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Recommended Secondary Social Studies Apps

App Name Cost Subject How will this app help you in your classroom?
U.S. History Timeline Free U.S. History, Government It provides quite a detailed list of events throughout American history. When the event is selected, a description/definition is provided. Not all events have a description/definition.
LineTime: President's Edition Free U.S. History, Government The app lists every President (along with the years they served and their political party) in order. It can be used as a homework resource or an in-class activity where students are allowed to "take over" the LCD projector to give a brief summary of their assigned President. By clicking on the President's name, a window opens with detailed information about the major events which occurred during their years in office. There are numerous hyperlinks where additional information can be learned about specific events or people. The information links directly to Wikipedia, which, for some, may immediately raise eyebrows as to the accuracy of the information. However, it appears to be good source for at least basic information.
QuizLet Free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Geography for Life, World Civilization, Government, Psychology, Economics Flashcard app. You can search for your specific content area. There are already links to groups of flash cards ranging from less than 100 to over 500...depending on what subject you are searching for. You can create your own flash cards OR have your students create their own. It can be set up where the term and definition appear on the same side of the card. It can also be set up to where only the term appears until you "flip" the card to see the definition. Lastly, it can be set up to show the definition and the student(s) would need to come up with the term. There is an The cards can be set up to appear in chronological order or randomly. Lastly, the audio can be turned on and the words on the cards are read to you. Good for test/quizz review. Also, as an assignment (if they don't copy & paste the definitions!).
Civics 101 $4.99 Government Civics 101 has multimedia presentations explaining the government. It has presentations on the powers and history of the Presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court. A number of multimedia presentations. The powers of the President, the Congress and the Courts are explained. There is a detailed section is on the Constituition, its development and an explanation of each of its parts. The Bill of Rights is explained in its own section, highlighting how that bill is applied today. Landmark Supreme Court decisions are also featured, including explanations of their importance. Lastly, the app contains a section on the U.S. Presidential election process. CIVICS 101 is perfect for students of all ages who wish to understand how our government works.
US Citizenship 2012 Edition Free U.S. History, Government U.S. Citizenship Test. This app (and test) can be given to see if students currently know enough about U.S. history, the U.S. government and the Constitution to become a citizen. It can obviously be given at the end of a course to check for the same knowledge.
Economist The World in Figures Free Geography for Life, AP Human Geography It is brilliant. It allows the students to see how countries rank for various AP Human Geography constructs. Example: Fertility Rate, GDP, Death Rate, Education, LIteracy, etc.
Rough Guides Free Geography for Life, World Civilization Provides quick access to images from around the world.
Psychology Free Psychology The app has a side. Iee of a head and links to to the current links, research, and other bits of info that helps keep the information we are teaching both current and applicable to the kids by tying in the outside world.
3d brain Free Psychology Great for the neuroscience section.  You can rotate, highlight, and get annotated info on the specifics parts of the brain.  Makes it very visual for the students and it's fun.
Stroop effect Free Psychology Great interactive game demonstrating the stroll effect for sensation & perception.
Psych guide Free Psychology Great resource that links you to all sort of good web resources from Ted talk links about psychology, to fields in psychology, and web dictionaries.  The Ted talk links are great.
Mind tricks Free Psychology Great visual examples of optical illusions that reveal the illusion and put all the major ones used in texts into one app.
Educreations Free U.S. History Record and make available online instructions for assignments
Shapemix Free Any Students can record music and their voices and make a mashable recording. This is a fun way to read/ discuss primary source documents.
Google earth Free U.S. History, Geography for Life, Government Show students where on earth events occurred
Civil war battle defense Free U.S. History Students develop and execute strategies to win battles in this game
Oyez today Free U.S. History, Government Gives up to date info on supreme court decisions. Use as a discussion of past and current events. Use for discussion of the Constitution and judicial branch of government.
History pin Free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Geography for Life, World Civilization, Government, Psychology, Economics This is a database of collected photographs from various time periods, subjects or cultures.
Smithsonian Free U.S. History, World Civilization this app allows you to find video content from the library of congress and the Smithsonian
iMorseCode free Utah Studies, U.S. History It's basically a little morse code terminal. You can type in a phrase and it will give you the translation in morse code.
TED free any If you have not heard of TED, look it up right now. *warning: once you look it up, be prepared to spend an hour or two watching inspiring and/or mind blowing talks from  great thinkers/doers.
Constitution free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Government Great primary document to use in the classroom. The app makes it easy to navigate the constitution.
Declaration free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Government It's the Declaration of Independence in app form. Easy to navigate. Great for primary source research/analysis.
ArcGIS free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Geography for Life, Government It's ESRI's ArcGIS app. (if you're at all familiar with GIS, enough said)

