The Top 5 iPad Apps Being Used In Classrooms Right Now

So you’re about to roll out a fleet of iPads in your classroom. Or perhaps you’ve finally gotten at least one. Either way, you’re going to want to install some apps at some point.

While we don’t recommend pre-installing any paid apps (read more about that in the upcoming August issue of the Edudemic Magazine), we do think it’s worth knowing about the most popular iPad apps being used in actual classrooms around the world.

We worked with INTO to figure out which apps they’re seeing in classrooms around the world right now. Some may be a surprise, some not. Either way, it helps to know what other students are using right now.

TED (Free)

View In App Store

What is it?
TED is an annual conference that seeks to educate and inform in areas of technology, entertainment, and design. The iPad app is a portal for the TEDTalks videos that get updated every week and feature talks from past speakers.

What’s good about it?
You can create your own playlists and watch them even when you don’t have an internet connection, which is great if you’re on the move.

Penultimate ($.99)

View In App Store

What is it?
A handwriting app which enables you to “write” on your iPad and treat it like a notebook.

What’s good about it?
You can organize your notes into notebooks and then organise the individual pages further. You can also customise the app by adding your own “paper” and you can also share your notes as a PDF file.

iStudiez Pro ($.99)

View In App Store

What is it?
iStudiez helps students organise their study schedules. You can use it to organise homework, lectures, and class time, and it presents it to you in an easy to digest summary.

What’s good about it?
You can add instructors’ details and office hours, and you can also use it to track your grade. It also has the option to send you push notifications and set reminder alarms, plus you can email yourself your schedule for even easier reference.

iTunes U (Free)

View In App Store

What is it?
Developed by Apple, iTunes U helps you discover new and related lectures, videos, and books on your chosen subject. Many universities have uploaded their own course materials and lectures that all students can access.

What’s good about it?
You can access additional materials and organise and see your course easily. iTunes U also integrates easily with other Apple apps such as iBooks.

iA Writer ($.99)

View In App Store

What is it?
A simple to use writing system that lets you write down your thoughts with none of the distractions of fonts, colours, or even settings! It’s essentially like Notebook, but on your iPad.

What’s good about it?
It’s really simple to use and you can synch your notes across to your Mac or iPhone, or even synch it to Dropbox for ease of access.

INTO University Partnerships provide preparation courses for international students who want to study a degree in the UK, US or China.


  1. Sam

    August 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I would add Edmodo for online connecting with classes (wall flattening tool; indispensable), Evernote for drafting, sharing, curating and filing, plus Popplet for mind mapping – best thinking tool. All are free apps,

  2. Hunter

    August 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Thank you for the great app suggestions, Jeff! I am sending my son a new iPad as a surprise back to school gift and I wanted to preload a few essential apps. To help my son get started, I will be installing TED, IStudiez and iA Writer once I get home from my shift at DISH this evening. Also, I included a fun app called DISH Remote Access as well. He can use the DISH app to watch his favorite channels AND DVR recordings right from our DVR at home. I think that is a better option for him then getting cable service and, this way he will even be able to take it outside to relax on the quad.

  3. Clarise

    August 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    I’m using Nearpod :) I heard so much about it that I had to give it a try… and they are releasing cool new versions this month. Thanks for all the great suggestions! Here I leave mine.

  4. Smitty Redcard

    August 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    This is the first such list I’ve ever seen without Evernote.

    • Jeff Dunn

      August 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      Crazy, right?

  5. ClassLink

    October 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I agree these are all great. Last year, iStudiez has been chosen as the best app for college students. It is certainly a nice app, but it crashes every time when you enter regular courses. It would be best also if these apps could be synced with iCal or other similar apps of the same function.