iPad Apps for Middle School

ipad in middle school

The following is a list of iPod and iPad apps that can be used in middle school learning environments. I’ll keep this updated as I find new apps that could be useful!

All Subjects/General/Productivity

Note Taking

  • Note Taker HD – An app for writing handwritten notes, diagrams, etc.
  • Sundry Notes Pro – Sundry Notes is the first social note taking application. Write, draw, record and research right within the app – and then share your notes with others.Take notes right within your application, including: Write text (and change font color, size, etc.), draw anywhere in your notes, search Wikipedia, Google, and Google Books – and grab images from them for your notes using two fingers, Import PDFs from the internet, Import images from your photo library, record sound/voice, Change page background to graph paper, lined paper, legal paper, etc.
  • CourseNotes – Take notes in class and keep them organized by subject area.
  • MindNode – Mind mapping, brainstorming, organization.
  • iThoughtsHD – A mind map tool for the iPad
  • Inspiration Maps – This App is ideal for brainstorming, analyzing, and organizing information. If you are familiar with the desktop version of Inspiration, this is a great port to the iPad
  • Evernote – Evernote turns the iPad into an extension of your brain, helping you remember anything and everything that happens in your life.
  • Stick It – Sticky Notes with Bump™ – Sticky notes you can share with other iPad Users
  • WritePad for iPad – WritePad lets you take notes in your own handwriting with an iPad stylus, pen, or even your finger

Flash Cards

  • Cramberry – Create flash cards to study from
  • gFlash+ Flashcards & Tests – Create flashcard decks from Google Docs with this handy app!
  • Brainscape – Make your own flashcard decks with this easy to use app!
  • Evernote Peek – An innovative and interactive twist on traditional flash cards
  • A+ FlashCards Pro – Flashcard app with a beautiful interface and the content of Quizlet!


  • Adobe Ideas – a digital sketchbook
  • SketchBook Pro – A professional-grade paint and drawing application.
  • Brushes – Brushes is a painting application designed from scratch for the iPad. Featuring an advanced color picker, several realistic brushes, multiple layers, extreme zooming, and a simple yet deep interface, it is a powerful tool for creating original artwork on your mobile device. The June 1, 2009 cover of The New Yorker was created in Brushes.
  • Van Gogh HD – A virtual gallery of Vincent Van Gogh’s work featuring hundreds of high definition paintings of his greatest works.
  • Klimt HD – A virtual gallery of Austrian Painter Gustav Klimt work featuring hundreds of high definition paintings of his greatest works.
  • Da Vinci HD – A virtual gallery of Leonardo da Vinci’s work featuring hundreds of high definition paintings of his greatest works.
  • Smudge – Finger painting app
  • Skrambler X – Assemble famous masterpieces like a jigsaw puzzle. Learn interesting facts about the artists and their artwork while putting each piece in place.
  • Gravilux – an app that lets you draw with stars
  • The Hot Rod Art Book: Masters of Chicken Scratch – Over 100 pages of hot rod artwork. Over one and a half hours of instructional videos that show the complete process from sketch to rendering.
  • ArtStudio – Similar to Sketchbook Pro – a professional drawing / painting application
  • ArtRage – Similar to Sketchbook Pro – painting and drawing tools that work just like the real thing!


  • HD Solar System – Highly graphic encyclopedia that has detailed and comprehensive information about the solar system
  • GoSkyWatch Planetarium – Easily and quickly identify and locate stars, planets, constellations and more with a touch or by simply pointing to the sky. Have fun with family and friends discovering the images in the night sky. Go outside and explore the night sky
  • Star Walk – An interactive astronomy guide
  • Solar Walk – A 3D Solar System Model
  • Distant Suns – A database of over 130,000 stars, nebula, and galaxies
  • DrakeEQ HD – 3D simulation of the Milky Way Galaxy


  • MathStudio – MathStudio is the most comprehensive math app available for iPhone and iPad. Whether you need a simple calculator to do your finances or a replacement for your TI graphing calculator, MathStudio is the most powerful and versatile calculator available
  • PocketCAS pro – Advanced Graphic and Symbolic Scientific Calculator. Handles every mathematical problem you might encounter in school or university
  • PocketCAS lite – Free Graphic calculator. Not as many features as the pro version above
  • Quick Graph – Free 2D and 3D graphing calculator


