iPad app and online resources guide

With well over 2 million iPad apps on the App Store, teachers can be overwhelmed by choice and are sometimes unsure of how to determine the apps that are most valuable for learning. As we worked through the pandemic, we also found that a lot of app developers and online educational resource providers were promoting their content; in many cases, free for a period of time. We realised we needed to support our teachers with some guidelines and recommendations.

With a focus on value for student learning, we are very careful about the apps we approve for student use, essentially looking to promote native iPad apps with the addition of a series of curated apps for various learning purposes. The attached PDF pages are part of a more detailed internal document that is shared with all Junior School teachers for their awareness of our app recommendations. As an ePub, the full document opens in Books on Mac and iPad and each category on the overview page links to further details outlining each app's value. 

The final page (also included) is a flowchart (of sorts) to guide teachers in decision making about quality online resources. We have printed the overview page and website guide for teacher staff spaces as quick visual reference points.

The link to the app request form at the top of the overview page will not work externally, so has been deleted from this copy. When apps are requested, we investigate app features, considering the following questions:

  • Is there a cost/ in-app purchase?
  • Is there distracting or possibly problematic advertising in the app?
  • Does the app require students to create accounts and where are their details stored?
  • Who is the app developer and what other apps are part of their platform?
  • What is the App Store category and age recommendation?

The form essentially includes these questions and a few others around budget for licensed apps if needed. 

This is not a static guide, we have changed it a few times since developing the original in 2020. I am always interested in what others are doing and any recommendations. Do you have a similar guide in your school?


Tagged in: iPad, Apps

All Comments

Posted on November 19, 2022

Thanks for sharing this resource, Lisa! I found the flow chart to be really interesting. It seems like a useful tool to engage in conversation with teachers about the tools they're using the classroom and particularly about how they're intentionally considering learning outcomes and student data and privacy.

Posted on November 22, 2022

Beautiful resource, Lisa. A great way to build the critical thinking of staff in regard to purposeful (and safe) use of learning technologies.

Posted on November 29, 2022

Love this resource!

We have started a form that teachers have to fill in. It has the school's vision and a tick box to say if this app helps support the vision? Then tick boxes if the app is a passive, stimulation or creation app.

Posted on January 07, 2023

Fantastic resource! Thanks so much for sharing.

Posted on June 20, 2023

Very helpful, thank you!!

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