Since the iPad in education continues to be the number one requested topic on our poll. On this next post, on our ongoing series explaining how to use the iPad as a presentation tool. we’ll examine some of the top iPad presentation apps for the classroom.
I’ll take you through a list of fifteen essential iPads apps to help teachers (and students), inspire learning, engagement and interaction. And we will also look closely at what type of projects and solutions these apps help to solve.
Grouping our Apps
To show the different areas where these presentation tools can be effective. I’ve organized the apps into four groups…
- Keynote and PowerPoint presentations.
- Screencasting and Whiteboard presentations.
- Haiku Deck and Prezi (the new wave of presentation apps).
- Alternative apps to present with and create slides.
The Essential iPad Apps for Teachers
1. Keynote and PowerPoint Presentation Tools
Our first group includes four of the best and essential iPad apps for creating mobile presentations in the classroom using Keynote and PowerPoint. The two most popular presentation formats used on the Mac and Windows PC.
If you’re already using a computer to go over lessons, study topics or share projects in the class, then you’re probably working with one, (or both) of these two formats. After all PowerPoint and Keynote are great tools for presenting ideas and creating a fun learning environment in the classroom.
So, if you need to import an existing presentation or start a new project. The good news — is that it’s become much easier to work mobile on the iPad with these two formats using the apps listed in this group.
Category: Productivity, Business
The app Keynote on iOS is Apple’s top solution for presenting mobile, and certainly one of the best in its class. If you’re new to presenting or using technology? Not to worry! You’ll find no shortage of instructional books, guide, or a YouTube video explaining how to use Keynote. For example, like this visual guide: Keynote for iPad: Visual QuickStart Guide.
This is just one (of the many) reasons why starting out with Keynote will be so effective in your endeavors. Plus as expected, there’s a ton of great features. The app includes 30 beautiful preset themes and provides a wide selection of tools and effects for creating stunning and professional presentations on the iPad.
Features and tools include:
- Importing photos or videos from the iPad’s camera roll.
- Add 3-D charts and graphs to your slides.
- Autosave your presentations to iCloud.
- Add animation effects to charts and transitions.
- Advance slides with a secondary iOS device (like an iPhone) with the app, keynote remote.
- Import and edit Microsoft Powerpoint files.
by Made for Use4.99 USD
Category: Productivity, Business
If you’re settled on using Keynote for all your presentations. The app Templates for keynote Pro is a great add-on for iPad users who want more themes and layouts. The app builds on top of the already stylish and professional themes include in Keynote, by adding over 30 new templates in six different categories.
Using the app is straightforward: find the right style, export it into the Keynote app and insert your content. To further explore the templates click this link.
- Quickly import to Keynote using the iOS “Open In” feature.
- Easy to edit chart data and customized charts.
- Copy elements from different templates to create a customized template.
Category: Productivity, Business
If Microsoft PowerPoint is your prefer tool. The app SlideShark is by far the top contender for working with PPT presentations.
The folks at Brainshark have developed this app to be the missing link solution for showing PowerPoint on mobile devices — with the least amount of tinkering and headaches. (Especially if you’re bringing over PPT slides from other devices.)
How it works is simple: create a free account on their website, upload your presentation, install the free app on your iPad — and download your project to the device.
- Upload PowerPoint files via SlideShark website; open from email attachments on your device; or import from cloud storage.
- Press Play to view or show Presos on your iOS device.
- Tap or swipe to advance animations and slides; swipe back to go back.
- Swipe up to go to specific slides & access more features.
- No internet connection required when presenting in-person.
To learn more: see this 1-minute video introduction to SlideShark.
If privacy and security are top concerns to where your files are kept, or who can get access to them? The app Presentation Notes highly emphasizes that it takes a slightly different approach into saving and storing files. Unlike some apps that use cloud-based technology as the main hub for quick access and sharing, files created with this app are kept inside the iPad’s memory and NEVER on third-party Cloud services.
Btw: a free light version is available with limited features.
- Imported presentations can have unlimited number of slides
- Unlimited number of presentations that can be stored on the device
- Works with .ppt, .pptx or .pdf files
- Imports files directly from your computer, from DropBox™, Box™, Google Drive™, Microsoft™ SkyDrive or from your email account
- Speakers note available at all times on the iPad’s screen
- Interactive laser pointer
- Whiteboard – activate whiteboard for additional explanations
- Time and slide number counters
- Use your iPhone as a remote with Presentation Note Remote
2. Interactive Screencasting and Whiteboard Apps
If you want to explore adding real-time annotation or narrative audio to a presentation. Then the apps in this second group might be worth considering. Here’s a quick rundown on how they work: start with a blank whiteboard and in real-time, (depending on the app) hit record to capture what you draw, write, type or say in the whiteboard area. In addition, video files can be added and projects can also be exported and shared on popular video websites like YouTube and Vimeo.