  • Magic Piano – Play timeless pieces on spiral and circular keyboards, or follow beams of light – mastery requires only imagination. Play alone, or travel through a warp hole and play Piano Roulette with other performers across the world
  • Fashion Sketchbook: The Stylish Dress Up Game – A fashion design application that allows the users to design outfits

ESE Modifications/Accommodations

Foreign Language


Language Arts/Reading

  • iBooks – a ereader book store
  • Book Creator – Create your own iBooks right on the iPad. (Allows everything except video)
  • Free Books – 23,469 Classics to Go
  • Reading Trainer – This app teaches you how to train your eyes and brain to read and comprehend text faster. Think of it as exercise for your reading skills
  • Dictionary.com – Dictionary & Thesaurus – A dictionary and a Thesaurus
  • Literary Analysis Guide – Elements of literature are arranged graphically around three wheels (poetry, prose, and rhetoric)
  • Kindle – Kindle is an eReader from Amazon.com
  • Shakespeare Pro – Complete works of Shakespeare. 41 plays, 154 sonnets, and 6 poems. All works can be cross searched for anything
  • Jules Verne Collection – Sixteen of Jules Verne’s books
  • MaxJournal – A simple and elegant journal
  • Essay Grader – Provide feedback on essays with this easy to use app
  • LitCharts – Link to LitCharts website. Each of the LitCharts are available on the iPad


  • Alge-Bingo – Develop your algebraic equation solving skills through playing a Bingo game. This game takes you step by step through the process of learning how to solve the most basic equation up through multiple-step equations
  • Algebra Touch – An amazingly easy App that allows you to refresh your knowledge of Algebra with an interface designed for iOS devices
  • The Ruler – measure things in inches or centimeters
  • Math Quizzer – (iPhone app) Math Quizzer is an interactive and fun way to, not only learn, but also to boost your skills in; Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. It offers an easy to understand chalkboard visual, which keeps track of your “score” as you progress
  • Mastering Mathematics Grade 6 – A mathematics practice book for 6th grade students
  • Mastering Mathematics Grade 7 -A mathematics practice book for 7th grade students.
  • Bloomberg – Bring the power of the most trusted source for financial information to your iPad, along with tools to help you analyze the world’s markets.
  • Fractals – Move and pinch fractals in real time
  • Geometry Stash – Access the most commonly used theorems, postulates, and corollaries



  • 3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool – Learn about the cell and its structures in a 3D tool
  • EMD PTE – A highly interactive periodic table of elements
  • Bobo Explores Light – A great app that explores 21 in-depth topics including lasers, telescopes, lightning, reflection, bioluminescence, and sunlight
  • Powers of Minus Ten – Allows you to interactively zoom into a human hand and explore it in a 3D environment
  • AP Biology Vocabulary Review – All of the vocabulary included in the College Board AP Biology Course
  • VideoScience – Science experiments with video
  • The Elements: A Visual Exploration – If you think you’ve seen the periodic table, think again. The Elements: A Visual Exploration lets you experience the beauty and fascination of the building blocks of our universe in a way you’ve never seen before. And as the first really new ebook developed from the ground up for iPad, The Elements beautifully shows off the capabilities of this lovely device
  • Newtons Laws – Explains Newton’s first two laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation
  • Periodic Table of the Elements – Standard periodic table of elements. Free as of May 16, 2010
  • Molecules – View and manipulate 3D renderings of molecules
  • 3D Brain – Rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures in the brain
  • Science Glossary – an extensive glossary of scientific terms and biographies
  • Physics – Mechanics – An app that contains a series of exercises based on physics
  • Vernier Video Physics – 2012 CODiE Awards Finalist – Best Educational Use of a Mobile Device — Video Physics brings physics video analysis to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Take a video of an object in motion, mark its position frame by frame, and set up the scale using a known distance. Video Physics then draws trajectory, position, and velocity graphs for the object. Share video, graphs and data via the Camera Roll, email, and iTunes. Open in Vernier Graphical Analysis for iPad or with your computer running Vernier’s Logger Pro software. Open with Dropbox or Google Drive to store your data file in the cloud
  • HD Birds Encyclopedia – Highly graphic encyclopedia that has detailed and comprehensive information about a variety of birds
  • Learn Muscles : Anatomy Quiz & Reference – A great reference, testing and education tool. Includes 141 beautiful muscle images with name, action, origin, insertion and comments, plus audio pronunciation guide, a quiz maker, an action viewer and 6 short videos to create a rich learning experience
  • HD Marine Life – An encyclopedia of marine life
  • Frog Dissection – A virtual frog dissection app

