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6 social studies iPad apps you need to fall in love with

I’ve had a ton of fun over the last few weeks, working with teachers across the Midwest on the best ways to integrate iPads into their instruction. I’m convinced that teachers need both content-neutral and content-specific apps to be successful. Content-neutral apps such as Pages, Notability, and Paper 53 provide the tools you need to create and share products.

Content-specific apps can introduce and reinforce the stuff in our curriculum. Find six of my latest content-specific favs below. Some free. Some not. But all so cool, you’ll fall in love.

Geography Drive USA
Perfect for elementary kids.

Hit the gas and head out on the highway in the fact-packed game that turns textbook geography into an exciting cross-country adventure. Knowledge fuels your car on a coast-to-coast quest to learn about the fifty U.S. states. Answer questions to unlock the airports and fuel stations essential to stay in the game. Or take a chance on a bonus delivery and earn the cash to upgrade your ride. Whatever you do, keep one eye on your fuel, because the bottom of the tank means the end of the road in the latest, fun-filled educational app from the makers of Operation Math.

Lots of fun mini-games, geography goodies, and handy maps.

travel usa

Civil War Battle Apps
Okay. Technically iPhone apps but they still work great on the iPad. Created by the Civil War Trust, all of the apps are GPS-enabled, have high-quality multimedia, sweet maps, and great overviews of the various battles.

Vicksburg app

ArcGIS is a great way to discover and use maps. Maps come to life in ArcGIS. Tap the map, or use your current location and discover information about what you see. You can query the map, search and find interesting information, measure distances and areas of interest, and share maps with others. Find community hosted maps from ArcGIS Online – Esri’s online GIS. Alternatively, you can use the authoring tools on to create maps that can be used in ArcGIS.


History Here
An interactive guide to thousands of historic locations across the United States, brought to you by the HISTORY CHANNEL. The easy-to-use interface, photos, video and dynamic maps bring history to life anywhere in the country. Whether you’re on vacation or just running errands, the app makes it simple and fun to get the facts on the history hidden all around you, including amazing architecture, museums, battlefields, monuments, famous homes and much more!

history here

DocsTeach is an online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. On the web site, you will discover thousands of primary sources and learning activities. When registered for a free account, teachers can borrow from and modify an ever-expanding collection of activities, plus create unique ones using the online tools. The problem is the online version is Flash-based, making it impossible to use on iPads.

This mobile app makes it possible to access much of the content. Log in to the website, create classrooms full of activities, then share the classroom’s auto generated code with your students to access on their iPads.

docsteach app

Congressional Moments
From the makers of the award winning Civic Quotes iPad app, Congressional Moments explores key legislation that still impacts our lives today, including child labor, civil rights, the SEC, the National Park Service, the Marshall Plan and women’s suffrage. Learn about the difference between primary and secondary sources by taking the interactive quiz. Look closely in the gallery at a wide range of photographs and images ordered by topic and type. Watch videotaped statements by two leading National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) teachers on how to get the most out of primary sources, and learn in the final section how to look at primary sources with a critical eye.

congress moments

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on Indiana Jen and commented:
    Some great applications here!

    September 11, 2013
  2. Joe #

    Great resources, and many can be used on other platforms as well (other mobile devices and PC). Thank you!

    September 17, 2013

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