Ken Burns (no relation) is a fantastic storyteller who makes powerful documentaries about the American experience. His iPad app lets users access bite-sized clips from his films. These are perfect for using in the classroom to bring life to Social Studies content. I highly recommend watching all parts of his documentary on the National Parks system but a quick few minutes might be just enough for your students. The Innovation section of this app is free and the other sections can be unlocked with an in-app purchase.
I’ve shared some of my favorite educational programing for iPads and Smithsonian Channel is another worth checking out. Easy to navigate with a large variety of content, this free app has something for everyone. Hook students during a science or social studies lesson or help them build prior knowledge before exploring a new book.
This app is available for Android tablets.
Students of all ages can benefit from the study skills they’ll develop when using gFlash+ a free flashcard app for iOS (iPad/iPhone) and Android devices. gFlash+ lets users create and edit their own set of flashcards right from within the app without any limits or restrictions. You and your students can even add images from your camera or photo library, or a voice recording to each card. If you are savvy with Google Docs, gFlash+ gives users the option to upload a spreadsheet they’ve created and turn this information into flashcards. Teachers can also share flashcard sets with their entire class via email.
The latest version of gFlash+ includes a Matching Game study mode, an improved user interface, and full support for iOS 7. In-app purchases allow users to download decks from StudyStack or Quizlet.com, remove ads, and access a premium library of cards from McGraw-Hill, Barron’s, and other educational publishers.
The clean, easy to navigate interface makes this free study tool worth checking out!
You might be looking to keep children up to date on current events, help them build prior knowledge, or simply make connections to the world around them. With these free apps (for iOS and Android devices) you can stream videos straight from your device to share with students!
- Discovery Channel
- Khan Academy
- CNN & NPR
- Super Stretch Yoga
- NBC Nightly News
- TED Talks
- Congressional Moments
- History Channel
BONUS: Try out Frolyc to send video based lessons to your students’ iPads!
Whether you’re planning an outdoor excursion or just want to show off the National Parks to your students, check out National Geographic‘s fantastic free app: National Parks by National Geographic. With tons of information (and the option to upgrade for more) this app can be used for student research or inspiration!
Whether you’re looking for an enrichment activity for your math classroom or want to bring the Mayan Civilization to life for your students, Maya Numbers is a fantastic free app! Designed by a former archeologist and educator, MayaNumbers teaches students the history behind the number system used by this ancient civilization and they can practice their skills converting numbers.
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