Social Studies

  • U.S. Geography by Discovery Education – Become an expert in U.S. Geography with this app. Dozens of videos and interactive gameplay
  • Civil War America’s Epic Struggle-Civil War: America’s Epic Struggle Features over 1,000 high-res photos, more than an hour of multimedia presentations, in excess of 100 authentic maps, dozens of first hand accounts, and numerous text articles and biographies, it provides instantaneous access to information on every aspect of the war
  • Beautiful Planet HD – Beautiful Planet is a groundbreaking app that captures the breathtaking beauty of our world and its cultures. Featuring a collection of galleries three decades in the making by travel photographer, author and explorer, Peter Guttman, Beautiful Planet spans seven continents and 160 countries
  • World Atlas HD – The best maps available from National Geographic
  • History:Maps of World – Collection of High-Resolution historical Maps
  • USA Thematic Atlas & Facts – High quality maps filled with facts and information!
  • USA Puzzle – A USA puzzle that needs to be put together. Double tap on the state for information about that state
  • Motionx GPS HD – Maps and navigation instruments. Maps from all over the world. Can include waypoints. Can be good for Geocaching
  • The History Clock – An app that converts the current time to a year and gives a fast fact about that year
  • The World Factbook for iPad – Extensive information of over 250 countries around the world
  • WORLD BOOK – This Day in History – Interactive multimedia calendar that features historical events for the day
  • The Presidency – Historical information on every President of the United States
  • Presidents HD– Historical information on every President of the United States!
  • Declaration for iPad – A copy of the Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution for iPad – A copy of the Constitution of the United States
  • MyCongress – A portal to detailed information about elected congress officials. Please note: This is not an official government resource
  • GeogXPert – A reference app – containing maps which allow you to look up countries and find country information – as well as a quiz app

Many of the applications described here come from the wiki being published by the Palm Beach Schools

42 thoughts on “iPad Apps for Middle School

  1. Hello,
    Great list and very helpful for folks to see. We have rolled out roughly 480 iPads to our students in K-12 and have found the impact to be pretty significant. It all came together in about 90 days which was a challenge, but well worth the effort. Apps to add may be iStudiez Pro (hwk appa) and studio pro a great art app. Thanks for the list and sharing.



    • Thanks so much Pete. Congratulations on the iPad implementation. If you feel like it I’m sure the people that read this blog would love to hear more about your experience – and the impact you refer to above. FYI – I’ve added your suggestions to the list!

  2. Please check out Sorobacus and Sorobacus HD on Apple App Store. This app is designed for Students who want to learn Abacus and Soroban. Sorobacus HD teaches addition and subtraction using a method known as Mechanization.

  3. Pingback: Blog: “iPad in Schools” Review of apps for elementary, middle and secondary classrooms | Sharehouse

  4. Pete,
    I am opening an new middle school campus that will be 1:1 with ipads. We would be interested in a list of dos/don’ts and how you rolled out the ipads to your students.

  5. How exactly are teachers using the ipad in a day to day classroom setting? I planned to make use of my wiki as a home base for students to put “work” that they do on the ipad for my assessment, their ability to collaborate and for parent viewing. However, it doesn’t work well for page editing in the wiki. Are there suggestions to get around this or how are teachers incorporating the ipad into their actual lessons?????

  6. For teachers, download Groovy Grader on the iPhone or iPad for a great EZ Grader app, no need for the paper slider anymore!

