Five Mobile Apps that Help Education
The first app that we will be looking for this portion of the module is the tool WordPress. This is a rather deep and complex tool that is difficult to summarise it and its functions in a short paragraph. However, the simplest way to describe this tool is that it is a means for students and teachers to create websites that can hold a variety of items or content. This can range from simple assignments to complex year-end projects.
Due to the incredible flexibility of this tool one of the best ways to use this in the classroom would be to use this is a media platform for the students to display their work rather than a tool to build an assignment around. An example of this would be in a grade 9 Social Studies course, which looks at the various economic systems of the world. For a year-end project, groups of students would have to create a propaganda poster for their selected economic system. Once completed, using a variety of tools of their choice, they would have to create a website using WordPress to display this poster to the class and the teacher.
The second app that we will be looking at is Mobl21. This is a multifaceted media tool that allows for students and teachers to create innumerable academic resources and share them with their peers. These creations can range from flash cards for review to the quizzes themselves. This tool allows for the creation of an incredibly flexible learning environment that not only allows students to learn at their own pace, but also to receive immediate feedback on quizzes they complete using this tool.
An example of this being used in a real classroom would most likely be for any subject and take the form of a unit end assignment and review, in this example a Social Studies 7 course. Each student will be requested to produce a set of flash cards as a review assignment, with flashcards describing the desires and actions of the British and French colonial ambitions. The teacher will grade each set and allow the student to use them to review for the quiz. The quiz itself will be done through the Mobl21 app and will be graded instantly as a result, allow the students immediate feedback for their work and summative assessment.
The third mobile app for learning that we will be exploring is the already well-known Google Drive. As many of us in education know, Google Drive is a powerful tool that can assist student learning through multiple ways. From acting as an assignment hub to inbox, Google Drive can accomplish numerous functions, even acting as an office program for individuals who lack the commercial programs. As a result of this free nature this tool can be used as an ideal tool for creating a flexible learning environment.
An example of this tool being used within a classroom could be seen in a Social Studies 8 classroom, where Google Drive is used as a Learning Management System. In this case, the teacher uses Google Drive to post transcripts, notes and lecture slides to the open drive, allowing the students to access them at their leisure. The drive will also act as a repository for assignments, allowing students to print off assignments or complete them online. Students also have the ability to submit assignments online. These functions allow students to learn, study and produce academic content about the Renaissance when they are able to concentrate and fully commit their cognitive functions.
This fourth mobile app is rather simple in its scope when compared to the previous apps. However, this app does one job and does it to perfection. Essentially this app is a random generator of journal topics for students to write on or about, which can be accessed on a student’s phone whenever they desire to complete a journal entry or as a spark to their own creative writing.
This app could easily be employed within any English classroom, as either a loose assignment—complete seven journal entries by the end of December—or as a simple assignment to be completed or a weekend. This random generation also allows students to choose a journal topic that interests the student themselves, driving up student participation and creates a more flexible learning environment for the students to practice their writing in.
The final mobile app that I will be looking at for this module is Story Kit. This is a nice and simple app that is ideal for use in a lower or upper elementary classroom. This app is a production tool that allows students to create text and matchup said text to illustrations of their choice. This not only simplifies the creative writing process, but also allows students to customise their work to a degree they desire. This also helps students who are being introduced to the creative writing process develop the skills they need to grow as academics.
To give an example of this being used in a classroom, a grade 6 class will be given the assignment to modernise a fairy tale of their choosing. Students will then use this app to write and illustrate their story and finally submit the finished product electronically to their teacher. This gives students not only more creativity, but also allows for greater flexibility in the actual production of academic work.