Adding these type of visual tools to a classroom allows teachers and students to create fun and insightful how-to tutorials and explain topics in great depth. While at the same time — help to transform learning into an interactive and engaging experience. And since they are easy enough for kids to use they work well in a Flip Classroom.
Here’re 8 ways to inspire learning, engagement and interactions with recordable whiteboards:
- Help students with homework by working through an example problem.
- Put your lessons on the web so students can watch them before and after class.
- Tutor someone from afar.
- Deliver course material that is content-base.
- Students can share their knowledge with the world.
- Students can create storyboards or outlines.
- Students can learn to work together on projects.
- Kids can share their ideas with friends.
Category: Education, Productivity
In this new slew of educational tools that are quickly becoming essential iPad apps for teachers, the app Explain Everything is one of my favorite. But instead of highlighting all the cool feature in this app. I think it best to show you one of my examples. If you go over to my post: how to open PDF in Mail, you’ll see how I transform a simple tutorial idea into an informative and captivating experience with the app.
Note: No account is necessary to use Explain Everything and share creations.
Category: Education, Productivity
Another of my top picks in this category of interactive educational apps is the app Educreations. This app is an awesome (FREE) way to introduce yourself and your students to recordable whiteboard tools.
To learn more: click here and see how folks are using Educreations.
The app ScreenChomp is “a simple doodling board, markers, and one-click sharing tool that makes spreading your ideas and know-how easy and fun.”
But don’t get fooled by the simplicity of the app — our green little friend can take an immense bite out of any project and he’s awesome at helping the little ones stay focused.
- A precise and natural ink flowing drawing tool.
- A friendly interface.
- Audio recording.
- And my favorite — a cute towel animation for clearing the screen.
All these features and more… help to make ScreenChomp a great choice for creating a short tutorial or lessons on the iPad.
To learn more: watch this ScreenChomp demo.
by Qrayon, LLC9.99 USD
Category: Business, Education
If you want to turn your iPad into a wireless whiteboard to move around the room — a simple way to do this is with the apps AirSketch Free or Air sketch (if you need to annotate PDF slides and images live).
In just three easy steps you can wirelessly project your sketches in real-time to your computer.
Here’s how easy it is to connect the iPad:
- Connect your classroom computer to a projector.
- Launch the app.
- Enter the indicated URL in any HTML–5 web browser on the local network.
You’ll then find that everything you draw or images you show will be projected to the browser in real-time. Without the need to install more software on your computer, or service to subscribe to.
This inexpensive method of projecting the screen of the iPad is a handy alternative solution to present wireless without the need of a device like the Apple TV: if a computer is connected to a projector. Also, if WiFi is not available — you can still use this setup by creating an ad-hoc network on your computer.
3. The New Wave of iPad Presentation Apps
For a lack of a better title description, the apps in this group have been grouped together to highlight their unique and fresh approach to our task.
With the next two apps, you’ll be able to present your ideas in a nonlinear series of captivating flowing images. Or via a personalized visual story, styled with beautiful text layouts, charts, images, and graphs.
So, regardless if you consider yourself and expert at this sort of stuff or just starting out — don’t be surprised to find yourself in front of your audience (real fast) using these apps.
Category: Productivity, Education
Haiku Deck’s primary goals are to take your ideas and transform them into beautiful visual stories by providing the right tools and features.
One of these features: is “A powerful image search that puts millions of free, high-quality Creative Commons licensed photos at your fingertips.” Simplifying the task of finding (the right) images for a project and saving you time along the way.
Other feature includes:
- Create, edit, and share beautiful presentations right on your iPad using intuitive touch controls.
- Choose from a range of stylish, professionally designed themes for a cohesive, polished look.
- Use iPad touch controls to create flawlessly beautiful pie charts, bar charts, and stat charts to tell the story behind the numbers.
- Streamlined numbered and bulleted list templates offer additional detail without clutter.
- Import, crop, and reposition images from your iPad, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Picasa for a personalized touch.
Note: Please be aware this app is rated 12+ in the App Store.
Prezi is not just another slide show tool or presenting service! But a visual experience that presents your thoughts and images dynamically in a nonlinear way. Giving the boot to uninspiring and boring PowerPoint presentations.
The app Prezi for iPad is and a great way to view and show your creations (mobile) to your audience. The bad news is that as of yet, it doesn’t have all the full features found on the online editor or Prezi for Windows and Mac. But not to worry, there still is a lot of great feature in the iPad version and new updates are constantly being rolled-out.
