iPad Tips and Tricks

Must-Have iPad Apps for Content Creation

iPad apps
Written by Lori Gracey

Make these free iPad apps available to your students for whenever they need to showcase their learning. They’re perfect for content creation.

With more than 1.3 million iPad apps now available in the App Store, it can be difficult for a busy educator to find the best ones for a particular lesson or purpose. But don’t worry; with TCEA, you’ve got this! Below is our list of absolutely must-have iPad apps for when students (or educators) need to showcase their learning with content creation. The apps take a variety of inputs, from audio to stories to digital images, which is great for differentiation. And they’re all free!

Adobe Spark Video – Pick from over 25,000 beautiful, iconic images to show your ideas and Spark will automatically add cinematic motion and a soundtrack.

Doodle Buddy for iPad – A longtime TCEA favorite, this app lets you finger paint with thousands of colors and drop in playful stamps. It has lots of cool drawing tools: paintbrush, glitter, chalk, text, stencils, smudge, and more. You can also draw on photos and drawings of your own. The free version includes ads.

Popplet Lite – With Popplet, you can capture your ideas and sort them visually in real time. This app is great for mind mapping and brainstorming, along with creating galleries and class notes. The lite version limits you to just one popplet at a time saved.

Puppet Pals HD – Create your own unique shows with animation and audio in real time! Simply pick out your actors and backdrops, drag them on to the stage, and tap record. Your movements and audio will be recorded in real time for playback later. The free version includes one background/theme. There is also a newer version of the app called Puppet Pals 2.

Quipio – Create amazing messages in a poster format by adding your own photos or drawings and text. Very simple to use.

Shadow Puppets EDU – Easily create videos in the classroom. Students as young as five can make videos to tell stories, explain ideas, or document their learning.

Sock Puppets – Sock Puppets lets you create your own lip-synched videos and share them on Facebook and YouTube. Limited backgrounds are included; additional may be purchased.

TeleStory – This fun app lets you create your own TV show with a theme, script, digital costumes, animation, voice recording, and more.

Toontastic 3D – Toontastic is a creative learning tool that empowers kids to draw, animate, and share their own cartoons through imaginative play. Making cartoons with Toontastic is as easy as putting on a puppet show – simply press the record button, move your characters onscreen, and tell your stories through play! Once you’re done, Toontastic will play back your animation and voice as a cartoon for you to share with friends and family around the world. The free version contains one background/theme.

Trading Cards – Using the on-screen questions as prompts, students can create trading cards of real or fictional people, places, objects, historical events, vocabulary words, and more.

VoiceThread – Create and share dynamic conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams, and videos — basically anything there is to talk about. You can talk, type, and draw right on the screen. The app is free with additional in-app purchases available. Five VoiceThreads may be made with this app.

And one more that’s not strictly educational, but certainly is fun and engaging and gets your creativity going. Let’s Create! Pottery HD Lite – I love this app! Making ceramics has never been more simple and fun. Become a true artist and create “one of a kind” pottery items and share them with your friends. The lite version contains fewer add-ons and decorations.


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About the author

Lori Gracey

Lori Gracey has 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and is responsible for training technology directors, administrators, curriculum supervisors, and teachers across the country. During her nine years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building, and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members. She serves more than 17,000 members and oversees a staff of 21. Lori is also on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives and SXSWedu and recently served as the Regional Program Chair for the ISTE 2017 Convention in San Antonio.

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