iOS Apps for Administrators

Over the past few years, I have been collating and organizing extensive lists of applications and resources for Administrators. It seems like every time that I attend a conference, I add more apps and resources to my list. The Resources and Materials for school administrators is growing at a staggering pace. This list is an attempt to take all of the information and resources that I have collected through my consulting and Ed. Tech Roles and make them freely available to you all. If you have any questions about the apps or how I use them, please do not hesitate to contact me. As a teacher, professor, student, and administrator, I have been using iOS devices for many years. I am in the process of creating a shared space to access all of the resources I have created, and you can access my most recent pages from the iPads at School page.

 

Presentations and Resources:

Since this is also a presentation that I have given in the past: You can download PDF copies of my presentation by clicking here.

This PDF copy was created when I first did this talk at for the Verizon Foundation (as part of their Innovative Learning Schools Program). Since I was a consultant at the time, I actually created several presentations and resources at the same time. Those resources cover a range of programs and services feel free to take a look: Mobile Device Management, Khan Academy, Web-Enabled Devices in the Classroom, and Edmodo

Rather than bog down all of the resources on this page, Some of my source materials can be found here.

 

Apps and Websites:

When I initially created this list, it was one huge list of links and resources for administrators. Over the years, I grew in my ability as a web-designer and realized that lists of links are quite unfriendly. I am currently working on adding and increasing the visibility of this list. You will find that the lists are sorted into sections based upon specific criteria. In the navigation below, please select the title for the list you would like to see.

If you have an application that you would like for me to add to this list, feel free to contact me and I will add it to the list.

iOS AppsWeb AppsFor TeachersFor StudentsFor Networking

This is the heart of my talk – the iOS App list. Before you dig into the material, let me try to explain how an app makes it onto this list. First, it must be used! If I have been carrying it around for a year and have not touched it, I will not tell you that it is a good resource. Second, it must fill a niche. Many thousands of apps exist that do the same thing. You do not need Evernote, Awesome Note, SuperNote, and Notes; they all do the same thing. What you need is an app that allows you to take notes how you want to take them! The apps on this list are the apps that help me be a better administrator. Since every administrator has a different style, you will undoubtedly want different things from your iPad…

