5 Art Apps to Use This School Year

In the last few years, there have been some incredible art apps developed. In fact, there have been so many developed that searching through them can become a bit overwhelming. So, I asked the other AOE writers to share what art apps they use the most. Here is what they had to share.

App Collage

1. iMotion

If you are interested in stop-motion animation projects then this is the app for you. The basic version is free and there is also a pro version that is $2.99. While Alecia was the writer who originally sang the praises of this app, I can personally vouch for it  myself. In less than one class period, my students were introduced to the app and created a finished stop-motion project. Talk about student-friendly! Check out this edshelf review to learn a bit more about it.

2. Drawing Pad

This app is one of the best for drawing and painting on the iPad. It is easy enough for young students to navigate and use yet has enough features that older students can create complex images. The app is $1.99, but you can check with your school’s tech person to see if you can get a discount. Check out this edshelf review to learn more, or just go get the app and start playing!

3. Canva

This free app is a simple and beautiful way to create graphic elements for use in your classroom. There are plenty of options available to use for free and there are almost unlimited options available with in-app purchases. Check out his edshelf video to get started and watch for Jennifer Borel’s review coming later this month.

4. Paper

Paper is another drawing app that is fun to use. The app is “free” but to really be able to use it at its full potential you will need to do the in-app purchases. I love that it allows me to keep different sketchbooks and that I can send them off to be printed. I find this app to be the most like drawing in a “real” sketchbook. You can learn more about this app by watching this edshelf video.

5. Vine

This free app is not necessarily an art app, but most secondary teachers have probably heard their students talking about it. Vine is a video creation app that allows its users to shoot short videos or photos (up to 6 seconds) and make them into a “vine.” These videos can then be shared with friends on different social platforms. Andrew shared this as his favorite app saying, “I love thinking of ways to get kids actually using it for creation rather than just passive stimulation.” How true! Imagine how much cooler you will be if you ask your students to make a vine for their artist statement or for an art history assignment. Here is an edshelf video for you to learn a bit more about this app.

I know there are many, many more art apps out there, but these are a few to get you started thinking about what apps you might want to use in the next school year. We all know how much the kids love them. Hopefully, after exploring these apps you will love them also.

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What is your favorite art app to use in the classroom?

How has using apps changed your teaching?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jennifer Carlisle

Jennifer Carlisle, a middle school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She loves exploring and teaching art through both traditional and digital art mediums.

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