Friday, May 6, 2011

My Administrator’s Complete iPad Apps List

I have posted before about individual iPad apps, but have yet to offer my complete iPad apps list. Let me disclose up front that this list is still fluid. I am constantly exploring new apps, and one on this list today, might not be included tomorrow. Obviously, the apps on this list are not specifically designed to help me in my role as a school administrator, but they do help me to be productive and to be informed. Perhaps this list would be most useful for the new iPad user who just wants to explore some apps.

News and Events Apps

ABC News:  This is a recent addition to my iPad app list. I am a news junky, as most would judge by my Tweets. The interface to the app is interesting to use. It is one of my sources for news on the iPad. For more information on the ABC News iPad app: ABC News iPad App Information
CNN: CNN’s iPad app also has an interesting interface as well, but it’s real strength is the access to its news articles and videos. It is a must-have news source for any one. For more information on the CNN ipad app: CNN iPad App Information
Flipboard: The advantage of Flipboard is that it allows the user to choose which categories of news he or she wants to read. It provides access to hundreds of articles in areas such as Technology, News, Fashion, and many others. You can even monitor blogs with the app. For more information on the Flipboard iPad app: Flipboard iPad App Information
NPR: As a news junky, I listen to NPR on the car radio riding in to work. The iPad app gives me another source of news. I can listen to audio versions of the news stories I hear on the radio.  I can also also select the displayed news stories and complete an audio play list of the latest news stories from NPR. For more information on the NPR app: NPR iPad App Information
The Onion: I was once a frequent visitor to The Onion’s web site back when it started. It’s satirical take on the news sometimes make a day of discouraging headlines much more palatable. This app gives access to text, video, and photos guaranteed to make you chuckle or at least smile. For more information on The Onion iPad app: Onion iPad App Information
Politico: Those who know me, know I am a political junky too. I don’t pretend to hide my political bent when I Tweet, nor when I occasionally stray into a political posts on my blog. The Politico app is one app I use to get my daily fix of political news. For more information about the Politico iPad app: Politico iPad App Information
The Weather Channel: This app is extremely helpful for getting a local weather forecast.  I also find it real useful to get radar images, especially when those inevitable severe storm warnings are announced. There is also access to National Weather Service notices as well.  Weather Channel iPad App Information


On the Job Apps

Docs to Go: This app is basically my office suite on the iPad. While I really don’t find working on word-processing or creating a presentation on an iPad convenient, this application does give me the ability to do that. There are times when I discover an error in a document I am getting ready to share. This app gives me the ability to correct that. For more information on Docs to Go: Docs to Go iPad App Information
Dropbox: Dropbox has become the one application I literary don’t leave home without. Actually it follows me wherever I go technologically. This app gives me the ability to access my work documents from the iPad. It is very useful when I need to read something in a document, or when I need to share a document. For more information on the Dropbox iPad app:  Dropbox iPad App Information
Evernote:  I have posted about this app before. I use Evernote to create to do lists, make announcement notes, and take notes during meetings and from books. It literally has displaced the legal pad I used to carry to meetings. For more information on the Evernote iPad app: Evernote iPad App Information
Go Docs: This is an easy to use application that gives me access to my Google Docs account. It allows for easy reading of those documents and editing. For more information on the Go Docs iPad app: Go Docs iPad App Information
Prezi Viewer: This app has a way to go before it really becomes functional, but I have been using Prezi as an alternative to PowerPoint on some occasions. This app allows me to show those presentations without using a laptop. I hope that one day, the app will allow you to edit Prezis too. For more information on the Prezi Viewer iPad app: Prezi Viewer iPad App Information


Web 2.0 and Social Media Apps

BlogPress:  BlogPress is an app that allows users to compose blogposts and post them directly from the iPad. There isn't a great deal of flair to this app, but it makes up for it in its ease of use. When I need to compose a quick post, this app on my iPad is the right combination. For more information on the BlogPress iPad app: BlogPress iPad App Information
Diigo: Diigo is my choice for bookmarking, highlighting and making notes about web pages I've encountered and want to keep. The Diigo app for iPad allows me to access my bookmarks and my annotated web pages. Many times I've been in a meeting and discussed something I've found on the web. I can pull out my iPad, open the Diigo app and share immediately with those in the meeting. For more information on the Diigo iPad app: Diigo iPad App Information
Friendly: Friendly is my Facebook app of choice for the iPad. It has an easy to use recognizable interface. It is a reliable application for iPad users who want to access their Facebook accounts. For more information on the Friendly iPad app: Friendly iPad App Information
Mobile RSS: I follow over 250 RSS feeds through my Google Reader account. Having this iPad app allows me to read those feeds anywhere. For example, while sitting in an auto shop recently, I pleasantly spent time catching up on my RSS reading. It also allows me to share what I find through Twitter, Facebook, or by email. For more information on the Mobile RSS iPad app: Mobile RSS iPad App Information
Twitter: I honestly tried Tweetdeck for the iPad, but the Twitter app for the iPad won. It is so easy to use and reliable.  For more information on the Twitter iPad app: Twitter iPad App Information