The Admin App List:
ApplicationCostCategoryDescription
Common Core Look Fors - Observation Tool$2.99ObservationsAllows administrators to tie classroom observations to the Common Core Look For's. This application is one of the best administrative apps on the market. Administrators can send real time reports to teachers that include video and photos from the lesson. This app is definitely worth the price.
Common Core Standards - ReferenceFreeStandardsEasy to navigate interface to reference the current Common Core Standards. No frills! This app does exactly what you would expect: shows you the standards. Do not expect a wonderful interface or large amount of additional features.
Edu Leader Handbook - Reference$4.99Tips/ToolsRuss Claus is a PhD Researcher who has collated a large amount of resources and information for administrators. This app uses an interactive method for presenting valuable research and methods for school administration. I tend to think of this app as the equivalent to Harry Wong's "First Day of School" but for administrators.
EvernoteFreeMultiPurposeI now use Evernote for Everything. I was a hold out for a really long time. Administrators can use Evernote for a wide range of purposes. As an Evernote School we use it significantly for everything we do!
iAuditor - ChecklistsFreeObservationsWhy is there an auditing app? Because administrators – by definition almost – need to manage and complete checklists. My previous schools have used this application to develop Observation checklists and quickly email PDF copies to Teachers. This app allows you to create easy-to-use checklists and observations.
Google Drive for iOSFreeDocumentsOne of the best parts of using google services is the speed of updates. This app is powerful if you are a Google Apps user. From the app it is easy to create and share documents from multiple google accounts (this is one of the newest features in the app).
Documents 5 - DocumentationFreeDocumentsDocuments 5 is the most recent version of the popular Documents app by Readdle. There are many applications designed to allow you to manipulate and edit documents. Documents 5 allows you to edit and maintain your documents from a wide range of sources (i.e. Google Drive). What sets Documents 5 apart form the competition is the ability to annotate PDF files and download files from the web.
OneDrive - File Sharing by MicrosoftFreeDocumentsJust so you know – this is a microsoft product – and it isn't bad. OneDrive is the successor to SkyDrive which allows you to easily share documents and images from your mobile device to any PC or Mac. Many institutions still use Microsoft and this is one of the best applications to allow you to maintain your Microsoft files.
Calendars 5 by Readdle - Organization$6.99OrganizationCalendars on the iPad can be a nightmare. Say hello to Calendars 5 – your wakeup call. I use calendars 5 because it allows me to import as many calendars as I need (even those crazy school event calendars). In one place I can access and invite all of my contacts and resources from all of my google and outlook identities.
iA Writer - Simple Text$4.99DocumentsIt is occasionally nice to have a simple text editor. iA Writer is just that – simple. You will find all of the features that you need to do some serious word processing displayed in a way that does not detract from what you need to do – write.
Wordpress - BloggingFreeBloggingWe can all joke around about how wordpress sucks – but most of us use it (even this site). Most of my schools have used wordpress for some of their web-presence. Each district does websites differently. Find an app that you will use and write some blogs!
Wordpress - Blogging$19.99BloggingSince we are talking about blogs… I have to mention Diet Coda. I use Coda2 for Mac and Diet Coda for iPad to ensure that my website is nice and the way I want it (hence me editing this page in Coda – right now).
30/30 - OrganizationFreeOrganizationMost of my job is managing time. With 30/30 I can manage my time more effectively. The timers and tools provided by 30/30 allow me to setup my morning schedules and keep them running on time. This is a great way to setup meetings – so that they do not run over and use the alotted times.
DocuSign Ink - DocumentsFreeDocumentsInk allows you to sign all those of those pieces of paper you used to carry around. Take a normal document and sign it with your finger – or with saved signatures. Need a discipline letter signed? Have the parents sign it on your iPad and automatically email them a copy.
Team Viewer - PresentationFreePresentationTeamViewer is a remote access applicaiton for your iPad. You can send/recieve files from any computer or mobile device to any other computer or mobile device. With this app you can become unchained from your laptop and leave it at home – turned on…
Keynote - Presentation$9.99PresentationKeynote is one of the must have productivity apps for iPad. No other presentation app is as robust and allows as much control as Keynote. Just bite the bullet and pay the $10 it is worth it.
Numbers - Documents$9.99DocumentsAs an administrator it is important to have data. The best way to keep and manipulate data is in a spreadsheet. Numbers is the best spreadsheet application for the iPad. You can manipulate data and create graphs on the fly. Never Leave home without it.
Pages - Documents$9.99DocumentsPages is a great app for creating word documents on the iPad. I highly recommend getting all of the iWork applications as they play well with each other and with their desktop equivalents. Pages allows you to create stunning reports and visuals from your iPad. I use this mostly to make minor edits to documents created on my Mac.
Prompter - Presentation$3.99PresentationAdministrators have to give speaches every now and again. I have found that this application is the easiest to read on my iPad – which is what really matters when you are standing in front of a group of parents.
NearPod - PresentationFreePresentationNearPod is designed to allow you to create stunning presentations (in Keynote) and add some formative assessments. Administrators can poll the audiance to determine their mood or collect some much needed stakeholder information.
Dragon Dictation - DocumentsFreeDocumentsI was never a fan of dictation – until I met Dragon. Dragon is the most accurate Dictation software available on the iPad. With Dragon you can create documents and write memos. My favorite use: Recording meeting minutes…
Book Creator - Documents$4.99DocumentsBook Creator allows you to create iBooks directly on the iPad. Think of this as the iBook Author you can take with you. My team and I use Book Creator to create our staff and student handbooks and all of our technical training manuals. If you can get one app – get this one!

So, what is the damage? For all of the apps on this list, you would need to shell out a total of $78.90. Luckily these are modular purchases, you can buy them all or you can buy just one at a time. Keep this list in mind if you are wanting to purchase an iPad in the future. The hidden cost of an iPad is the Apps – after all, an iPad is only as good as its Apps.

In this digital world, it is not good enough that you know the apps that will help you succeed, you also need to know the websites that can give you the information to be a great administrator. This list examines the iPad friendly websites that you can use with your staff to be more effective. This category is my Catch-All of resources that can be used on any device with an internet connection.

The Admin Website List:
WebsiteCostCategoryDescription
Google DocsFreeDocumentsThe best bang for your buck! Google Drive allows you to store and manage your documents online. With Desktop Syncronization it is possible to save local files directly into your Google Cloud. Most people find it a bit more difficult to use than Dropbox – the storage is much cheaper.
DropboxFreeDocumentsDropbox is another online storage solution. Initially limited to several GB's – but you can earn more access through referrals (or Dollars)
PlanbookEDUFreePlanningPlanbook is free if you want limited functionality. This software allows teams of teachers and administrators to collaborate on planning and sharing resources.
The KappanSubscriptionResearchThe Kappan is the publication and research journal of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. Articles usually provide a reference to current trends in Education and big ticket items (i.e. Drugs).
ASCDSubscriptionResearchASCD membership comes with a number of benefits. Beginning with their periodical – Education Leadership – members have access to wonderful resources from the authors supported by ASCD (like Grant Wiggins).

