Free App Grab Bag

Posted by Science Explored on December 20, 2012

These days, there is a wide variety of apps on the market.  More often than not, the quality programs are fee- based.  As more and more schools implement mobile learning devices in the classroom, teachers have to pay out-of-pocket for the apps they need.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have free access to quality apps for your tablet that would reduce stress, help you reach your students, and make you the envy of the whole campus?  We have your app-fix right here! After some careful curating, we’ve hand-picked five apps that we feel can powerfully impact your teaching.  Check out each one in the Apple App Store to learn more.


Teacher Clicker – Socrative by Socrative

Clicker systems can be frustrating.  They cross-communicate with other classes, require batteries and proprietary software, and can be limited in permitted response types.  Socrative allows you to create quizzes on the fly that anyone can access with a mobile device, laptop, or tablet.  All you need is a web browser. If you teach in a BYOD campus or just want to quickly make online, custom quizzes, this app is for you.


TourWrist by Spark Labs

Field trips are invaluable learning experiences for students that, due to tightened district budgets, are often out of reach for many students.  Travel to out-of-county locations is often impossible.  Why not bring the field experience to your students instead?  TourWrist lets you view locations around the world as if you were standing there.  You can also create your own locale shoots using the app.  Why not show your students what Meteor Crater in Arizona or Chichen Itza in Mexico is like for their projects?  It makes learning about a distant place much more interactive than a photo or even a video.

Google Drive

Google Driveby Google, Inc.

Instant collaboration for lessons plans/resources, form creator, editable spreadsheets, and cloud storage – what else could you want?  Google Drive is your one-stop solution for getting rid of that USB flash drive, sharing everything with fellow students and teachers, sending out surveys, and having a mobile tracker for informal and formal assessments.  Furthermore, it takes just a few minutes to set up and saves you hours of sending pictures, documents, videos, etc. as attachments to your friends and colleagues.  Best of all, you probably already have a Gmail – why not use it to its full potential?


Video Downloader

Video Downloader – Download & Play Any Video by Appsneon

Have you seen a YouTube video that would be great to tie into a lesson?  It’s a shame that district firewalls generally block content like YouTube when you need it or internet speeds are too slow to even permit such a download.  Video Downloader allows you to download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and various other sources so you can share it in your classroom.  Now, your small group intervention students can benefit from an enrichment video on their learning objectives that would be otherwise unavailable.  Even better, you could share the video with all your students as pre-work through Google Drive.

Slideshow Remote

Slideshow Remote™ Lite for PowerPoint by LogicInMind

PowerPoint is a great tool for direct instruction.  The problem is that not everyone has a slideshow clicker to add to his or her already stuffed pockets.  Using Slideshow Remote™ you can turn your Apple device into a presentation tool and even annotate slides.  No more walking back and forth to tap the keyboard or asking a student to sit at your desk to advance slides for you.

Feel free to send us any of your favorites.  We know that our newly released DDR-meets-science apps, SciRave (viewable here), are at the top of your list!  Though SciRave will cost you a few dollars to fill a class set of “iDevices,” your school might want to check out Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.  If you plan to purchase 20 apps or more, you can save some big bucks.  The program also facilitates distributing the apps by using a purchase code that starts the download – no need to search for the app or double check that you are going to download the correct one.  You can check out the details and enroll at