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New: 10 of the best Apple apps for education in 2012

New apps include student file sharing, special education, cyber bullying information

New: 10 of the best Apple apps for education in 2012

One app teaches young students about cyber bullying.

Last year we presented “10 of the best apps for education,” which highlighted some of the best apps for iPhones and iPods. However, with new upgrades in touch technology, HD and 3D features, and the debut of the iPad, we’ve come up with a new list of the best Apple-based education apps for 2012.

This year’s list includes some of the most highly rated apps, both by teachers and by Apple, and features a range that spans from simple math games to a revolutionary special-education app, and from 3D imaging of the elements included in the periodic table to secure file sharing for students and teachers.

For every app we’ve listed, we’ve included a brief description, device compatibility, suggested use, features, price, and a link to a more in-depth summary with an option to purchase on iTunes.

Don’t see an app you love on this list? Be sure to let us know—or leave a suggestion in the comment section.

(Apps are listed in alphabetical order.)

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  1. jcbjr

    April 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I would add iAnnotate to the list of important apps. As I seek to be as paperless as possible, I typically require assignments be posted electronically. I can edit MS Word and Mac documents through PAGES app. With iAnnotate, I can do the same with PDF documents.

  2. crissy

    April 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Great list of apps!

    My Big Campus is another great free app made for iOS devices (and Androids). Its numerous security features make it a safer environment for teacher & student collaboration/learning. And with its pre-populated resource library which includes hundreds of thousands of links, videos, docs, etc., more teachers and students prefer My Big Campus for their educational social network.

  3. webwisekids

    April 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Great article! I would like to recommend a free app that teachers teens/preteens about digital citizenship in a fun way. It is called BeSeen

    BeSeen is an app that simulates a social networking website (like Facebook). The player creates a profile and starts earning “friend” characters and interacting with them. In BeSeen, the ultimate quest is to make friends, but as more friends join your social circle, they bring their problems with them. Gets teens thinking about cyber-bullying, privacy issues, and their reputations.

    • mwdubrock

      June 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      I have downloaded this app as well as my teens. It is simple to use. I can see this being of benefit to parents who are considering allowing their children to create a Facebook account and having them go through this lesson before doing so. Web Wise Kids has many other teaching games both for children, educators, parents and those working in public safety with children. A++++++


      June 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      “BeSeen” is a FREE mobile application about social networking. Kids enjoy playing the game while learning valuable lessons about online safety. Carnegie Mellon’s Information Networking Institute and Web Wise Kids collaborated to create “BeSeen.” Sponsored by CTIA The Wireless Foundation, Trend MICRO, and Verizon.

  4. peggy.gregory

    April 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    FYI. I really hate clicking through 10 pages to see your info. I usually lose interest after the 4th click.


      May 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      completely agree. Very user “un-friendly” site.

    • thankgodforteachers

      May 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!! Why can’t it all be on one page?? I bet it has something to do with the ads.

    • clagan

      May 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I agree. I wish they were listed on page one.

      • mheller

        June 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm

        They make their money via advertising… the more ads they serve up the more content they can provide… welcome to the internet.

    • sheilah_buscaglia

      May 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      I agree too. It’s not user friendly to click from page to page for each app. Can it be on one?

    • ecross

      May 21, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Agreed, further I am tired of the Apple monopoly. Honestly, until the iPad supports the use of user profiles they will be limited in their application within school. I mean really how many schools have the money to buy an iPad for each student.

      • eduatecu

        May 22, 2012 at 8:42 am

        Just select print view !

        • TSMD

          July 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm

          You have to be logged in to see the PRINT option and is an easy 1-click workaround for many sites so the original poster should end up saving at least 3 clicks or be able to read a lot more articles!

  5. nicksta25

    April 30, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Hi, some great finds there. Another wonderful app I’ve discovered this year is Futaba Classroom Games, you can read a review of it on

    Since using “Futaba” in our classroom, I’ve tried out some of their other apps, the “Flashcards for iPad” is one of the best kids apps I’ve used, but might not be so great for classroom learning (although I guess it could be used to teach 2nd languages via TV-out).

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. LectureTools

    May 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Fun list! Here’s an app I created for my survey course at the University of Michigan that replaces clickers + allows students to take notes plus pose questions to the instructor and even indicate when they’re confused. Everything they do is instantly stored in the cloud for access from any browser or iPad.

    Let me know what you think!

  7. ckusnyer

    May 21, 2012 at 5:05 pm

  8. mithunjhawar

    June 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Also check out Splash Math apps. They are available for grade 1 to grade 5. The apps are aligned to common core state standards. Splash Math apps are fun interactive and keeps your kids hooked

    check out the site:

  9. abarr810

    June 22, 2012 at 11:32 am

    TIP for those who hate to read an article on the web with all those Adds – there is a great way to pull just the body of the article: Look in the far right of your browser bar, you will see a small box with READER noted, (a feature in Safari on a Mac running LION, or iPhones running iOS 5) when you click READER you get a new window that pulls just the content of the article, to read /print/.pdf/cut and paste, easier. ( Note: you won’t see READER on the other pages of the article, just the first page, but it pulls the entire article) . Great feature for students doing reports too!

    • klands01

      July 5, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Thanks for the tip! Very useful :)

  10. koolyoung

    June 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    We have become so lazy as a society that we can’t even click from 1-10 without complaining how difficult it is.

    • stanjeff

      June 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Some people call it laziness…others call it efficiency.

  11. Tomsmcdonald

    June 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Also check out personalized learning over time and personalized reinforcement over time for apple:
    This truly personalized learning technology delivers, over the iPad,truly personalized learning over time and truly personalized reinforcement over time (differentiated instruction and differentiated reinforcement, both over time)

    +More Stimulation per Minute of Study
    +300% Improvement in Retained Learning per Hour of Study
    +11% less study time, 22% less test time, and 95% higher test scores

    Proven benefits for all students, including ELL, special ed and below grade students in ELA and Math

    Software can be easily customized to provide personalized adaptive learning toolset for each student for subject(s) of choice

  12. hdickens

    June 24, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Take a look at the Naerpod if you are tired of just plain old PPT’s Nearpod let you add interactive questions that are aggregated in a spread sheet for the teacher.