Apps for Learning

The Apps for Learning page lists smart device apps discussed in the context of learning (e.g. during MELSIG events in 2013) and organises them within a proposed Smart Apps for Learning Taxonomy. This organisation focuses on the primary purpose of the learning activity.

A new site full of Smart App learning scenarios is now growing at:

The links from the App descriptions point to iTunes. If someone would like to send me the Android links please do. Other similar resources are listed at the bottom of the page. Add suggestions at Padlet.

Accessing Content & Data

Main purpose: the learner is actively engaged in finding, selecting and using media and data e.g. checking assignment briefs, reading papers, watching videos, listening to audio, receiving feedback, using databases and catalogues.

Excellent dictionary with integrated thesaurus. Other types of dictionaries are available within the app as paid extensions. (free)


HMH Fuse presents video tutorials, MathMotion step-by-step examples, homework help, quizzes, tips, hints, and many other integrated features to teach, review, and assess all concepts. (free with paid content)


GoDocs gives you access to your Google Drive files all in one app. GoDocs also offers advanced features such as push notifications and support for multiple accounts. In situations where you may have more than one Google account that you store documents in. (£)


The Historypin app reveals photos near your current location and allows you to view them layered over the modern scene in front of you. You can also explore Collections of some of the best old photos from around the world, wherever you are. (free)


Download and read books from the iBooks Store or send PDFs to iBooks. The iBooks library lets you manage your reading matter into folders and rename documents, which is useful for journal articles for example. You flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark or add notes to your favourite pages. (free)


The iTunes U app gives you access to complete courses from universities and other schools. It claims to bethe world’s largest digital catalogue of free education content. (free)


The Kindle app is optimised for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines and PDFs on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface. (free)


Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves. (free)

Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere replaces expensive proprietary audience response hardware with standard web technology. Use it to gather live responses in any venue, e.g. presentations, classrooms. Use through your browser app.


Offline Survey Response Gathering
Set up and log in to a Polldaddy account. Then select the surveys from your Polldaddy account you’d like to make available for iPad. The app will download all of the question information to the device so you can take this survey out into the world and collect offline responses. When you’re back on the internet, sync those responses back to to analyse the data. (free)


The TED app presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends. The entire TEDTalk library, with more than 1,400 videos  (with more added each week), is available to browse at any time, even when you’re not online.  (free)


Share, watch and comment on videos. (free)

Content Production

Main purpose: the learner is actively engaged in producing media e.g. writing assignments papers, producing video and audio, producing notes, collating data, making notes or recording activities.

Animation Creator HD

Produce animations using powerful drawing tools, color options, and frame management. Export as video to YouTube, Twitter or email among other options. (£)


Create your own iBooks on the iPad. Read them in iBooks, send them to your friends, or submit them to the iBookstore. See the video of Book Creator(£)

Camera Awesome

Camera Awesome takes sharp, well-exposed photographs and allows you to enhance them. Camera apps are useful for producing presentations, handouts and assignments by illustrating processes, situations or making content more attractive. Photo elicitation is an example of an approach to explain ideas in ways that are less prescribed than text. (free)

Camera Plus

Capture photos and videos in any light you wish on your iphone, using the built-in live filters. (£)


Create and publish podcasts directly from your iPad with Caster Free. It supports multi-track audio editing, and has cut, copy and paste functions. (free/£)


Colwiz is software for researchers, academics and students. The iPad, iPhone and iPod touch versions sync your research articles, attachments and annotations with the Desktop App over the internet.

Cute CUT

Beside providing the utilities of a common video editor, Cute CUT allows you to draw directly on a movie, Export to Camera Roll, Send to YouTube/Facebook and Send by E-mail. (free/£)


Diptic lets you combine and edit photos to create collages that can be shared via email, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Tumblr. (£)


Create, edit and view Word and Excel files (Office 2007/2008/2010) and view PowerPoint, PDF, iWork, Text, .RTF, and other files. (£)

Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is a straightforward yet impressive speech-to-text tool (voice recognition) application powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This can be faster than typing on the keyboard and is useful for recording data and transcribing by speaking.It is useful for making written notes in labs or other situations where it’s difficult to write. It is also helpful for transcribing hand written data. (free)


DropVox records audio and sends it directly to your Dropbox account in M4A format so you can access it on other devices. (£)

Easy Chart

Easy Chart allows you to create charts and graphs in multiple colour schemes and upload them to social media sites. (free)

Easy ePub Code Editor

Create fixed layout ebooks outputing to ePub 3.0. It includes various views: book manager, media manager, file manager, code editor, page manager. Quite expensive. (£)


Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a video tutorial involves simply touching, tapping and talking. Use it to explain concepts and illustrate ideas. You can use it to add commentary to photographs or draw and narrate diagrams. Share your video animations through email, Facebook or Twitter. (free)

Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. (£)

Flickr Studio

Flickr Studio is a highly intuitive app that allows you to browse all your Flickr photos and videos on your iPad’s hi-res screen. (£)


Fotobabble combines photographs with narrative and lets you share them with your audience via email, Facebook or Twitter. Sharing Talking Photos is faster than video, easier than typing, and more engaging and personalised than sending a picture alone. (free)

iA Writer

A writing app that focuses on writing rather than word processing by using a custom typeface, an extended keyboard, a focus mode that dims all but the current 3 lines, and advanced file management functionality. (£)


Effective video editing software providing a good range of tools to produce simple movies quickly. Upload these to Vimeo or YouTube or organise them or share them. (£)


Broadcast, record, play back and share high quality audio up to 60 minutes in length. Pause and resume recordings, add up to four high resolution photos and automatically geolocate your call. (free)


Multi-Touch photography in a breakthrough way. Browse, edit and share your photos from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Create Photo journals, quality effects and brush editing. (free)


Keynote is Apple’s presentation app designed for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Capable of saving in PowerPoint format, it is useful for creating presentations and other types of slide-based resources on the move. (£)


Lino is an online stickies service that offers stickies and canvases. You can post, see and peel off stickies on canvases freely. (free)


Notability integrates handwriting, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organising for flexible note making. (£) 

Office HD

Office HD is an office document editor available on the iPad making it easy to open, view, create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from your iPad. (£) 


Apple’s word processing app is useful for creating and managing documents. It features various formatting tools and templates. You can open and edit Word documents and keep original formatting though Page’s style tools are limited. Access documents from the device, iCloud or share via email. (£)


Hand written note writing tool which integrates with Evernote making notes accessible on various devices. It makes hand writing searchable. Different paper options including lined, grid and blank can be used. A useful cut and paste tool and coloured pens help drawing functionality. You can reorder pages and email single pages or whole note books.


Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. (free)

PureAudio Live Recorder

PureAudio Live Recorder is an easy to use, intuitive audio recorder. It offers background noise reduction for clear recordings of voice notes, lectures and interviews. (£)


Prezi is a cloud-based software for making and accessing presentations. (free)

Quick Office

Access and edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and PowerPoints without losing formatting.(£)


QuickVoice is a popular, full-featured iPhone/iPad/iPod voice recorder. Record ideas, voice memos, voice email, dictation, lists, meetings, classes, or entire lectures. (free)

Let’s you publish online magazines by curating content on your favourite topic.  (free)



Simplenote is an easy way to keep notes, lists, ideas and more. Your notes stay in sync with all your devices for free. (free)

Sound Drop

Use Soundrop to create music by drawing lines. This is useful for addressing the problem of finding copyright free music for media projects. (free)


Splice is an easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, video editing and audio/video effects system. (£)

Stop Animator

Stop Animator is useful for anyone interested in making stop action or time lapse videos. (free/£)


Broadcast live and watch live video on your device. Ustream powers live interactive video that enables anyone to watch and interact with a global audience of unlimited size. (£)


Vine is a social video tool. Create short, looping videos simply and post them on Vine and share to Twitter and Facebook. (free)


Create and share dynamic conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos – basically anything there is to talk about. You can talk, type, and draw right on the screen. You can invite anyone to take part in your multimedia conversations. (free)

Voice Memos

Record unlimited, high quality audio with Voice Memos for iPad using the built-in microphone, your headset, or an external mic. Voice Memos can even continue to record while you’re using other apps (£)


Write posts for and manage WordPress sites wherever they are hosted.

Video scribe HD

Create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing. (£) 

Personal Organisation

Main purpose: the learner uses technology to manage themselves, their academic work and other aspects of their lives, wherever they are e.g. planning work, checking timetables, planning projects, travelling to and finding places.

Audio Memos

A straightforward tool for creating and managing audio notes. It has audio normalising functionality which makes it useful for recording in less than ideal situatuions. Students can, for example, record lectures, group work meetings, tutorials, feedback and ideas. (free/£)


Corkulous is a multi-purpose app containing cork boards where you can place notes, labels, photos, contacts, and tasks. Group your ideas visually on one board or spread ideas out across multiple boards (sub-boards also supported). Each cork board has plenty of real estate to capture your best ideas and plans. (free/£)


Delicious is a social bookmarking tool. Save, tag and share links to videos, pictures, tweets, blog posts, or articles on topics and search through others’ collections of links to discover interesting web content. (free)


Diigo is a social bookmarking tool. The app helps you manage bookmarks, archives, annotations, notes, images, and screenshots and integrates with your desktop browser. (free)


Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by Dropbox, Inc., that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software. Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers or devices, which Dropbox then synchronises so that it appears to be the same folder (with the same contents) regardless of which computer is used to view it. (free)


Evernote is a free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. (free)

Google drive

Use Google Drive for creating, sharing and storing all your files in one place so you can access them anywhere. (free)

Meeting Box

An impressive note taking tool with audio recording, text notes, handwriting and drawing function. By recording a meeting or lecture students are able to comeback to write up notes later. (£)


Mendeley is academic software that indexes and organizes all of your PDF documents and research papers into your own personal digital library. It gathers document details from your PDFs allowing you to search, organise and cite. It also looks up PubMed, CrossRef, DOIs and other related document details automatically, importing papers quickly and easily from resources such as Google Scholar, ACM, IEEE and many more at the click of a button. (free)

Mindjet maps

Mindjet Maps lets you enter ideas, tasks, and meeting notes into visual maps that help you organise concepts and prioritise action items. You can create new maps in the app or import them from Mindjet Connect. Mindjet works on Windows and Mac desktops, in the cloud, and on mobile devices. (free)


sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, jot travel notes, teach a class, make a presentation and much more. With iCloud support, your notes stay up to date on all your devices (£)


Scholarley is an unofficial Android client for Mendeley, the free tool for managing your library of academic papers. See also Mendeley for iOS and Droideley. (free)


SkyDrive lets you store your files so you can access them from virtually any device. You can also upload photos or videos from your phone to SkyDrive. (free)

Communication & Collaboration

Main purpose: the learner is actively engaged in learning with others, either formally or informally (students, tutors, co-workers, friends, family, etc) e.g. arranging meetings, discussing ideas, group work, peer feedback, co-production of knowledge, listening to others, summarising activities.

Adobe Connect

Supports full participation in Adobe Connect Meetings from your mobile device. (free)

Blackboard Collaborate

Offer a more collaborative, interactive, and mobile learning experience that constantly evolves, and you’ll keep everyone engaged like never before. (free)


Edmodo can be used by teachers and students to stay connected and share information. Use Edmodo for secure classroom discussions, posting assignments, gradebook tracking, file sharing and uploading. (free)


The social networking platform used to interact, create groups and for online chat. (free)


Google+ is Google’s Social Network. But Google+ is different to Facebook and Twitter in the fact it is more about data. Join a Hangout, post a photo or see what friends are sharing while you’re on the go. It will be part of every Google product in the future. (free)


Powerful twitter and social media client which allows you to manage your profiles, like Facebook, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Twitter. HootSuite allows you to send and schedule updates, track click stats, and set up tracking columns to monitor keywords, #hashtags, and lists. (free)


App for the professional social media site used to promote work history, write references and other interactions. (free)


Use Nearpod to create and synchronously distribute multimedia presentations in the classroom and integrate interactive elements to engage students. It combines presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools. (free)


Skitch allows you to communicate using annotation, shapes and sketches. (free)


Free voice and video calls to anyone else on Skype, whether they’re on an Android, iPhone, Mac or PC, as well as IMs to your friends and family, no matter where they are. (free)


Socrative provides the functionality of classroom clickers to capture student responses to questions posed by the tutor. It can be used to check understanding, to compare different perspectives and ideas through real time class surveys. There are different apps for the tutor and the student. (free)


With the use of hashtags, It captures tweets and performs live chats. (free)


Post anything such as: photos, video, quotes, chats, links, and text. You also have the ability to create and follow blogs. (free)

Authentic Activity

Main purpose: the learner is actively engaged in real world activities or situations reflecting the way knowledge will be used in real life e.g. role play, preparing, social discourse, observing and reflecting on activities, analysing, comparing and improving processes, working in different physical and virtual spaces; speaking, writing, recording, presenting, reporting, summarising.


Aurasma is an augmented reality app that can be used to bring tagged images, objects and even physical locations to life with interactive digital content, such as video, animations and 3D scenes. Aurasma lets you create and share your own augmented reality ‘auras’ by using the tools within the app. These can be shared with students, peers and tutors. (free)


iBorehole is a geotechnical borehole logging application designed to help both new and experienced loggers create better records. It combines the familiar functions of a traditional paper log with the advantages of digital record keeping. (£)

Coaches eye

Record and provide spoken and annotated video feedback on activities. Useful for tutors or students giving feedback on any physical performance – not just sport. (free)


Popplet allows you to quickly capture ideas visually and collaborate with others in real time. (free/£)


Rocklogger is a geological tool for measuring the orientation of rock outcrops. It uses the phone’s compass and orientation sensors to measure dip & dip direction, or dip & strike, in a single click.
GPS and magnetic field information can also be saved, along with details on the rock plane & type. (free/£)

Other Useful Apps for Learning resource pages