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iPad Apps and Instructional Strategies – Identifying Similarities and Differences

Many schools work to integrate the instructional strategies discussed in Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock.  Recently, I began compiling a list of iPad apps that correlate to the nine strategies outlined in the book, and this is the first post in a series devoted to each strategy.  While in no way a comprehensive list, these resources will hopefully give some ideas for how to integrate the strategies into instruction using the iPad.

Identifying Similarities and Differences

According to the research, Marzano identifies four process to explain how to identify similarities and differences:

  1. Comparing – identifying similarities and differences between or among ideas
  2. Classifying – grouping similar things into categories
  3. Creating Metaphors – identifying a pattern and applying to another topic
  4. Creating Analogies – identifying relationships between a pair of ideas
Students will need guidance in identifying similarities and differences, as well as the ability to practice both independently and in small groups to enhance understanding and their ability to use this practice. Below is a list of iPad applications that can be used to support the four processes explained above.  Do you have any suggestions to share?  Help me round out this Google Doc Spreadsheet and make sure to include your name next to any apps you add so that I can make sure to give you credit!


Popplet by Norton Inc. ($4.99 or try Popplet lite for free)
Popplet allows users to brainstorm, track ideas and plan projects visually.  Use Popplet to create graphic organizers where students can identify similarities and differences among a group of ideas.


Draw Venn for iPad by Permeative Technologies Pvt Ltd ($0.99)
Draw Venn is ideal for making Venn Diagrams. Use the app to describe and compare attributes and characteristics of items (things, people, places, events, ideas, etc.)


iDesk – Diagrams, Graphs, Schemes & Ideas ($6.99 or try iDesk lite for free)
iDesk allows you to make flow charts, Venn diagrams, mind maps, take notes, sketches and do other diagrams with no constraints.  Create multiple graphic organizers to compare, classify, identify patterns (metaphors), or identify relationships/analogies.


Analogy By Nth Fusion LLC ($0.99)
This app contains both picture and word analogy questions to help students build their skills in analytical thinking, problem solving, perception, spatial skills, memory, and creativity.


iCardSort By E-String Technologies Inc. ($5.99)
iCardSort is a brainstorming tool that helps you to visually organize ideas quickly and easily by placing ideas on virtual note cards.  iCardSort allows you to group, order, and explore your similarities and differences among a group of items, ideas, or concepts.


Teach students how to group and classify objects using a simple drag and drop interface for younger students.


WordConnex By Chilly Brr ($0.99)
In this app, students sort words to learn about spelling and vocabulary by discovering patterns. With WordConnex, students are exposed to many different types of words and they learn while playing.  According to the website, in the future, teachers, parents and students will have the ability to upload their own lists of words to learn, which will make this app even more useful.


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3 comments on “iPad Apps and Instructional Strategies – Identifying Similarities and Differences

  1. Thanks for this posting and its really nice and informative blog….They give us a good knowledge…Thanks for this blog….I am new follower ….

  2. Kim, I like where you’re going with this post. We’ve recently started a 1:1 program with iPads and have been looking for the best apps. One that I didn’t see on your list was Lucid Chart. We primarily use it for creating a Venn diagram in a few different assignments. The kids love it!

  3. […] – This is a great site that compiles a variety of app that can be used to support and practice identifying similarities and differences. It does require access to a set of iPads for the students, but is a great way to not only teach similarities and differences but also to incorporate technology into the lesson. https://teaching-for-tomorrow.com/2012/03/07/ipad-apps-and-instructional-strategies-identifying-simil… […]

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