- Create new Prezis – Note, that you will not be able to create a path for a newly created Prezi on your iPad. To create a path for the Prezi that you have created on your iPad, log onto Prezi online editor or use Prezi for Windows and Mac.
- View and edit your existing Prezis.
- Download Prezis to your iPad ready to view off-line.
- Add images and photos.
- Share your Prezis.
- Open hyperlinks.
- Hide navigation buttons (particularly useful if you are presenting from your iPad).
- Set your Prezi to autoplay.
- View embedded Prezis on the iPad via the Prezi for iPad app (as long as they were embedded after the technology to do this was created).
Add to or edit the path of your Prezi.
Add elements other than text or images. This includes video and sound.
To learn more read: Your essential ‘how-to’ guide to using Prezi in an academic environment.
4. Alternative ways to present
In this last group, you’ll find apps to easily create content for your presentations and examples of alternative ways to present it on the screen.
Category: Productivity, Utilities
Note Taker HD is a powerful app for writing and organizing handwritten notes. But because the app is jam-packed with so many great features, it’s also a powerful presentation tool — all within itself.
With Note Taker HD it’s easy to create diagrams, flowcharts, free-hand drawings and annotate PDF. When you finish save your work as JPEG or PDF and import it to your presentation. Or if you prefer to connect the iPad to a projector and present your work from the app since it supports zoom, pan, and a movable pointer via VGA, HDMI, and AirPlay connections.
To learn more: read this post on Note Taker HD in the classroom.
by toketaWare11.99 USD
Category: Productivity, Education
The app iThoughts is a wonderful Mind Mapping tool for the iPad that can be used to illustrate ideas in a nonlinear fashion.
Using a Mind Map to present might take a bit more work, but if you’re willing to think outside the box and move away from bullet points and 3rd charts. This technique will not only present your information in a fresh new way but think about your student’s experience when they see this in action.
To learn more: read this most insightful post by Christopher Penn, on How to present with a Mind Map.
OmniGraffle for iPad is a Diagram app and a powerful Graph-Building app made by the fine folks at Omni Group. If want to invest in a serious way to jazz up your presentations. Particularly, if you teach a technical subject or academic course. I highly recommend checking out Omnigraffle.
- Make diagrams, data and organization flow charts and illustrations.
- Start with a preset template: flow charts, line charts, cloud charts or create your own from a blank document.
- Select a preset stencil, customize an existing one or import a new one.
- Includes a free hand drawing tool.
- Wrap text around shapes.
- Adjust background colors.
- Diagrams can snap to grid.
- Create multiple layers.
- Use the preset shapes or import new objects.
- Save to a variety of formats: PhotoShop, JPEG, PNG, PDF, and HTML.
To learn more: watch this Omni Graffle Demo
Category: Productivity, Utilities
With the new addition of Presentation mode, it’s of no surprise to find Evernote on this list of essential iPad apps for teachers. After all, the Evernote app is not at all a newcomer to the education space. Many teachers and students have used this platform to stay organized and productive throughout their careers and academic journeys.
The idea behind Presentation mode is very simple: since all your stuff is inside Evernote, why not make it easy to share your stuff live. Doing away with having to export your notes and documents to another platforms just to present them on the screen. Just remember that a note is considered a slide.
- Present your notes in a beautiful, full-screen layout.
- Draw focus to a selective area with the laser-pointer.
- Select and show multiple notes.
- Show note containing images, PDFs, spreadsheets, documents, and PPT presentations.
- Markup notes with various shapes, highlighting and annotation tools.
Note: Presentation Mode is only available to Premium subscribers.
You can try Evernote, via this referral link. Free users get a 14-day complimentary preview of this Premium feature.
To learn more about Presentation Mode in Evernote watch this video.
Category: Productivity, Photo & Video
Skitch for iPad is a fun tool to use and an awesome way to share your ideas.
In the classroom, this visual tool is also very helpful. Especially when it’s time to create slides for your presentation.
Here’s how: Start by capturing images and mark them up using the built-in annotation tools. Then either save the (PNG) images to the Camera Roll and use the files in your presentation or convert the photos to PDF in another app.
Please know that PDF can be annotated in Skitch, but requires an Evernote Premium subscription.
To learn more about Skitch: Watch this video
One can see that there are many options to present mobile with the iPad. Either by starting new projects or by importing existing ones started on another platform, like on PowerPoint and Keynote. Or, by exploring the new world of interaction recordable Whiteboards, Prezi and Haiku Deck.
I hope this list, of 15 essential iPad apps for teachers has shown you ways to inspire learning, interaction and engagement in the classroom.
*Photo credit: Cali4beach (CC BY 2.0)
Give some love to this article, share using the social buttons below.