Basically this app is google earth on steroids. You control where the base map comes from. So you can browse around on a satellite image map (like google earth), or you can import a map that shows population density, or pesticide rates, or whatever you want (you just have to know what you're looking for).

History Maps free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Geography for Life, World Civilization, Government, Economics This app offers a collection of historical maps to browse. You could use it to find useful maps to present or have your students search and analyze the maps. You can search the map list by category or era.
The States Free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Government This app shows a map of the United States which changes according to the century and decade you choose. You can change the map to show electoral votes for each Presidential election all the way back to George Washington.
civil war lite:history challenge free- Full version $.99 U.S. History This app would help students learn general knowledge of Civil War and famous people.
american revolution interactive timeline free U.S. History My students have difficulty with timeline of events.  I hope this app will help them with War for Independence events
Jigsaw Geo US colony free U.S. History Help students study the original 13 colony geograpy
US State Capitals free U.S. History Help students study for state capitals test
American Presidents for iPad $3.99 U.S. History Help students know more about US Presidents.  Misc facts.
American Dreams Speeches and Documents in US History HD 1.99 U.S. History This app has 465 documents, audio, and video recordings.  This app will provide great primary sources for my students-especially the audio and video recordings, which I believe, bring primary sources to life.
Infinity of Nations Free Utah Studies, U.S. History This app is a mobile guide to the exhibition of the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian.  Obviously it's used to guide visitors through the museum.  I thought it would be a great way to show examples of Native American art, crafts, clothing, artifacts etc.  The app includes information about them as well.  It is designed for the phone but you can push the 2x button in the corner to enlarge it for the iPad.
Native American Encyclopedia Free Utah Studies, U.S. History This is the "largest online encyclopedia devoted exclusively to Native Americans..."  This could be used in class as a research tool, for games (perhaps having teams look information up as quickly as possible), to project pictures or information up on the board etc.
Infinity of Nations Free Utah Studies, U.S. History This app is designed to guide visitors through the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian.  It includes images, maps and an audio guide for each.  They are short and would be perfect to add some color and sound to objects of interest.
FamousInventors and Patents $0.99 U.S. History I would use this information when making a connection with the present day.  I ask students what they think is the most important invention and why. This app shows students the patent process and also review some of the great inventions over the last 200 years.
American Revolution by the American Revolution Center Free U.S. History This is a timeline of the Revolionary War. It includes pictures, collector items, documents and information of the time period of the war, pre and post war also. It also includes short video clips describing some items and events. Students could create a timeline of key events and provide details they find interesting.
Musket & Artillery -American Revolution War Lite for iPad Free U.S. History This is a strategy type game. I personally could not get involved in the game, so I probably would not use this in my class. Someone else might enjoy it more than I did, understand the rules and enjoy playing.
Line Time:Presidents Edition Free U.S. History I would use this as we study the establishment of the government and Washington's election. I take a day to study the presidents. Students could participate in a scavenger hunt about U.S. Presidents or use information to prepare mini reports on U.S. presidents.
The States (by Inventacy) Free U.S. History This app follows a timeline changes through maps as territories and states are added to th United States. Great visual of a growing America.

It also provides election maps of all the presidential elections. Students see which candidates won which states and details of the election. Great to use during this election year and study of the development of our political system.