Building lists of resources for teachers is almost more difficult than building app lists for administrators. Teachers teach in so many ways and with such differing styles that it is difficult to determine which single app will work well in every situation. The list below is a mixture of apps that I use on a daily basis with my classes (as a teacher/professor) and a bunch of apps that I have seen other instructors use to great success. These apps are included here because it is just as important to know the available resources as it is to use them (especially as a “PadPrincipal”).

The Teacher App List:
ApplicationCostCategoryDescription
iTeacher Book - Gradebook$4.99GradebookI have tried a number of Gradebook Applications for the iPad. Some of them work in a limited way – but few of them are actually worth their salt. This app is one that I recommend because it was designed as a native iOS App. Before downloading you should try out the apps produced by your LMS (some of them are decent).
TeacherKit - GradebookFreeGradebookThis gradebook is sometimes worth the money (which is not saying much). The reporting options are stellar but there are a wide range of system glitches and issues. I cannot afford to lose all student data and relying on an app that reports data loss is not something I like to do. The app is great! One day it will be fantastic to use in class – keep it on your watch list.
Edmodo - LMSFreeLMSEdmodo is a great resource for education. The App and website allow teachers to setup classes and assignments with ease. The interface is designed to mimic social networking sites but can sometimes feel a little "young."
Tabletop - Translation$2.99TranslationThis is one of the most valuable apps on the iPad. In parent meetings and conversations it is very handy to be able to translate on the fly. When I worked in the states I used this to reach our ELL students and I use it now to reach the same population of kids in my international posting.
Educreations - WhiteboardFreePresentationPair this app with an Apple TV and you have an interactive Whiteboard. In my classes I have used this as a teacher and for student projects. Students can use Educreations to create and record presentations. I will use Educrations to provide lecture notes and "Flip" my lessons.

Lists of apps for students is a crazy thing to curate. Not only do you have to know your administrative style, but you have to gauge the students learning style and the style of their teacher. Here is a list of apps that I use with my students on a daily basis.

