Last week it was interesting to see this video clip from the BBC highlighting the tech-savvy story of The Essa Academy in Bolton, a place that’s taken a huge step towards creating a ‘bookless school’. Every student and member of staff has been issued an iPad and all school work is carried out the little miracles, students can take them home for homework and revision and even email their teacher any time they’re stuck (no rest for the wicked eh?).

The Academy says integrating the devices into school has ‘helped students and cut costs’, including reducing the school’s whopping £80,000 photocopying bill to just £15,000 a year.

With that in mind, here are my top ten educational apps for teachers and students available on the iPad, feel free to chip in with your suggestions if you know something I don’t.


Fakebook:  The educational form of Facebook. A fantastic site which facilitates interesting class projects, collaborations, discussion boards, assignments, parent communication and so much more. Great website for students which allows them to collaborate in real time using a pretty nifty digital sticky note system. Works well for discussing homework and working through joint projects.

Fotobabble: Interesting app which uses photos and voice memos to create excellent sensory slideshows – great for students working on presentations.

Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Helps busy teachers keep on track of everything that happens in the classroom – student behaviour, interactions and achievements can quickly and easily be documented in real time and reports can be sent to parents and staff over email. Also great for organising those important documents that clutter up the classroom.

Magic Piano: This app can be used to educate younger students on the basics of piano without the need to buy expensive pianos and keyboards! Magic Piano comes pre-loaded with tons of sheet music ranging from beginner’s pieces to more intricate classics.

3D Brain: Slightly gory but intriguing app that shows students how each brain region functions, what happens when it’s injured and the impact of mental illness. Case studies and links to modern research are integrated into each detailed section of the app. Great fun.

Star Walk: Amazing virtual planetarium. Simply point your iPad at the sky and see what stars, planets, constellations and satellites you’re seeing in real-time. Great for budding Brian Coxes…

Poll Everywhere: Simple to learn and oh-so easy to use, teachers can create multiple choice or open-ended assessments or surveys using Poll Everywhere.

iStudiez Pro: Sanctuary for disorganised students, iStudiez organises all your hectic study schedules. Take control with this user-friendly app, managing class times, homework, lectures and anything else that makes up your day.

Study Blue: Offers students the chance to get creative with revision by making online flashcards. Works really well for revising on the go or cramming on the morning of exams.

That’s yer’ lot – if you are a teacher or student and you think I’ve missed any important apps out please use the comment box to share your suggestions.

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