Entertainment, E-Book, and Multimedia Apps

Free Books:  This app gives users access to thousands of classic literary works. As an old English teacher, I naturally gravitated toward this one. You have to put up with some ads, but the number of books available is fantastic. For more information on the Free Books iPad app: Free Books iPad App Information
iBook: This app is an excellent e-reader. Graphically, it is extremely appealing. It even allows users to import PDF format items too. You can read books and highlight important passages. You can also attach notes to those highlights. For more information on the iBook iPad app: iBook iPad App Information
NOOK: This app allows me to access e-books from Barnes and Noble. Perhaps I’m partial to this e-reader because, as an avid reader for years, I still regularly haunt the Barnes and Noble bookstore in my home town. It is easy to use with highlighting capabilities. It also has a note taking function too. For more information on the NOOK iPad app: NOOK iPad App Information
TED: As an educator, I’m a big fan of the TED talks. This app brings access to those to the iPad. It has quite a few features, including allowing users to browse videos and watch them among others. For more information on the TED iPad app: TED iPad App Information

While many of these apps are not specifically directed at the physical activities demanded in my role as a principal, these apps have allowed me to do four things:

  1. Be well informed on current events. With so many things happening both nationally and internationally, it is vital for any educator, not just administrators to be aware of current events. These apps go a long way to helping me be well-informed.
  2. Extend my productivity in new ways. Apps like Evernote, Dropbox, and Docs to Go allow me to use the iPad as a way to access existing documents, read them, or edit them. These apps give me another tool to be more productive in my job.
  3. Remain connected to my professional learning network and contribute to the the Web education conversation anywhere. Apps like Twitter allow me to continue to share and connect with other educators. BlogPress gives me the ability to post to my blog at any time and in any place. These apps help me maintain my participating in my professional learning network.
  4. Continue professional reading and learning. The e-books apps allow me to read a whole range of books, highlight, and take notes. The TED talks app allows me to view their entire library of inspiring videos. These apps allow me to carry my professional library with me wherever I go.

While I’ve entitled this post “My Administrator’s Complete iPad App list,” it is obvious these could be the apps of choice for just about anyone. For those administrators or educators wanting some apps to begin exploring, perhaps this list is a great starting point.


  1. I would add one and make one substitution. I don't know how anyone has an iOS device, is an administrator, and doesn't use a task manager. Personally, I love OmniFocus. It does a beautiful job of implementing the Getting Things Done methodolgy and keeps me from forgetting vital tasks. When you have multiple projects and duties, it frees you from having to think about and remember what you have to do and let's you work and be creative.

    My substitution would be Blogsy. It's a new blogging app and has much better features and usability than Blogger's app.

  2. I really enjoyed your list!  I use many of these apps as well and look forward to exploring a few that you recommended.  I use some additional apps which your readers might find useful: 

    iThoughts HD
    This is a terrific mindmapping app.  I use it for brainstorming on a regular basis.  It syncs with a variety of online services (including dropbox) and you can export your mind map in outline form.  I had never tried mindmapping before using this app but it is now my preferred method of brainstorming.

    GoodReader - i use this app to store, organize, email, and annotate .pdf files.  It supports a number of document formats and syncs with several cloud services.  This app is one of my favorites.

    Voice2note - this isn't an app, but a service that works with Evernote.  It transcribes Evernote voice notes to text.  It also has a phone number you can call to record a voice note, and it will automatically be translated to text.  Because I often think of things while I am driving, and don't want to dig in my bag and pull out my phone to record a note, I use the handsfree bluetooth in my car to call the number and record my note.  When I get to work my transcribed note is there in Evernote waiting for me. You can transcribe 5 notes a month for free or they have a premium version (which I just signed up for since I already used up my 5 notes in the first week!)

    Twipple - what I like about this iOS twitter client is the ability to clip tweets or links directly to Evernote.  Nice feature for heavy Evernote users like me.

  3. Thanks for the additional suggestions. I have thought about taking a closer look at OmniFocus. What has deterred me from using it so far has been the 39 dollar price tag. Thank you for the blogging app suggestion too. I've looked at Blogsy and I think I'm going to give it a try.

  4. Thanks for the additional suggestions. I have been looking for a mindmapping app, and have even tried a few, but not iThoughts. I'll check it out. I also will have to try out GoodReader, Voice2note, and Twipple too. I use Evernote so much anything that expands its abilities is a plus. Thanks!

  5. I'm waiting for my ipad to arrive. Me and James our VPrincipal are going to see how we'll use an ipad as administrators in our school.
    Thanks for the info. Have you considered using appolicious so we can see what each other are using.... just a thought

  6. Thanks for this great list and all the follow ups. The iPad is the greatest tool to come to Administration since the Palm Pilot. The world of apps is ever changing so it is helpful to have these ongoing dialogues. I'll post a list myself at

  7. I really like this post, For the past few years, many ipad apps are develop and I think many more ipad apps to come in the future. Thanks for sharing this great list.

  8. Those apps are very useful.i would like to refer my friends also who are looking up for this.Thanks for share it. I got some important points which will help to me in future so thanks again.