My Favorite Apps to Learn By
IconNamePriceGradeCategoryDescription
iStudiez Pro$2.995+ProductivityiStudiez Pro is an application that allows students to track their own courses and grades. I used iStudiez Pro in my Graduate Classes at Hopkins. iStudiez is rated as a 5+ app because it can be difficult to get all of the features setup correctly.
Hakitzu Elite$0.993+CodingHakitzu elite teaches students to code in Javascript by giving them control of a fighting robot. Students level their robot by fighting with other robots and completing missions.
Google MapsFreeAllContentGoogle Maps allows users to see the entire world from their fingertips.
Scientific Sci-Fi Scanner$4.99AllContentThis scanner analyzes real world data about stellar phenomenon and weather in a simple interface. This app is initially free but you will want to purchase the $4.99 in app scanner upgrade to access additional features.
Move the Turtle$2.99AllCodingMove the Turtle is an app that was designed to teach kids how to code. Learners begin by progressing through various levels of a tutorial. Each level teaches students a new command and how to execute that command to achieve the desired Result.
BitstripsFreeAllMediaBitstrips allows learners to create comic strips on their iOS Device. Learners can use it to draw story boards or create basic outlines for later use in iMovie.
PenultimateFreeAllNotesPenultimate is an app that allows you to jot down your own hand-written notes. If  you have an Evernote Premium account you are given access to a wide range of paper from design (grids) to tablature.
Google DriveFreeAllProductivityGoogle Drive is a cloud storage solution provided by google. My students are GAFE users and we use Google Drive to share resources in my classes. Installing the app allows learners to access their materials from any device.
SkitchFreeAllNotesSkitch is yet another app owned by Evernote. Skitch allows you to edit PDF documents from any workstation or tablet. Teachers and students can use the app to grade and evaluate assignments.
Clumsy NinjaFreeAllGamesClumsy Ninja is a great application to teach students about gravity and simulation. You progress through training missions that allow you to level a small ninja fighter. Each level and assignment teaches your ninja new moves.
Angry Birds: Space$0.99AllGamesAngry Birds space is a great teacher of gravity. Students must hit targets while entering different gravity fields and orbiting planets. One of my favorite ways to learn about space.
Plague Inc.$0.993+GamesPlague Inc. is based upon a simple Flash Game called Pandemic. Students control the evolution and epidemiology of deadly pathogens. The goal is to kill the entire human race. Students gain in-depth understanding about how diseases spread.
PocketFree3+ReadingPocket is a social media and blog reader for your iOS Device. Users select articles or threads that they want to "Read Later" and Pocket will store them for later offline viewing.
PaperFreeAllNotesPaper by 53 allows students to draw freely. The app was designed for artists to digitally showcase their work. The artistic focus drives the majority of features and makes this a great app for aspiring artists of all ages.
ShowbieFreeAllProductivityShowbie allows educators to share and grade student work directly on their iPad. I was looking for apps that will help teachers go paperless when I stumbled upon Showbie. Showbie is easy to setup and use in the classroom and adds tremendous functionality for the teacher.
HopscotchFreeAllCodingHopscotch is an introductory coding app for the iPad. Learners create and manipulate monsters. A tutorial guides students through the basic controls and motions.
Codea$9.995+CodingCodea is the only fully fledged coding and programming application on the iPad. Students can create applications and test them directly from the Codea interface.
Diet Coda$19.996+CodingDiet Coda is the miniature version of Coda for Mac. I use Diet Coda to edit and maintain websites through FTP. If you don't know what that is – you do not need this app.
Cargo-BotFreeAllGamesCargo-bot is the first app on the iTunes App-Store that was programmed and coded entirely in Codea. I use Cargo-Bot as an example to students and teacher.
Kodable Pro$0.99AllCodingKodable Pro is another game that is designed to teach elementary school students how to code. Students at all levels seem to fall for the cuddly characters and simple tutorials. I recommend this app for anyone that wants to learn to code.
HabitRPGFreeAllProductivityHabitRPG was a kickstarter that I backed a number of months ago. This app promises to "Gamify-Your-Life." Learners create an avatar and fight with their tasks and to-do lists to earn gold and level up. This is a great app for teaching young learners to be productive.
iTunesUFreeAllContentiTunes University is one of Apples pet projects for Education. Apple designated schools – which can be difficult to get – are allowed to post public courses within the iTunes U App.
BiscuitFreeAllNotesI was introduced to Biscuit by our School Evernote Sales Rep. Biscuit takes words you copy and translates them into another language. The words are then stored in your Evernote Notebook and you can study them later. Great App!
FlipboardFreeAllReadingHave you ever wanted a magazine that only showed you what you were interested in? Flipboard will take all of the links that you are sent from your favorite social networks and compile them into a media rich magazine format.
EverwordFreeAllNotesEverword is designed to allow you to integrate material and resources from your Evernote Account and create a fully functional Flashcard set. You can customize your flashcards to display text or images.
Evernote PeekFreeAllNotesYet another Evernote App! This one uses the iPad Smart Cover to create flaschards based upon any of your notebooks. There is no iPhone version.
PickPlayPost$1.99AllMediaCreating interesting graphics is one of the most important skills we can teach. This app allows users to create visual collages that use photos stored on the iOS device.
Scan$1.99AllUtilityScan is one of the best QR-Code scanners in the App store. I have used Scan in many classes to teach students to use and create QR Codes.
PS ExpressFreeAllMediaPhotoshop Express is a very small photo editing program designed by adobe for iOS. Learners can manipulate photos and apply filters to make digital images.
EducreationsFreeAllContentEducreations litterally allows you to turn your iPad into an interactive whiteboard. When educators couple Educreations with Reflector or an Apple TV they create a real interactive whiteboard… for considerably less investment.
WolframAlpha$2.99AllContentThis is my favorite iPad and iPhone App. With Wolfram Alpha you can convert anything as well as having scientific information about any topic. The Wolfram Knowledge Engine powers the scientific information for this app and its companion website allowing realtime analysis of stellar variables and distances. Cool!
BitBreakerFreeAllExerciseHave you ever wanted to control an app with your body? This app allows you to be the controller by using your iPad camera to locate and move your pong paddle. You have to jump and move to break the bricks.
Kindle for iPadFreeAllReadingKindle is the leading E-Book library in the world. Amazon has more than 20 million digital titles and downloading this app puts all of those books at your fingertips.
iBooksFreeAllReadingiBooks is another book store. I greatly prefer iBooks because the content can be delivered in a more digital manner – video and audio clips. It is also easy for teachers to submit books to the iBooks store using iBooks Author…
Papers 3 for iPad$9.998+ReadingPapers allows you to manage and organize your PDF files on the iPad. The app syncs with Papers for Mac to allow you to manage your entire PDF library and research from one location. I used this extensively in my graduate work.
Pages$9.99AllProductivityPages is a document creation app. Learners can create anything (even using comic sans) and share it with their peers/teachers/parents. Syncing with iCloud allows pages to maintain single documents that can be edited in multiple locations.
Keynote$9.99AllProductivityKeynote is presentations. If your learner wants to create great presentations for any reason this is where it is at. Some people are going toward Haiku Deck or Slide Rocket or Prezi – in my opinion there will always be a need for simple classy presentations (a.k.a. Keynote).
Numbers$9.99AllProductivityNumbers is spreadsheets. That is all it is! You can graph or manipulate data but do not get your hopes up too much. I use it off and on with my classes for recording data in experiments.
Book Creator$4.99AllProductivityThis app is the best purchase I have ever made. My students use Book Creator to show off all of the work that they can do on their iPads.
iA Writer$4.99AllProductivityNo-Frills is the best way to describe this document writer. In my ecosystem iA Writer has become my iPad TextEdit. When I want to type or simply scratch lines into silicone – this is my app for that.
MemriseFreeAllContentIf you want to learn a language with the least amount of conscious choice – this is the app for you. You can use the web version of memrise to select language sets you want to learn – the app then prompts you to study on a daily basis.
EvernoteFreeAllNotesEvernote has taken over my life! I really do not know what I would do without it at this point. My todo lists for work are now searchable – there is no more excuse for not doing that assignment. Game-Changer!
Art Set$0.99AllMediaThis app is my favorite doodle program. I use the art set when I want to express myself through any form of art. You can paint a picture or simply draw with crayons. Art Set gives learners the ability to play with artistic materials and create their own masterpieces.
iMovie$4.993+MediaiMovie is a smaller version of iMovie for Mac. Learners can create and edit videos that they take on their iOS device.
Pushups Pro$1.996+FitnessRuntastic has produced a number of apps to help people get into shape. In education we sometimes forget that students need to move and they need some fitness instruction. The Runtastic Pushup app teaches students how to do pushups and monitors them as they complete them.
Situps Pro$1.996+FitnessThe situps app by Runtastic is designed to be used as you complete a normal situp. Learners place the iPad on their chest and the app uses the built in accelerometer to determine how many situps are completed.
SpaceTeamFree5+GamesThis game is awesome! I have only been able to play it with a couple of like minded IT folks – I am hooked. Learners need to complete tasks through communicating with each other while ensuring that they do not destroy their spaceship. Intense!
Artemis$2.995+GamesArtemis is a starship bridge simulator. Learners must get into teams and pilot a starship through battle simulations (each learner focusing on a particular function). You can even use your Apple TV as a view screen!
Another World$3.995+GamesAnother World is a classic 8-bit RPG. Learners can immerse themselves in literally "Another World."
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD$155+GamesGalaxy on Fire 2 is my guilty pleasure. It always finds a way to make it back onto my iPad. The base game is free but you will want about $15 to purchase the expansions.
WatchCraft$0.99AllGamesWatchCraft is a great spoof of World of Warcraft. Learners progress through a simplistic interface and try to attain the highest score in the game. I have only made it to level 2.
Calendars 5$6.99AllProductivityCalendars is an app that changed the way that I interact with my iPad. Within Calendars I can select a multitude of calendars (from different sources) and the app will collate them into one task list. I will never leave home without it.

