Mobile learning apps in elementary classroom

What is mobile learning?

Mobile learning is learning in the classroom with the aid of tablets, smartphones, and mobile technology. M-learning focuses on the mobility of the learner, interacting with portable technologies. Using mobile tools for creating learning aids and materials becomes an important part of informal learning. Also, M-learning is collaborative and accessible anywhere. Sharing is almost instantaneous among everyone using the same content, which leads to the reception of instant feedback and tips. Moreover, M-learning creates diverse learning opportunities that engage ALL types of learners. Lastly, M-learning brings strong portability by replacing books and notes with small devices, filled with tailored learning contents.

Now, I will explore apps that can be used in elementary classroom.

i-Nigma

What is this? The i-nigma app offers a simple and easy-to-use interface for students to scan QR or Data matrix codes to access information in the classroom.

How can it be used in class? Students with phones can scan QR or Data Matrix codes to access additional information via text, websites, and videos that supplement classroom resources. There will be less confusion because it takes students directly to a designated website.  Also, students can create QR codes themselves and embed them in their work. I love to keep things new and exciting for my students. I will create scavenger hunts that will get students to visit a variety of websites to gather information on a topic. I can get students more engaged and moving by placing QR codes in different parts of classroom or school building.

mobl21

What is this? This app offers "classroom outside of classroom"

How can it be used in class? This app has rich interactive media feature which will help educators easily create learning material, and publish to multiple users or groups. I can record my lesson and upload it as a podcast. Then, I can share the link with students to use while studying or for reference. Also, there are additional tool features that enable for me to track and monitor the progress of students: flashcards and quizzes. For example, I can help students with vocabulary by sending them flashcards with a list of new words and its definition, everyday. Also, I can make a short quiz for each lesson to see where my students are.   

Motion math

What is this? Game app for iPad which has multiple math concepts within each game.

How can it be used in class? This app can be a powerful tool for learning math. According to a 2011 study by GameDesk, commissioned by Motion Math, this game for the iPad improved the understanding of fractions in 120 children by an average of 15 percent. I can introduce students with concepts first and have them play games that contain concepts that I have explained earlier. I believe mental math is such a key component for success in building a strong foundation in math and building on this early on helps all other math concepts fall into place with relative ease.   

Toonastatic

What is this? Toonastatic is a visual-based interface app that allows students to use images, animation, spoken words, and music to tell stories. It includes a variety of charters and locations for the students to utilize. Kids learn story structure by compiling elements (settings, characters, mood, climax etc.) to make a full video.

How can it be used in class? This app can be used as a powerful and engaging tool for digital storytelling. Students are able to apply and practice their storytelling abilities using their fingers.This app stands out because its engaging interface and how it walks the student through the story making process. Students are instructed to record their voice and animate each character in different sections of the story. Also, it is visually appealing, has great in-app support and sharing features.

nearpod

What is this? A free app that lets teachers put together interactive displays and allows students to submit feedback, offering teachers a real-time way to assess their performance.

How can it be used? This app can be used to create multimedia presentation for each lesson that all students can follow at the same pace. I can embed questions, polls, videos and web-links within my presentation. One of my favorite components of Nearpod is that it has a drawing feature which gives students an ability to annotate images. For example, for Social Studies, I can include a map and have students annotate the route of Lewis and Clark. Also, I can use this feature to create graphic organizers or solve math problems. Moreover, I can share students' responses which are submitted to the controlling iPad (held by me) with the class during instruction. This aspect of Nearpod's design gives students a wonderful opportunity for evaluative conversation and collaboration with just the tap of a button. I found the video that shows Nearpod use for grade 1 classroom in Thailand. Check it out=)

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