1. iPossibilities

2. App round up This is a list of the iPad apps that Nolan really enjoyed and that I believe will help him to develop and encourage the skills that he needs to work on. . Most of the apps he and I liked aren’t targeted for autism, but they are “autism friendly”. I tried to find as many free and under $2.00 apps as I could. The iPad isn’t the cure to Autism; it is a resource for parents that is working. My experience with the iPad is unique to my child but I do believe that it can be helpful to many others. link to video iPads in education wiki, lots of great links and information from Wes Fryer You can access all the online resources for the “Technology 4 Teachers” and “Computers in the Classroom” courses here- some wonderful resources! Learning in Hand is an educator’s resources for mobile learning. It was started in 2002 as part of Tony Vincent’s classroom website. At first focusing on Palm handhelds, Learning in Hand now covers podcasting, iPods, iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and netbooks. lots of app reviews and teaching & Learning ideas and information apps reviewed to support teaching / learning a foreign language. information for new iPhone, IPod and iPad users Christmas theme apps In the exploding world of apps few areas are growing faster than educational applications for young children. While there are thousands of great looking choices many have little or no educational value… Information and reviewed apps in categories search and filter apps by category, price, ranking, age and compatibility. search for apps under topic areas. Each app is reviewed listings and reviews of all sorts of apps app reviews, apple and Mac information and software reviews (tuaw -The Unofficial Apple Weblog) review and links to 50 educational apps lots of links to reviews and education apps, special ed apps information about eBooks, apps and resources. bookmarks of “app” related websites Curated iPhone & iPad App Lists from appolicious Free Word Games 42 Best And Free iOS 4 Apps For Your iPhone 30 Useful iPad Apps for Business & Presentation reviews of eReader apps

Our previous Spectronics Blogs on the topic of iPhone and iPads

This entry was posted in Apps and Mobile Learning Favourite Sites New Technologies Teaching and Learning Tools & Resources Web links and tagged with
Bookmark the permalink

About Anita Raftery

Anita is a teacher who has worked in the area of special education for the last 20 years. Most recently Anita worked as a Head Teacher – Disability Consultant with TAFE and as an Assistant Principal – Vision Support in schools in the North Coast Region of New South Wales. Anita’s expertise in inclusive technology has seen her facilitate professional learning activities, coordinate the North Coast Assistive Technology Group and support the allocation and implementation of technologies for students across school and TAFE settings.

15 Responses to Educational Apps and Resources for the iPad and iPhone

  1. Anita Raftery says:

    Another new Australian app for the iPad released 21st Sept 2010.
    Pirate Treasure Hunt (FREE) by Education Services Australia- apply your maths and literacy skills to solve the puzzle and find the treasure.

  2. Jane Farrall says:

    Great blog Anita – with some of my favourite Apps. Thanks!

  3. Brian Simms says:

    I’m a speech therapist and developed the new Talking Flashcards app. It expands on the basic flashcard by integrating text to speech feedback to support diverse learners. It features standard, spelling, and math deck types, a lock editing option, a play option to scroll through the cards automatically. In addition, you can email your deck to others using the app. Works great to target and expand vocabulary for kids with special needs.

  4. Thom Dunaway says:


    I just got an education app published and wondered if you would let me know how you think it ranks. I wrote this app because my son loves playing with my iPhone, and I need him to do his homework. So I built an app where he can study, but he thinks he is playing. Homework for iPhone helps kids learn spelling. Parents, or kids, enter spelling lists, including recording the words. Kids can practice or take test by listening to the word and spelling it. Kids love to create their own lists because they like to hear their recorded voices. Please let me know what you think of my app.

    Here is a promo code so you can try the app: K9AWW6HMPR9Y



  5. Rach says:

    Check out Build a Story! I just purchased this app for my 10 yr old nephew and he is hooked. It is great to see a kid using their imagination while interacting with technology instead of just staring at a screen. The app as it’s title suggests – gets kids to build their own story via it’s beautifully drawn themes and characters. My nephew simply pics the themes – places in the characters he wants (he can place them anywhere in the them and shrink or enlarge) and then types in his own story.

    Find it on itunes – it cost $2.99

  6. Andy Brovey says:

    Thanks for compiling this valuable list of links and resources! Please consider adding iPad Academy, a professional blog to help educators and others to learn to use the iPad.

    The Portable Prof @

  7. Barbara Landsberg says:

    Hi iPad Academy – good to be aware of your blog. We will watch it with interest and have signed up for RSS Feed. I particularly like your listing of apps for use as assistive technology at


  8. maria garcia says:

    I would like to recommend a great application for practicing the four basic math operations, it is called Math Eggs. It is fun and easy to play. Check it out at

  9. Matt says:

    There are a lot more educational apps for teachers lately for the iPad. I just bought a good one called My LessonPlan, which allows you to create and save lesson plans, all by using your iPad. And my students also get a kick out of seeing me presenting the plans in the classroom.


  10. Want to see a really neat app that uses automatic speech recognition to give you instant feedback on how well you say English words and sentences? Lets you talk into the phone in a fun dialog with a video character and then scores your speaking performance! Check out SpeakingPal in the app store.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>