Educational Ways to Use an iPad

Speed! is the best educational app ever! It's a skip-counting card game designed to help kids with multiplication.

*Android (see note at end)

This topic of the Help Series feels like it was made for me. My husband created this app and I created the physical version of the game. The full Version is only 99 cents so be sure to check it out!

We have two iPads and five computers to support our household of five people. Our first iPad was purchased for my husband to develop Speed! but we found it very useful. Many of these devices are in continuous use, but are rarely used for games. We live in an electronic age and computers are our main research tools.

In my opinion apps and websites geared for children can be very good for teaching and reviewing well defined and focused skills such as reading, typing and mathematics. Occasionally the kids play educational games but the games are not the primary teaching tools. Listening to audio stories, communicating via email, and watching educational videos are the main draws for us.

Here are some of the ways we use our iPads and computers.

Audio Stories
Listening to audio stories is the way my kids most frequently use the iPads. We have downloaded several free stories from Librivox into iTunes. To download stories I visit the iTunes store on my computer and search for "Story Title, Librivox" or "Author Name, Librivox". The chapters come up separately so I download each one individually. Then I create a playlist in iTunes with the same name as the book and put all the chapters into the playlist so they can be sorted by chapter number. After the entire book is downloaded I plug in the iPads, and iPods into the computer to sync them up.

Sometimes the kids just listen, but more often, they turn on a story while they work on a craft.

Here are a few of our favorite stories:
Oz Stories by L Frank Baum
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter
Thornton W Burgess Animal Stories
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

My husband uses the iPad almost every day to watch videos while he exercises. He is currently into the Modern Marvels Engineering Disasters Series.

We have downloaded tons of electronic books through the iTunes store and have read a few of them. eBooks are so convenient for travel, and we are starting to read them more at home.

Here are some we have enjoyed:
Twin Books by Lucy Fitch Perkins
Fifty Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin
The Story of Germany by HE Marshall

Educational Games
Occasionally the kids play educational games on the iPads. I have blogged about some of our favorites. It seems to me that the majority of educational games are targeted for kids ages 4-9. As I said above, they are great for learning things such as letters and basic math skills. In addition, I think they are good for encouraging thinking through puzzle solving. I would love to hear about good quality games that teach higher level skills.

Related to this is the Homeschool Help Group's Best Free Resource topic. Several free websites were mentioned in the posts, so if you missed it, be sure to check it out.

Here's what other bloggers had to say about using iPads and computers for education.

Hwee at The Tiger Chronicle - A Few Things to Consider when Considering Using Technological for Education
Erin at Seven Little Australians - If I Had an iPad
Savannah at Hammock Tracks - 20 Free Learning Apps
Bernadette at Barefoot Hippie Girl - Not Techie Homeschoolers
Lucinda at Navigating by Joy - Favorite Learning Apps for Kids and Mums
Nicole at One Magnificent Obsession - iPhone and iPad Have Changed the Way We Educate
Chareen at Every Bed of Roses - Favorite Apps and Websites for Learning

The Help series is about to go on break. The posts will pick back up at the beginning of August with What's New in the Curriculum. In the mean time, I will be blogging through the summer so please stop by and visit.

Android - We have received tons of requests for an Android version of Speed! It's in the works and there will definitely be an announcement when it's available, but I'm not scheduling a date. We live in a busy house.

This post is linked to:
Mom's Library
Tune into Technology


  1. I've finally got around to downloading Speed! - it's great fun! You and your husband are very clever :-) I hadn't realised it would be so much fun and addictive! I might even put myself up to rookie level next time :-D
    Thanks for the tips about getting Librivox stuff onto the iPad too, I'd been wondering about the best way to do that.

  2. I meant to reply after your comment on my recent iPad post (but I just realized I never did this), that we do have the Speed! app. My daughter just told me that she plays it fairly often during her math-related iPad turns. I forgot about it while writing my post because I didn't have the iPad nearby and for some reason I guess not all my apps that are on the iPad show up in itunes on the computer (I still can't figure out why!).

  3. Speed looks like a really fun app! Thanks for linking up all the interesting ways you use iPads.

    iTeach 1:1

  4. I love using the iPads for downloading stories-- it's really a very nice way to listen to a story!
    Thanks for linking up with us!
    Learning to the Core


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