mLearning with Apps
Eric Ng


What is Mobile Learning(mLearning)?

Watch this short video by Erica Jarmon for a brief overview.

Mobile Apps will play an important role in the rapidly growing world of mobile learning. Here are just five to get you started:

VoiceThread - The Power of Voice

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VoiceThread is a cloud based online application (no installation necessary) that allows a registered user to create, comment, and share their content online. VoiceThreads are audio based and can be customized with images, music, and other features. An example of a VoiceThread can be found here.

What does mean for education?

VoiceThread has a mobile app that can be used by teachers within the K-12 or Higher Education environment. This App is free to use, although it offers licenses specifically tailored for use by single educators and school as well. Teachers can implement VoiceThread in the classroom by integrating it into student run blogs. They can also be used to spice up student presentations by offering sound and audio enhancements (ex. additional narration for a skit reenactment on modern history) The mobile app allows for quick adjustment and access whenever necessary through the use of smartphones.

Animoto - The Power of Video

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Animoto is a video creation software that allows for the quick, easy, and creative way of producing professional videos. It works by selecting a theme or song. Then the user can customize it through the use of photos, videos, & text. Then they can top it off by finalizing and sharing the final product.

What does this mean for education?

Animoto has a mobile app that can be utilized within an educational context. The teacher can create a lesson that encourages the use of videos. A field trip to the zoo can result in students getting close interaction between various flora and fauna. A science teacher can create an assignment where the students take photos or record audio during the experience and use Animoto to explain and present what they have learned.

Duolingo - The Power of Language

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Duolingo is a popular online learning application for languages. It offers a free and effective way to learn new languages. It accomplished this through the employment of online lessons and practice methods. Millions of users have used Duolingo and the category of languages to choose from continues to grow.

What does this mean for education?

In addition to the regular classroom setting, Duolingo has a mobile app for use in smartphones. Duolingo can be an essential asset to any language teacher. The teacher can use Duolingo to augment the teaching of languages to their students by combining some of the learning tools present in the program into their own teaching. Frequent use of a language outside the classroom is one crucial way of retaining a new language. Students can use Duolingo to enhance their interaction and practice with the language on the go with the mobile App. A linguistics professor can also use Duolingo as an example of how the teaching of languages has changed overtime.

Google Drive - The Power of Storage

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Google Drive is a very popular online cloud storage service. It provides a secure place to upload various files directly into the drive where it can be accessed or shared publicly. Like many other Google services, it is integrated into a Google account. It is free to use for registered users and has much to offer.

What does this mean for education?

Google Drive is already in use by many educational institutes (including the University of Alberta). The mobile App it offers allows quick access from smartphones, to laptops and more. Since these devices are frequently used by students, teachers can utilize Google Drive within the classroom relatively easy. Google Drive offers a new and easier method to organize work for students. By uploading to the Google Drive, a teacher can more easily categorize and organize various files even when not directly accessing their school computers. Students can also use the Drive to retain work and reduce loss through disorganization and negligence.

Poll Everywhere - The Power of Polls

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Poll Everywhere as the name implies is a poll taking tool that allows the collection of sampling data for a particular time and place. It allows for a live audience response to a proposed question(s). It is specifically designed for the use of mobile devices and the main features of the application are centered on this principle.

What does this mean for education?

Poll Everywhere is available in App format and can be seamlessly integrated into the most commonly used mobile devices. Teachers can use this nifty tool to gauge student knowledge on subjects anonymously and provide instant results for presentation. It can also be used to improve general classroom management by posing questions to students regarding what they think about teaching styles and performance. Of course it can be used for things like a math pop quiz with answers checked and verified in real time.

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