Teach Like a Techie with Apps: 20 Powerful iPad Apps You’ll Use

Teach Like a Techie with Apps: 20 Powerful iPad Apps You’ll Use Every Day
By Lori Elliott, EdD, “The Accidental Techie”
(Crystal Springs Books, A division of Staff Development for Educators [SDE], 2013 – Learn more)


Reviewed by Laura Von Staden

 Teach Like a Techie with Apps is conveniently divided into three sections. The first section includes an introduction, a chapter on management and one on savvy shopping. The management chapter addresses how to establish guidelines for using the iPads in your classroom, and how to access and store student work, as well as a number of other tips on making using the iPads easy and efficient. The Savvy Shopping chapter includes a very useful checklist to help with the selection of quality apps that can be used on a regular basis for multiple lessons in the classroom.

The second section encompasses the majority of the book and addresses each of the 20 apps that are recommended for daily use. Each chapter contains the following useful sections:

  • Just The Facts (if it’s a paid or free app, how much space it takes up, grade range, etc);
  • The Scoop, a brief review of the app;
  • Look What You Can Do (ways to use this app, which sometimes includes a lesson plan);
  • Why Do I Need This One, reasons to select the app;
  • How Does This Thing Work (briefly steps you through the features of the app); and
  • Want More, which gives suggestions for similar apps that may fit your needs.

Each well-designed chapter does a nice job of providing just the right amount of information to be able to assess if this app is helpful to your classroom and how it would work/be used. The book is also printed in color on glossy stock to allow for great graphics and “screen shots” that are very helpful in understanding and evaluating each app presented.

Particulars about iPads

The final section of the book is a frank, unbiased discussion of the similarities and differences between the various iPads which outlines the pros and cons of each model, including the costs. This section is very helpful for making an informed decision of which iPad is right for you. The final chapter looks at various ways to project content from the iPad, including differences in cost, whether internet access is required, and any known glitches.

Teach Like a Techie with Apps is a very useful guide to effectively implementing iPads in your classroom. Elliott provides a number of key insights and tips to make your transition to using the iPad smooth and less stressful. This book offers the key essentials needed to get you started, and having Lori Elliott along is like have a technology mentor in the room when you are planning. If you are considering using iPads in your classroom, this is a must read.


Laura Von Staden has a Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology and a Master’s in Special Education. She is a Special Education Middle School Teacher in Tampa, Florida, where she serves on numerous committees both at her school and within her district and works closely with the local university where she serves as a master mentor. Dr. Von Staden also serves as a facilitator for an online teacher learning community sponsored by her local teacher organization.



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