    • I would like to second groovy grader. This app filled a much needed spot on the market. One of the best teacher apps out there.

  7. Hello. I have an opportunity to get an iPad to try with my students. I would just have the one and am looking for ideas for ways to use it in this unique way. Any thoughts/ideas on apps would be appreciated. I teach middle school Language Arts and Computers. Thank you!

    • What a great opportunity. I’m sure some of the other readers will have additional suggestions but here’s a wacky idea you might want to try. Ask a small group of students to do some research on iPad applications for Language Arts. I’m assuming you have access to a computers as a computer teacher. If you have wifi access you can have the students use the iPad for that research. Ask the students to come up with 6 options (or more). Encourage them to stretch their creativity to see which apps might be fun – and which apps might teach them interesting things. Have them identify the apps they like and tell you why they would want them. If you have a few dollars, buy the apps they suggest and then let them, or another small group of students give these apps a “test run” to see which one they really like – and would really want to use to learn from.

      Please share the results of this ‘experiment’ with the rest of us!

      • At my middle school we have been really successful in having students use show me to create lessons in multiple disciplines.

        As a language arts teacher I also really like toontastic. It show the plot line of stories and has students create their own.

        Since I only have one in my class the thing I have used most is Doceri. That way I can walk around the class and still write on the board.

        Overall it has changed the way I think about lessons.

  8. Hello,

    I have been a math teacher for 10 years and I have always been interested in technologies role in education. Recently I created a Pre Algebra, Algebra Readiness and Algebra full course video instructional iphone and ipad apps called Take Back Math. take Back Algebra, Take Back Pre Algebra and Take Back Algebra Readiness. It will be available in the app store in a few days but you can see teh website at http://www.takebackmath.com. These lessons have all been created by a full credentialled teacher; me!

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  10. hi! i am doing a report on this for school and completly support it. my backpack is 25 pounds and people don’t realize that kids backs KILL at the end of the day. please include this on somewhere because it is a huge concern and also the ipads would be 2.8 pounds, not twenty five with only three books in it. thank you sooo much!

  11. I noticed that under the Foreign Language section, there weren’t any apps for Spanish. I would like to see something with interactive games for 5th and 6th graders. Any suggestions?

  12. Hi all-
    I’m a teaching artist in SC, and after 8 years of integrating creative writing across the curriculum, I published the app “Pencils, Words & Kids “with Sutro Media of San Fran. Somebody using the apple edu discount just ordered 30 copies, so I am really excited about getting it out there– because creative writing is like weightlifting, every repetition makes you stronger.

    PW&K is good for all ages, like a one room school house:

    Mr. Kaufman, thanks for such a helpful site.
    – Lisa Annelouise Rentz
    Beaufort SC

  13. Our middle school science interactive books for the iPad have recently been approved by Apple in the US, Canada, and Europe. We are providing a limited number of promo codes to teachers/admin interested in trying one. We’d like to have the opportunity to be listed here. More info. can be found at – http://www.werkzpublishing.com

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  16. The Evernote website states “Evernote complies with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)…. Evernote is not currently directed to children and we currently require users to verify that they are at least 13 years of age upon registration.” We are about to start a 1:1 in a middle school, but we’ve found many apps like this that won’t allow users under 13. How do you deal with this?

    • That’s a really good question. I would contact the company directly and let them know what you are wanting to do and see what you can work out. I can imagine, at least in the case of a product like Evernote, they would welcome the use of their application in schools. I know it’s not where they are going to make money today but it sure could be a great asset to you people in their learning process.

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  18. For language arts teachers, I would like to recommend our new apps for improving writing through grammar. The common core calls upon teachers to teach students grammar to support writing not as an isolated subject. Our apps address how knowledge of grammar structure can support writing. We use the fun of a drag and drop touch screen to analyze and play with language in ways that captivate and engage students. Our website provides many lesson plans to blend the apps with classroom writing projects. Search us on the app store under our company name “theWRITEapp” or visit or website http://www.getthewriteapp.com.

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  25. I am a special educator at Eastwood International School in Beirut, Lebanon. I teach Science for students with learning difficulties. I will download some of the recommended app. that will help my students and motivate them .

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