I am iCrazy. And, of course, when you are iCrazy, you are app crazy. The two just go together. I love exploring new apps and reading about what other people are using. Here are apps that I use (or that I hope to use or that just seem useful). FYI – I have an iPhone and an iPad2. Anything that I use on my iPhone, you could probably use on an iPod Touch as well.


Facebook for iPhone – I’m addicted to Facebook, so I use this app often on my iPhone. I use Facebook Mobile on my iPad – I hear there is an iPad app coming soon. FREE

TweetDeck – I like Twitter – here’s how I read my feed and post with my iPhone and iPad. FREE

foursquare and Gowalla – I tend to use foursquare more than Gowalla. It’s kind of fun to see where my friends are. I don’t check in everywhere I go, and I tend to check in just as I am leaving a place. I always have “stranger danger” in the back of my head, so that’s my way of using these apps while feeling safe. I do enjoy foursquare and Gowalla when traveling – an easy way to learn more about the place you are visiting (if you are at a “famous” spot, both apps will share a little tidbit of info. Gowalla is especially fun to use while traveling). FREE (I use these apps on my iPhone only)

Goodreads – Social networking for readers! See what books your friends are reading, have read, and want to read. Add to your own list – great way to keep track and to have a list handy when you go to the library! FREE (I use this app on my iPhone – you can use it on the iPad, but it is an iPhone app, so when you use it on your iPad, the size is smaller – you can always 2x the size, but that makes it fuzzy)

Bejeweled 2 – Silly game where you try to match the gem colors. I am in constant competition with my parents. I like to play on my iPhone. .99 cents

AroundMe – In a new city? Find grocery stores, banks, gas stations, etc. near you. Very helpful! Great on iPhone. FREE

Instagram – Photo app. Take a photo and then scroll through various filters. Makes blah photos look really cool and professional. You can then share it with friends. Use on iPhone. FREE

GetGlue – Haven’t used this one too much, but basically it is like foursquare and Gowalla, except instead of checking in to a place, you are checking in to what you are doing (what show you are watching, what music you are listening to, what book you are reading, etc.) Use on iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. FREE – Connect all of your $$$ accounts, including credit cards to keep up with balances, purchases, etc. Use on iPhone or iPod Touch. FREE

Fandango – Movie times app. Use on iPhone or iPod Touch. FREE

WordPress – Can post a new blog entry and keep up with comments and stats. I like it!  Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

IMDb – I LOVE going to the movies and after I see a movie, I like to know more about the writer and director and actor and any interesting tidbits or trivia about the movie. The IMDb app has it all – find your movie times, read reviews, etc. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

Netflix – If you have a Netflix account, you can view anything that is streaming on your iPhone or iPad. Nice if you are on a long car trip (but not the driver!) and I can see how some parents might like this app for a little peace and quiet. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE (need account to Netflix)

Pandora – Streaming radio. LOVE this – put in any musician you like and you’ll hear songs by that group or person as well as other similar groups or musicians. Great way to learn about new music. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

MobileRSS – If you are looking for an easy way to read your Google Reader feed on your iPhone or iPad, MobileRSS is the best one I have found. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

Kindle, nook, iBooks, Overdrive, Bluefire Reader – All of the various readers I use for my eBooks. I have a Kindle, so the Kindle app is useful for when my Kindle battery dies or if I want to carry around something even smaller to read (iPhone, for example). Mom has a nook, so I downloaded that reader and so far it has allowed me to read books that she has purchased – not sure if that will change with some things I’ve heard about the number of devices you can downloaded ebooks to – we’ll see. iBooks comes on the iPad and iPhone – love how I can put PDF files in my iBooks collection. Overdrive is what I use to checkout ebooks from my public library. Bluefire Reader allows me to read galleys from NetGalley.  Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. ALL FREE


Everyday Math games (1-12 Facts, Tric-Trac, Top-It, Addition, 1-6 Facts, Fractions, Divisibility, Number, Multiplication) – We have intervention groups at my school and I played many of these games with my intervention student each day. Lots of kids at my school play these games on the computer (at school and at home) and I bet they would enjoy playing them on the iPhone or iPad as well. Seems like McGraw-Hill offers these for free during national conferences, so if you are not into purchasing apps, wait around, these will be free again at some point.  If not free when you get them, they should be no more than $1.99 each. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. The link is for Name that Number, but you can find the rest in the App Store.

CommonCore – This app doesn’t do much except give you the Common Core standards, but it’s nice to have them close by when planning. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

QRReader – The reader itself isn’t educational, but what you do with it can be. Have students create their own QR codes and then have devices with this app installed around so that they can scan what fellow students have created (book reviews, maybe?) FREE (there are many QRReader apps out there – try them out and pick your favorite) Use on iPad and iPhone.

Bookworm – Game where you make words before your library burns down. Another intervention student I spent time with had lots of fun playing this last school year. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. $2.99 cents

BrainPOP – They have a free movie a day and then there are archives you can scroll through for more movies. Use on iPad. FREE

Google Earth – We all know what Google Earth is – yes, there is an app for that! Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

PuppetPals – Create puppet shows on the iPad! Can use photos you take or characters that come with PuppetPals. Excellent for writing – I can see this being used as a Literacy Station in a classroom – would be best for small groups working together. FREE – you can purchase additional characters and pay to get more features.

GoSkyWatch – Take your iPhone or iPad outside at night and point it up to the stars. This app will tell you what constellations you are looking at. So cool! FREE

Merriam-Webster Dictionary – A dictionary app. Includes a word of the day, allows you to do a “voice search,” can listen to the word by touching the speaker icon – lots of cool features. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

SMART Training – The folks at SMART have an app! This app tells you about professional development happening in your area, also gives you a theme each month for you to download and use in your classroom or library. Offers tutorials and lots of other useful information. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

Apps I have downloaded that seem wonderful/useful/cool/helpful, but that I haven’t tried (or have only used once or twice)

TED – We all love TEDtalks and this app puts them all in one place. You can watch talks via this app and mark your favorites. I never use it because I tend to view TEDtalks that my PLN tells me about, but if you like to browse and explore, you may love this app. Use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

SeeTouchLearn – Seems great for little ones, ESOL students, Autism spectrum students, and really any student who needs helps with sight words. For use on the iPad. FREE (can purchase more lessons)

Fotopedia Heritage – Explore different countries without leaving your classroom! For use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. FREE

Collections – Scroll through and explore artistic works. For use on the iPad. FREE

Kid Genius – Learning games for little ones (basically flash cards). For use on iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. .99 cents

ICDL – International Children’s Digital Library. For use on iPad. FREE

GeoBee Challenge – National Geographic GeoBee – see if you can figure out the location! This link is for iPad only. Also available for iPhone and iPod Touch. $1.99

This Day in History – From World Book. Find out what happened on this day in history. For iPad. FREE

Have fun exploring!


PS – What apps do you love? I’m sure I left some lovable ones off my list…


About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
This entry was posted in Learning. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Appalooza

  1. Mary says:

    You know I love Instagram! Just downloaded PuppetPals for Hannah to try and she loves it! Have to download some of the free ones you’ve listed that I don’t have.

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