Canyon Country National Parks Free Utah Studies This app provides an interactive map of "Canyon Country."  It was created by  I think this will be a great resource when we are talking about the regions of Utah.  It provides pictures, information, and even information of visiting.  I often show my students pictures of different kinds of land forms, this will be a more interesting and interactive way to do that.
US Civics Self Test 0.99 U.S. History This will be a fun beginning/end of the year activity. Instead of giving them a paper/pencil quiz to see if they could pass the test to become a citizen (a typical activity for US History classes) this could be used with students.  You could pass it to each row/group/pair etc. and use it as  team game.
iGCT Free AP Human Geography It will allow us to Geocache outside to teach the difference in GPS and GIS.
Google Earth Free Geography for Life, AP Human Geography It will allow us to see the spatial distribution of the settlement of people as well as agricultural patterns.
TED Free Geography for Life, AP Human Geography It provides personal and practical examples from individuals from different geographical locations along with their perspectives and successes.
GPS Mission Lite version is free (and also doesn't work at times) Geography for Life It will allow students to explore and draw hypothesis to discover why people live in the places they do.
CIA factbook 2011 Lite Free Geography for Life I think this is a good way to introduce the countries and it's facts. They have a more detailed version but our school already pays for this, so I thought the free version would be good to introduce a country or a region and gather facts to compare and contrast countries.
Stuck on Earth Free Geography for Life This is a fun app that I could see using if you had a few minutes left at the end of a class. You could also use it to get students interested in comparing regions. I like the top features part of this app. The top 50 waterfalls or amusement parks seems like the ones I would be the most likely to focus on. You could have students pick out photos and complete a photo analysis sheet or just have a great class discussion.
Quakes: earthquake notifications Free Geography for Life This app can be used to identify all of the areas that have recently had and

Earthquake. You can look at a map to see where it took place, or click o. The spot to see the details of the quake.