Networking is the beauty of using the iOS Platform. While reading and researching, you can keep up with your staff, students, parents, and school website. It is remarkably important that you keep up your online presence and curate your profile. You need to own your biography, do not let the internet take control of your digital life…

The Networking Resource List:
AppCostCategoryPurpose
TwitterFreeResourcesPrincipals and administrators (as well as teachers) use twitter to curate resources found on the Web. Join Ed-Chat and follow the 21stCenturyPrincipal to get great resources.
LinkedInFreeEndorsementsLinkedIn is a great place to highlight your skills and resources. Professionals in your network endorse your skills and you an easily display them to your employers.
FacebookFreePersonalI like to think of Facebook as my personal life. Even as a personal resource there are a number of professional reasons because it is a great way to keep up with students and teachers.
FlipboardFreeReaderFlipboard is a priceless app! All of the links and resources sent through your social networks are curated and turned into a "magazine" that you can peruse at your leisure.
BeejiveIM$4.99MessagingI have tried hundreds of Google Chat clients for iPad. The google hangout app works well but is missing some key features – like Facebook chat. I use Beejive because it allows me to chat across multiple accounts and services.
SkypeFreeVOIPGreat for instant messaging and voice chatting.
AASASubscriptionResourcesThe AASA is a great networking organization for school administrators. The iPad app produced by AASA has great resources.
School BriefingSubscriptionNewsThe School Leadership Briefing is amazing! You can sign up for daily digests of important news articles from Education.

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