iOS apps for schools and students

The following is a list of education-oriented apps gleaned from the best apps we have in our schools. If you have an app that you think would benefit schools in New Zealand, please let us know.

Prices quoted were accurate at the time of preparing this article. If you notice that the amounts have changed significantly, please let us know.

If you are using Apple School Manager (or you're still on the Volume Purchase Program) to purchase free apps below, make sure you choose a quantity that caters for the maximum growth of your school. This is because if the author chooses to start charging for the app, your free licenses will be yours to use (unless the app ID changes). There is also scaled pricing where the per-unit price for a paid app is reduced, so sometimes it's worth purchasing more licenses than you need.

One last thing... if you're still on the Volume Purchase Program, you really should consider moving to Apple School Manager... and to using the Device Enrolment Program (DEP). This way, if a device(s) is stolen, it will automatically get re-enrolled in your organisation when the good-for-nothing thief tries to wipe it to sell at the closest Cash Converters! If you need help with this, please let us know. Any Apple devices you purchase from us will automatically be enrolled in your DEP environment (if you've given us your DEP Organisation ID) which cuts down device setup time considerably.

  • Literacy and Language Apps
    • Hooked on Phonics: Learn & Read is a free app that is one of the most popular learn-to-read apps in the world. The app makes it fun and easy to become engaged in learning the techniques needed for reading by leveraging targetted games, songs and videos.
    • Duolingo is a free app for learning 35+ languages through quick, bite-sized lessons.
    • Starfall ABCs is a free app that takes a gamified approach to literacy by motivating through exploration, positive reinforcement and play.
    • Starfall Learn to Read is a free app that teaches students to read with Zac the Rat.
    • aTypo Picture is a free app, similar to WordFoto, which turns photos and words into amazing typographic works of art.
    • WordFoto is a paid app ($3.49 NZD) that turns photos and words into amazing typographic works of art.
    • Writing Wizard for Kids is a paid app ($8.99 NZD) that teaches the student how to trace letters, numbers and words through a fun system carefully designed to maintain motivation.
    • Rory's Story Cubes is a paid app ($3.49 NZD) that provides a fun and engaging way to create stories by presenting editable, dice-like story ideas to the student.
    • Languagenut Primary gives students what they need to improve their language skills in 21 world languages, including Māori, French, Italian, Indonesian and Japanese.
    • LetterSchool - Learn to Write! is a free app.
    • NZSL Dictionary is a free New Zealand Sign Language app.
    • Trace Letters & Sight Words is a freemium app that is designed to help students aged 2 - 8 learn to trace and write alphabets and words!
    • Epic - Kids' Books & Reading is a freemium app that gives students access to the world’s largest digital library for kids.
    • Book Creator for iPad is a paid app ($6.99 NZD) that lets the student author books.
    • Nessy Apps by Nessy Learning Limited are paid apps that teach phonics and vocabulary.
  • Numeracy Apps
    • Photomath is a free app that helps with basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and geometry. It works both online and offline and can use the iPad's camera to interpret and provide step-by-step instructions on how a particular problem can be solved.
    • Slader is a free app which delivers millions of step-by-step solutions to questions across a wide range of topics including mathematics, science and history.
    • Socratic by Google is a free app, powered by Google AI (Artificial Intelligence), which helps students understand their schoolwork by asking the app questions, which in turn finds the best online resources for learning the associated concepts.
    • Math Slide: Basic Facts is a paid app ($4.99 NZD) that teaches students addition, subtraction, multiplication & division number facts through games. It incorporates the games in Math Slide: Addition & Subtraction and Math Slide: Multiply & Divide.
    • Math Slide: Place Value is a paid app ($4.99 NZD) and teaches students the place value of numbers up to 1,000. It contains the same games as Math Slide: tens & ones and Math Slide: Hundreds, tens & ones.
    • MyScript Calculator is a paid app ($4.99 NZD) which translates the student's handwriting into digital text and provides the answers for the problem.
    • Bubble Maths Lite is a free app that tests the student's maths skills in a gamified fashion.
  • Art/Media/Design Apps
    • Linea Sketch is a simple free app that allows students to explore the digital artist inside of them. It can also be used for note-taking. Perhaps one of the best features is that it works seamlessly with the Apple Pencil.
    • Pixelmator is a paid app ($8.99 NZD) similar to Photoshop which allows the student to tweak and enhance pictures.
    • How to Draw - Simple Lessons is a free app that teaches the drawing of cartoons, animals, nature and various other images.
    • TouchCast Studio is a free app that allows students to record a video, edit clips, and add dynamic, interactive features like soundtracks, graphics, and web pages directly from their iPad.
    • Toontastic 3D is a free app that allows students to draw, animate and narrate their own cartoons.
    • Puppet Pals HD Director's Pass is a paid app ($6.99 NZD) that teaches puppeteering and voicing characters while creating movies to share. It is a considerably more feature-rich version of Puppet Pals HD.
    • Green Screen by Do Ink is a paid app ($8.99 NZD) that allows students to create their own movies by simplifying the green screen process.
  • Social Science/Studies
    • WWF Together is a free app by the World Wildlife Fund that teaches students about amazing animals from around the world.
    • WWF Free Rivers is a free augmented reality app by the World Wildlife Fund that teaches students about rivers and the impact various environmental changes might have on them.
  • Coding Apps
    • Tynker is a free app that helps students learn how to code by turning it into a game. Students can undertake a range of activities from building games and apps, modifying Minecraft, programming drones, controlling robots, and even exploring STEM.
    • codeSpark Academy is a free app that helps students aged 4-10 to learn in a fun and engaging way with no reading skills necessary.
    • Box Island is a free app which teaches the fundamentals of coding through play.
    • ScratchJr is a free app for children (ages 5-7) to learn important new skills as they program their own interactive stories and games.
  • Learning Tools
    • Kahoot is a freemium app that allows for custom (self-made) or ready-to-play (made by someone else) quizzes for any topic study. It collates the answers from the whole class and provides a gamified method of assessing student understanding of the topic at hand.
    • StudyBlue is a free flash-card-like app that allows students to take notes in their own way on a variety of topics.
    • Curious is a free learning app that provides video lessons on a wide range of topics across Aesthetics, Humanities, Mind / Body, Music, Play, Relationships, STEM and Work.
    • Nebo: Take notes is a freemium app that allows students to create handwritten notes and diagrams, sketch ideas and import images, and then convert their work to clean, editable and shareable content.
    • Cargo-Bot is a free puzzle app where you teach a robot how to move crates. It is a game about programming, programmed entirely on an iPad
    • KanDo: Fine Motor Skills is a free app designed for iPhone that is designed to challenge the student to perform some simple but interesting tasks requiring a good level of hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, steadiness and speed.
    • Dexteria Jr. - Fine Motor Skill Development is a paid app ($9.99 NZD), geared to preschoolers, that helps to develop fine motor skills.
    • Osmo Shape Builder is a free STEM app (if you have an Osmo add-on device) that teaches students everything about geometrical shapes and how to build them.
  • Collaboration/Learning Management Apps
    • ClassDojo is a free app that provides a gamified view of the class to the teacher, the students and also to the parent community. It builds a positive classroom culture by encouraging students and communicating with parents.
    • Seesaw Class is a free app which allows students to demonstrate and share their learning. The student's contributions can also be shared with their family through the use of the Seesaw Parent and Family app.
    • Edmodo is a free app that provides a more traditional Learning Management System (similar to ClassDojo) that also allows for communication with parents.
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