5 Free {and Mostly Free} Apps I Use When Teaching

I have been using an iPad to teach for a while now and just love it! I have talked a bit about how I use it for Google Forms HERE, but I wanted to share some specific apps I am loving these days, and I am sure I will be adding to this list as the school year continues!

The first thing that I have is nothing super-fancy, but takes my iPad to a whole new level of usefulness with my kiddos: The Dewey Document Camera Stand.

Sidenote- I got this at a discount through a different website-- be sure to use Google to find the best price!!

I {LOVE} using this stand because it:
  • makes my iPad a document camera
  • gets my iPad off of the projector cart and keeps it safe
  • is easily-transportable, so I can actually move the stand to my Teacher Time groups and use it to keep my iPad hands-free and safe
  • small enough to fit on my projector cart
Check out this video to see some of the ideas for this simple, but useful, stand:

Another sidenote: Dewey doesn't know who I am, I just really like this product :) I am not sure if there are alternatives, but please share in the comments if you know of one!

With the iPad doubling as a document camera, I am finding now that I am using it more and more! Here are some of my favorite apps to use as a teacher with an iPad:

Board Cam

This is the main {free} app that changes your iPad into a document camera. There are some helpful add-ons that I purchased for about $1 each (freeze & zoom), but the basic app works very well! It includes different color and thickness ink to write on the iPad, a save function, and more. Definitely check it out!

Jot! Free

This is perfect as a whiteboard app! I love switching between Jot and Board Cam, since the iPad makes that so easy. I can underline and mark up a text on Board Cam, then switch to Jot to take notes, using different colors, thicknesses, etc. The app is very user-friendly and you can even share Jots with absent students or save them for review later on. Love!


Similar to Jot, I love Skitch because it's linked to Evernote and does so much more. While the whiteboard functionality is just ok (in my opinion, especially compared to Jot), Skitch is able to draw all over screenshots, photos, maps, websites, and more. It also saves these images in Evernote, so it is very easy to access from any time from your Evernote account on your computer, phone, iPad, wherever! I tend to have Skitch, Board Cam, and Jot open at the same time and flip between the three throughout a lesson, since they all do their own unique things that are very fun for both students and teacher to see!

Google Earth

This app has made studying regions SO.MUCH.FUN! This free app has all sorts of wonderful features, but the main part is its ease of use with the iPad and the detail it gives to landforms like the Grand Canyon and mountains, like Mt. McKinley. It makes us all feel like we are flying through these fantastic places, so it's helped keep the interest high, for both students and teacher :)


Who doesn't love BrainPOP? This highly-engaging app (along with BrainPOP, Jr.) help me introduce new concepts and the quiz at the end is always a hit with my whole class. There's a free movie each week, and (thankfully!), our school has a subscription, so I end up using these short videos a lot with my kids in all sorts of subjects. 

What apps to you use when you're teaching with the class?

I will be back soon to share some of my favorite apps for the kids to use in both Daily 5 Word Work and Math Rotations.


  1. This is a great post! I won an iPad from an Economics workshop and have been looking for ways to incorporate its use into my classroom. You have some awesome ideas.

  2. Thank you for the great apps! I have never heard of the first three, but have already downloaded them, and plan to use them! I am looking forward to your next post, about kid apps.

  3. Stephanie, I could hug you!! I was searching around for a good stand that could make the ipad double as a doc. camera and this looks awesome! (Plus I always trust your word!). Thank you so much and thanks for sharing the apps! I have a planbook one I love that I'm sharing soon (if I can manage to finish the post!!!)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing! I already downloaded the first two, and will use them soon. I have an ELMO that I've never taken out of the box, and now I'm not sure if I will. I'm thinking I can use Board Cam with my Apple TV setup? Can't wait to try it!

    Learning in the Little Apple

  5. Thanks for your post. This is the first time I found your blog, but it looks like I will be spending the evening playing on it!!