Thursday, April 12, 2012

Top 10 iPad counselor apps

Many of us are now getting and using iPads in our schools.  They certainly make a great addition to our programs!  I now find that I use mine fairly regularly (some days more than others, it just depends on the day).  I'm often asked about which apps that I recommend to school counselors and how they are used.  So here's my list (in no particular order).  Most of these apps are free, however,  for the few apps that I bought, I used an iTunes gift card (put that on your school wish list for next year). 

-Scribble Press (free): Story creating app that students really enjoy!  The stories are pre-made and the students can fill in the blanks with their info.  Can be used as a getting to know you activity in both individual and group settings (in a group setting this would be great to use for those of you that have school sets of iPod touches).

-Puppet Pals HD (free but there's a paid $2.99 version): My students LOVE this app, another story creation app where students can take pictures of themselves from the iPad camera roll and insert themselves into a story.  There was so much interest from the students in this app that I purchased the $2.99 version.  It was well worth it. 

-Dragon Dictation (free): Need a break from typing on the smaller (and sometimes difficult) iPad keyboard?  Just speak and dragon will transfer your voice into written text.  I know of counselors that record notes and reminders for themselves using Dragon. You can edit, save & email those notes.  When I taught computer applications classes, we did a unit on using Dragon and it has come a LONG way, it's so much better now.

-iReward lite (free but there's a paid $3.99 version): I've used a sticker chart during my groups to keep track of behaviors of students and offered a reward once they earned a certain number of stars.  Well just imagine that being kept track on the iPad.  You can take their picture, set up each student and easily keep track of their stars.  This also is great to use for groups using iPod touches, because the iReward app can be synched on several devices.

-CloudOn (free):  Awesome app that allows you to open, edit, create and save Microsoft office documents.  CloudOn also synches with Dropbox so you can easily access your files.

-Pulse (free):  This is one of my favorite apps!  Read all your favorite news feeds, tweets  and blogs in one spot.  I use Pulse to read all of my counselor blogs that I follow.  I can't say enough about this app.   
-Dropbox (free):  If you already have a Dropbox account, another way to access your files.  For those of you not familiar with Dropbox, it's free online storage for pictures, files, documents.  I use Dropbox every day.

-Blogger (free): Many us are blogging (or are planning to blog).  This is the app to do so.  I'll admit that I don't actually type my blog posts on my iPad (I like the keyboard of my laptop) but when I take pictures I usually use my iPad and I can easily upload the pic to the blog using this app.  There's also an app for those of you that use WordPress.

-TeacherPal (free):  This is great to organize groups and keep track of who's in which group.

-Breathe2Relax (free): Neat calm app that helps students inhale and exhale with their breathing to relax or calm down.

-You can handle them all ($1.99):  Great tips on how to handle children's inappropriate behaviors.  This app is so popular/helpful that all the school psychologists in my district have iPads and this app is on each one!  

For more apps and info on using the iPad check out the school counselor iPad wiki. Pin It


  1. Andrea, Thanks a million for sharing this post! I got an Ipad at Christmas and have been looking for some cool counselor apps!! Always look forward to your posts!!!

    1. Thank you so much for you kind words, I really appreciate it. So how are you liking your iPad? I'm still thinking of ways that I can adapt it to my counseling program but have come a long way since Aug. Now I just can't imagine myself without it! I'll continue to share what I find on this blog. Keep me posted on your blog progress and I'll be glad to help and answer questions if you have any. Thanks again, have a wonderful day!

  2. When I grow up, I want an iPad!! Actually, Film Clips for Character now has an app so you might want to check that out though I don't think it's free . . . thanks for all of the good information! I just love checking in to see what you're up to.


  3. Barbara, I'll check out the Clips for Character app, thanks for the tip. I love reading your blog too!

  4. Andrea,

    Thanks for all of this wonderful information. I have a question. I'm currently trying to decide between an Ipad and a MacBook Air. I was leaning toward the Air as I need a device on which I can do more writing (i.e. typing notes, letters, etc). Are these apps also available for Apple laptops? I'm currently in private practice. Any advice?

    Thanks, Joy Morene

    1. Hi Joy, the iPad and Macbook Air are quite different. I love using my iPad but also have a Macbook and use it just as much. I prefer using the keyboard of my laptop vs. the iPad keyboard. If you're looking to do more typing, I would suggest the Macbook Air or you could buy an external keyboard/case for your iPad. As far as apps, that's also different. Most apps are for iPhones,iPads, iPods & not neccessarily for laptops. There are some apps that can be used on either, but if you look in the app store there's a small description of the app and what it's compatible with. What a tough choice to choose from. If you want the apps go with the ipad and get an external keyboard so that you can type. Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions, I'm glad to help.
      Thanks for reading, have a wonderful day!

    2. thank you...yes, I wish I didn't have to make the choice, but I can't buy both at the moment. Your reply was helpful as I was wondering if the same apps were available for the laptops. I will probably go with Ipad for the time being and hope my old pc laptop keeps going for awhile longer. Thanks again!

  5. So glad I found your blog. It's very cute and filled with great info! :) I'm going to link this post on my own blog Friday morning at Thanks again!!

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  7. I am a former elementary teacher and school counselor. I recently released my own app, Penny's Pieces, for school counselors. I hope you will check it out :)

    1. Hi Shanna, I'll certainly check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  8. There is a cool social skills app for primary students called "The Allen Adventure." The students really like it and it is very interactive.