7 Ways to Use the iPad to Help Students Excel at School

Jeffry Thurana 23-08-2011

We are approaching the era where students don’t have to carry stacks of thick heavy books to school anymore. Everything will be digitized and available at the tip of students’ fingers, inside the iPad (or whatever other tablet can stand alongside the iPad in the future). Not wanting to waste any more time, some schools have already adopted the iPad as their learning tool, while students and educators are slowly figuring out the best way to utilize the iPad for education.


Even though everybody has their own preferences of using the iPad in their studies, allow me to share 7 iPad usages to help students excel at school.

Replace Physical Books

This one should be obvious. Other than saving the environment by preserving the trees, there are several advantages to using digital versions of books instead of physical ones. These include being able to put lots of digital books inside your device and taking them everywhere easily, you can quickly search for any information from those books, you can add notes and annotations without damaging the books, and the books will always be in mint condition so you can keep them forever.

ipad school

There are lots of book readers available for iOS. The one I use is Apple’s iBooks as most of my digital books are in PDF and epub format.

A Quick Source Of Reference

Again, there’s lots of iOS apps out there that can help you find definitions, facts, statistics, and other things you want to know. Since you can’t have too much help in this department, you can have as many apps as you want. Here are a few that I use:


ipad in school

Find & Collect Data & Ideas

Even though finding and collecting data and ideas can be done from any gadget, doing it on an iPad will add a fun factor to the process. My personal favorites are:

To save the information, I could quickly email it to myself or send it to Instapaper Manage Your Bookmarks & Reading List with Instapaper Read More /Read It Later using the share feature on these apps.

ipad in school


Jot Down Notes

When it comes to taking notes, there are only three names that come to mind: Simplenote (iTunes link), PlainText (iTunes link) and Evernote (iTunes link). Simplenote is perfect for jotting down quick notes while PlainText can accommodate a hierarchy of text files inside folders. But if you love to collect snippets of text and images, use Evernote.

ipad in school

All of them are capable of synchronizing your text collection to other devices. Simplenote is using its own server while PlainText is making use of the more established Dropbox environment. As an alternative, Dropbox itself is capable of viewing and editing plain text. If you prefer to literally write down your notes, you should try Bamboo Paper Make Your iPad A True Writing Tool With These Notebook Apps For me, the iPad is the ultimate device for paperless reading, writing, and photo viewing. The comfortable viewing size of the iPad makes it a perfect electronic notebook for reading ebooks, PDFs, typing short emails,... Read More (iTunes link).

Do Actual Study

Since choosing apps that can help you do your studies will obviously heavily depend on the actual subjects you’re taking, it’s a bit difficult to make a specific list for this point. You have to go out and find apps that fit your needs. The choices range from apps that teach letters and numbers, sign language, basic math and advanced algebra, to the ones that help people write and memorize Chinese characters.


ipad in school

But for general purposes, you can perhaps try flash cards apps like Evernote Peek (iTunes link [No Longer Available]).

Manage Classes, Assignments & Social Life

There are so many things happening at school that it’s difficult to get everything under control without the help of a time manager. The first app that I would recommend for this is InClass InClass - The Perfect Agenda App For College Students [iOS] Read More (iTunes link). This app will help students put all the chaos into a more manageable order.

ipad school


Other alternatives you can use are Wunderlist Wunderlist Syncs Your To-Do Lists Across Windows PC and Mac Read More (iTunes link) and Producteev 6 Project Management Tips You Can Use to Organize Your Life Project Management is the profession of getting things done. Our tips will help you apply a project manager's perspective, skills, and tools to organize your own life. Read More (iTunes link). Both are free multi-platform to-do list managers that allow you to add and sync tasks using various devices.

In the social department, there are an abundance of apps you can use, such as Twitter,Yahoo! Messenger, (iTunes link), and Skype (iTunes link). Facebook still hasn’t released its iPad app, but you can use MyPad (iTunes link) and/or Friendly (iTunes link) to access your account.

Have Fun

All work and no play makes you a dull person. Every student needs to take a break and have fun once in a while. You can use your iPad to listen to music The Top 4 Ways To Listen To Music On Your iPad When it comes to just listening to music alone on the iPad, there's a variety of ways you can do it. Whether it's listening to specific artists or songs of your choice from your own... Read More , watch movies The Complete Guide To Watching Videos On Your iPad We've put together a comprehensive list of some of the major websites and apps you can use to watch TV shows, movies, documentaries, and much much more. Read More , play games 5 Great New iPad Games You Should Be Playing Read More , or do other fun activities 3 Free Doodling Apps For The iPad Read More . There are plenty of games for the iPad that can keep you occupied for as long as you want.

Do you also use an iPad to help you study? Please share your experiences and lists of apps in the comments below.

Image credit: flickingerbrad, Apple

Related topics: Education Technology, Study Tips.

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  1. Anonymous
    September 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    It seems like all of these things could be done on a Windows tablet and that would have even more applications in school.

  2. Hmmmmm
    September 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I like all the uses, even though the one "replacing physical" books seems ignorant. As an English teacher I do see the differences of reading on a tablet versus a book, and the numbers speak for themselves. 

  3. Bhasker Raj
    September 3, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Will help students from the burden of carrying the books and writing on paper.

    Interest will be created to learn new topics apart from the regular subjects taught in the school.

    The only concern is the cost and will all the students be able to buy these gadgets?