History: maps of the world Free Geography for Life I like this app in comparing what and how people think of an area at different times in history. Do the boundaries or names change and might start the discussion of why these places change.
population matters Free Geography for Life I like this app because it shows you how fast the population is changing. I think I would use this app as an introduction to a book we read called "If the World Were a Village" it is a good app to start the discussion of how population, resources and human activity are important.
Civil War Today 2.99 U.S. History It has tons of primary sources images, maps, and some videos and quizzes.
Constitution Free U.S. History This has the portions of the constitution broken down by articles and amendments. It also has a section about the signers of the Constitution.
Declaration Free U.S. History It has the timeline of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. It also has information about the signers. It has a copy of it in typeset and in the original handwriting.
Battle of Gettysburg 0.99 U.S. History It has maps, images, documents from the Battle of Gettysburg and the dedication of the First National Cementary.
The Civil War: A Visual History 3.99 U.S. History THis has over 1,000 images of the Civil War. Also, contains a Civil War veteran's sketchbook. Also contains other videos and interviews
U.S. government Free Government Intrduction day questions, everyday questions.
US Citzenship Free Utah Studies, U.S. History, Government These are sample Qs that help students understand what a person needs to know before becoming a US citizen
States Trivia free U.S. History learn facts about the 50 states
American Civil War 0.99 U.S. History using primary sources
US President Facts Free U.S. History, Government can be expanded into discussion of the upcoming election
US Historical Document 1.99 U.S. History, Government get access to many historical documents
Us history timeline Free U.S. History Easy to find important us events
Today's Document Free U.S. History As a history teacher, I am always looking for ways to bring primary sources into my classroom. This app is put out by the National Archives and allows students to see what the original document or source looked like in hopes of making it more real and relevant to them in their lives.
National Archives DocsTeach Free U.S. History, Geography for Life This is a great little app created by the National Archives. It is a great tool for U.S. History teachers (8th and 11th grades) that provides primary sources as well as activities for students that asks them to use primary sources to meet a certain objective. I plan to use this app as a review activity. After I have covered the Constitution, I will use one of the Constitution games with my students to review what we have learned.
Google Earth Free Geography for Life This is an app/program that most geography teachers should already be familiar with. This is a mapping tool on steroids. Students and teachers can also create scavenger hunt-type activities that can take students across the globe to learn about different things. I think I will use this app as my main reference tool in talking about location and place.
Globe for iPad Free Geography for Life This is a REALLY simple globe app that I will use when talking about difference countries and their locations. There are many other similar globe apps with additional features but this one is very simple and very easy to use. Great for quick references. If you clock on the countries it will retrieve an articles about that country from wikipedia.
Quakes - earthquake notifications Free Geography for Life This app is a good tool to help students see the relevance of physical geography in their lives. So often we talk about this as happening somewhere else but this app shows that earthquakes are happening all the time and sometimes very close to home.
National Archives: Daily Docs $1.99 U.S. History I like the idea of using this app as a starter.  It offers a different primary source document each day that the kids can read, examine, analyze, and interpret.  One can allow the starter to be mysterious by utilizing the daily doc or use the search function to find a document that aligns to the lesson that day.  In conducting research this will also be a useful tool for students to collect evidence in support of their positions.
The Revolution: U.S. History Interactive Textbook Free U.S. History This interactive textbook offers unique ways in which to present material about the Revolutionary War to students.  The text can be projected and read aloud as a class.  I really like the interactive nature of primary source documents, such as the Boston Massacre engraving by Paul Revere.  Students can touch blue squares on the engraving to reveal interpretations or further detail about the engraving/massacre.  At the bottom of some pages you'll see an option to "touch the squares to learn more about...".  It offers quizzes, flashcard games, lots of primary source illustrations (paintings from the era), and easy-to-understand maps.
History 3D: Civil War $1.99 U.S. History I love using photography as primary sources because it's something our students can really relate to.  It's "putting a face with a name".  With Civil War photography why not view them in 3D if you can?  Last year I did a 3D presentation with the students so we already have the glasses - but this app provides much better quality photography than I was able to get my hands on.  If you don't have 3D glasses the photos can be viewed in black and white.  Each picture offers detail about the picture (where available) which can be used after asking the students, "If you were looking at this photograph for the first time trying to learn about the Civil War, what information might you gain from it?"  FYI - 3D glasses can be obtained through the Civil War Trust at  I already tried the movie theater route; though they were happy to donate glasses, it is more advanced technology than is required for these photographs.
iTeachStates Free U.S. History This app will help the students to learn the map of the United States and the placement of the states, more specifically.  It has a study hall option where the kids can go through the information at a slower pace.  It also has quizzes with different options (multiple choice, tap to answer, etc) and timed tests called "detention".  It's a fun, interactive way to study the map of the United States.
Bull Run Battle App Free U.S. History The Civil War Trust has a serios of about five Civil War battle apps meant for use while visiting the particular battle sites; however, after viewing the Bull Run Battle app I think it presents a unique opportunity to bring the battle fields to our students since it is not possible to bring our students to the battle fields.  The apps offer explanations of events that occurred on the battle field from park rangers on video at the battle field so the kids can visually see what happened.
RISK $6.99 (iPad) AP Human Geography I used this app in class when we taught the political geography unit. It was a fun introduction to what we were about to talk about.
The Economist World in Figures 2011 Edition Free Geography for Life, AP Human App has different data sets about countries of the world in different areas. The data can be viewed and compared between countries.
Flipscore - Virtual Scoreboard Free Any I downloaded this to use when I play review games. I hate having kids volunteer to keep score so they don't have to participate.
Mobile Mouse Lite Free Geography for Life, AP Human I've used the iPhone version on the iPad and it works okay. You have to download software to run on your laptop, but afterwards you can use your iPhone/iPad as a trackpad for your laptop. That's been handy during presentations when I don't want to be stuck in one spot of the room.
World Atlas by National Geographic $0.99 Geography for Life, AP Human Similar to Google Earth - just a different take on a map application.