The iPad Toolkit for Learning?



It is interesting to reflect how this simplification of iPad key tools has changed in a relatively short space of time. iWork suite aside, you could purchase the above apps for less than the cost of a textbook and have a model that could enhance learning with the right application.

For those educators who are using iPads in the classroom, the suggestions above will be nothing new. The hope is that other educators will not feel overwhelmed by the diagram and actually view a number of core apps as manageable for their own learning curve.

It must be said that there are a number of applications that I could happily add to the diagram that would be useful for the toolkit. For example, Showbie (a way of collecting, assessing and handing back student work) would certainly meet the requirements of many iPad learning environments. The point is that less than 15 apps can be a starting point for learning, with the substitution of applications based on the learner’s needs and educator’s requirements. I have had many conversations with educators who feel that the pedagogical shift and adaptation to the new technology can be intimidating. The diagram above serves to reduce that feeling and start a conversation moving forward with increased technology use in the classroom.


You will notice that Google Drive and Explain Everything are an integral part of the learning process. A centralised store with the ability to share folders and information is crucial for educators and students alike. Google Drive has been chosen as it allows 30GB of free storage for every user. You must be registered as a Google Apps For Education institution.

Explain Everything serves as a platform to enhance and demonstrate learning. It has been written about many times as the go-to app for education. However, it is only as good as the user. The educator can record screencasts, transform feedback and personalise learning with it. Students can demonstrate learning, collaborate, create and feedback as well as export their work to their required destination.

The rest of the tools have creation and collaboration at their core alongside the assessment for learning with feedback mechanisms. It is my intention to blog about these processes, as their use develops in our own 1:1 iPad environment and I welcome any input. Any of the apps recommended above are well worth looking into and are suggested after much discussion and debate.

(Incidentally, I am a firm believer that Augmented Reality will play a significant role in education. Consequently I am using Aurasma to enhance learning in the classroom. I would have included it in this toolkit but feel I need to explore its potential a little further. Needless to say, it is well worth looking into if you are fortunate enough to have the technology available).

-with thanks to Greg Hughes @deepexperience1

About Daniel Edwards
Director of Innovation & Learning at the Stephen Perse Foundation schools, Cambridge, UK ( Interested in global connectivity for all and risk taking in education. Keen to discuss all aspects of learning and digital strategy. Also @syded06 on twitter.

29 Responses to The iPad Toolkit for Learning?

  1. Pingback: Technology Bits Bytes & Nibbles | The iPad Toolkit for Learning?

  2. Khorshed says:

    I look forward to your blogs, especially around flipped learning, something that I have just started exploring with my trainee teachers.

  3. spiketown says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Yes I concur with your sentiments that the ‘basic’ apps that you need to support learning are pretty cheap. I was working with Normanby Primary on their latest roll out this week and the basic image cost less than £12.50 (with the VPP discount). It gives all the data gathering, sharing, sorting, presenting etc etc tools that you could need.
    I agree totally with your inclusion of Explain Everything in several roles. I would also add another role. Based on a constructivist theory of learning (as a rounded term for all of its nuanced variations), Explain Everything becomes that gathering place for information that can then be manipulated externally, often in a social context, and the revisited and built upon as learning develops over time. The analogy I use with children is a data hoover and second brain rolled into one. A brain that never forgets and can often be manipulated more easily than a child’s own brain! It is particularly this aspect of how mobile technologies fit into existing theories of learning that my current MA study is looking at in more detail. As ever I try to catalogue many of these experiences at:

    Keep up the good work/blog!

    • Thank you for commenting once again. I hadn’t thought of Explain Everything in this context. Look forward to debating it further. Thanks for the link to your work too.

  4. I also believe that Augmented Reality will play a huge part in education – some people look at you as though you are crazy, but like winter, I know it is coming (:

  5. Also, thanks for this diagram- this is useful when dealing with people who say “schools buy iPads and they don’t even know why”.

  6. stephanie says:

    Great resources and ides. What did you use to make the graphic?

  7. Mark Allen says:

    This is an excellent piece of work, Daniel, and one which will I suspect be of great help to many teachers, and yet I feel a certain amount of disquiet at the way this is so focussed on one particular manufacturer’s ecosystem. I spend a lot of time in the small primary school where I’m a governor trying to get the kids to the point where they are device-agnostic. We’ve had iPads for over three years now, but they are just one tool in a range of possibilities and we want to encourage the kids to make their own tool selection. What we’ve found is that this leads to them picking a tablet for enquiry and consumption, and a device with a keyboard when they come to write that up in their blog. The same with software and services – they may never have seen MS Office when they get to high school, but they’re not at all fazed.
    I can’t help thinking that the iPad/apps model, with its emphasis on specific apps for specific functions, may look a little tired soon, although I get the impression that you get this because you seem more interested in processes and workflow than on specific programmes.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Mark. You’ll notice that Google Drive is central to my thinking so I really do try to use the most appropriate tools. iTunes U and iBooks Author really are the best tools for the job at this moment. Time will tell.

  8. Pingback: The iPad Toolkit for Learning? | Thomas C. Adams

  9. Nick says:

    File Browser as a work flow app is brilliant. If Google Plus is working for you it is not really needed however our security does not allow any cloud based services to work properly. We have File Browser on all 30 of our student iPads which are shared devices. It allows students to easily access their student folder on our server. Work flow between iPads and PC is no longer an issue. $5.50 (VPP price $2.25), no software required on school network, scans for available network, once found use password/username that you would normally use on PC and you’re connected. Teachers also use to connect their iPads with their personal PCs. Brilliant!

  10. Pingback: The iPad Toolkit for Learning? | STEM Readings

  11. holcunator says:

    I am really interested in using airplay next year. I plan on purchasing a Apple TV as soon as I have access to funds.

  12. rhp123 says:

    Daniel some great content on your blog. An excellent toolkit graphic. Thanks

  13. Pingback: The iPad Toolkit for Learning? | Technology Integration Showcase

  14. Pingback: iPad Toolkit » RethinK

  15. Pingback: The iPad Toolkit for Learning? | Jeremy Chen's Blogs on CLTL--Chinese Language Teaching and Learning

  16. fbartoli says:

    Reblogged this on limfablog and commented:
    Nice toolkit, thanks for sahring.

  17. sabinaminuto says:

    L’ha ribloggato su sabinaminutoe ha commentato:
    Interessante proposta per condividere lavoro con gli studenti tramite le App su Ipad.

  18. Pingback: Apple & Educación » Recursos y flujo de trabajo con iPad

  19. Pingback: The iPad Toolkit for Learning? | International Ed. Tech. Guy

  20. Wendy Swarbrick says:

    Dear Daniel, your colleagues made me very welcome 2 years ago when Lancing were embarking on same iPad route. Convergent evolution, only big difference is we use VLE (Firefly) to keep blogs, handing in work etc in house. And developing CBB for work collation. Best wishes, Wendy

  21. Pingback: Technology in PE | PGCEPhysicalEducation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 20,771 other followers

%d bloggers like this: