10 Cool Uses for an Old iPad in the Classroom Edtech Monday

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Seems Legit

Seems Legit

Do you have an old iPad hanging around at home, that you don’t have any use for? Maybe you upgraded to a new iPad HD, and your iPad 1 or 2 is languishing in a desk drawer? Put that sucker to use in your classroom in a fun, creative way!

1. An Interactive Periodic Table of the Elements

Oxygen and Potassium went out on a date. It Went OK.

Oxygen and Potassium went out on a date. It Went OK.

Create or purchase some kind of iPad wall mount, or hangable frame, or just place the iPad in a convenient place at the front of your science classroom. Leave the iPad on TouchPress.com’s Period Table of the Elements iPad app. At a cost of about $14, this dynamic app provides examples of real world objects composed of different elements, live data from Wolfram Alpha  (the same knowledge database used by Siri), and other goodies. This standalone information center will be a great resource for students, and may interest them in doing some research about chemistry and physics on their own time.

2. A Standalone Dictionary or Encyclopedia

iPad iPad on the wall, who was the first President of them all?

iPad iPad on the wall, who was the first President of them all?

Like the Table of the Elements, an old iPad can make a great wall mounted class Dictionary or Encyclopedia.  Don’t feel comfortable referring students to Wikipedia? Well, unfortunately Encyclopedia Britannica cancelled their printed editions last year. But not to worry! All that great, reliable content is available to you through the Britannica App, for iPad. And at just a few dollars a month for a subscription (much of the content is also free), we think this has… certain advantages over the last edition of Britannica to be printed in 2010, which weighed 130 pounds and cost thousands of dollars.

Or, for an English class, any of a number of well-reviewed dictionary apps is the perfect resource for students. No more thumbing through the pocket Websters- now students have access to the complete dictionary, and none of the pages will be ripped out or crumpled.

3. An Interactive StoryBook

For younger learners, thousands of StoryBook apps are available. During reading or free play, why not give access to a storybook app of your choice for well-behaved students?


Apps like Don’t let the Pigeon Run this App!, an adaption of his Pigeon Book series, are perfect for preschoolers and kindergarten students, for a relaxing activity that is also creative, and not overstimulating. For fans of The Magical Schoolbus series (we were big fans when we were in school), it’s nice to know that yes, there’s an app for that too! 

4. A Glog a Day: A Glogster EDU Learning Station 

Glogs make us all artists

Glogs make us all artists

We got inspiration from one teacher who described a Glogster Learning Station. Using a desktop computer, the teacher first creates a content rich Glog, related to the topics being worked on in the current unit. Then, the teacher logs into Glogster EDU from the iPad, and displays the Glog on a wall mounted iPad, accessible to the whole class for reference. Alternatively, the teacher can also create a Glog roll, and display a revolving mix of student Glogs and Learning Station Glogs, that students can access at any time on the iPad.

6. Picture of the Day: Your Classroom Pinboard

We want to see this movie...

We want to see this movie…

Nasa has hosted a “Picture of the Day” blog for many years. Tune your classroom iPad to Nasa’s picture of the day, or check out similar features from National Geographic, or many other magazines and websites. Try the Pinterest App, and curate a whole pin board full of photos in your classroom subject, and let your students explore interesting new content every day.

7. An Interactive Classroom Globe

I see London, I see France...

I see London, I see France…

Using the Google Earth App, give your students access to a powerful resource, allowing them to interact with world geography, culture and history all in one place. A dedicated iPad globe, mounted somewhere in the classroom, will encourage students to get up and look for information on countries and geographic areas being discussed in class. This beautiful and fun app will encourage students to interact with geography, and remember what they have learned. Show the students how to take screenshots, and you can post the photos they take on Pinterest, or save them for students to use in their Glogs, or print them and display them in the classroom, giving students a feeling of strong connection with their interests.

8. An Interactive Virtual Telescope 

I don't remember that being there...

I don’t remember that being there…

With Star Walk, students with an interest in astronomy and mythology together can view the world through the eyes of an interactive telescope. Point the iPad in any direction, and see a live rendering of the stars currently in the sky, including the sun. This app can be used at any time of day, and can be used to observe stars in a 360 degree sphere, allowing students to grasp concepts about the movement of the Earth in the solar system (with sister app Solar Walk), and the movement of the horizon, as well as observe stars not visible during the day. It can also be used inside the classroom, and on an iPad without a camera. Save screenshots of student observations for use in your lessons.

9. An Interactive Class Calendar

Using iCal, integrated with Google Calendars, you can create a classroom calendar that any student can have access to. By sharing this calendar with parents and other teachers, you can create a calendar which parents and other teachers can use to inform you of upcoming events, such as children’s birthdays, and extracurricular events for each student.  Updates to the class calendar can then automatically sync to the iPad, allowing you or any of your students to access it, and even add events to it. Students can each have their own calendar sections, allowing them to view instructions from their parents, or from you, and track upcoming assignments and other information, all in one place. imgres

10. Interactive Wall Art

Choose from one of a myriad of artistic Ipad apps. Your Wall mounted iPad can serve as the creative outlet for any student feeling inspired. Art can be saved and printed, or displayed in an ongoing slide show.

A timeless classic

A timeless classic

What say you? 

How would you use an old iPad in a creative way in your classroom? Share pictures and stories with us here, on the Glogster Blog, or on Twitter and Facebook!

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