Essential iPad Apps in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what apps are essential to your life and education at school? Here is the list.


Annonymous 7th graders in action, supervised by Ms. Van Alstyne.

Notability – digital note taking app. (price $2.99)*

Box – access to cloud storage. (free)

Pages – word processing/publishing software for iOS. (free with iOS 7)

iMovie – movie editing software. (free with iOS 7)

Gmail – access to student email accounts via Google app. (free)

Google Drive – access to Google Drive cloud storage for editing, collaborating and sharing work. (free)

Keynote – presentation creation software. (free with iOS 7)

Destiny Quest – our library catalog and book reservations. (free)

QR Reader – for scanning QR codes. (free)

Canvas – access to learning management system by Instructure.Canvas (we are currently piloting this LMS in middle school). (free)

Safari – web browsing and research. (free, built into iOS)

GarageBand – music creation and editing. (free with iOS 7)

Blio – book reading app. (free)

Meraki MDM – our mobile device management app, let’s manage the iPads and distribute apps. (free)

Educreations – a simple white board and screen recording presentation app. (free)

Adobe Ideas – for drawing, mind mapping, note taking, annotating pdfs and doodling. (free)

Free Graphing Calculator – self explanatory. (free)

Facetime – video conference and chatting service. (free, built into iOS)

iBooks – book reading app. (free)

Messages formerly iMessage – instant messaging service built into iOS. (free, built into iOS)

App Store – the place where all of the apps come from. 🙂 (free, built into iOS)

The next question I asked: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Check back for the answers.

*Many paid apps are eligible for a discount through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.

I wrote this post originally for the Allendale Columbia School blog –

7th Grade – S.W.I.M. (Student Work Information Management) Student Perspective

In our Digital Literacy classes 7th graders have been working on two problems.

  1. Getting all students to engage or participate in class discussions.
  2. Homework management.

Students are investigating what works, what doesn’t, and how to incorporate their iPads into a system that helps to solve both problems.

11.30.13, Guest post by 7th grader Nicole:

In Digital Literacy 7, we have been figuring out a solution for putting all our homework assignments in one place, even if the teachers do not have a google calendar. Many fellow students of mine have chosen to simply “copy and paste” the assignments into their calendar everyday. Is this the only solution, or is there something easier? This is what we are trying to figure out. By doing so, we are making it easier to answer the simple, but effective question: What’s tonight’s homework? I like this because it makes it easier to find out what is for homework. I don’t understand why we have to go through the process of copying and pasting the homework for one class every morning, only because we would have to get to the teachers website either way. This doesn’t make it any easier because some teachers change their homework.

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