K-12 Education Apps
by John Evjen
In working with mLearning, mobile Learning, one starts to work with applications, i.e. apps, to catalyse learning and shorten the process of making these programs for students.
Google Drive is a online cloud service offered by Google, accessible by nearly every device imaginable.
This app could be used for students going between school and home or sport or hobby, who may be using different devices between those places and therefore need their data at any time. It also provides a sense of safety, as the cloud should not fail and is nearly always accessible.
Google Calendar is, as the name entails, a calendar, wherewith one can mark appointments or important dates and write note thereto. It is available online or offline as opposed to Google Drive but any syncing features would be comprimised by any duration of internet disruption. Every typical device can utilise Google Calendar.
Google Calendar can be used in any grade to remind students when certain things are due or when classes are cancelled or moved, preventing coming to school when there is no school or not being at the right room. It can also be used to incorporate life outside of the classroom setting with life in school in terms of planning and organisation.
This app, in combination with Google Earth, is a map of the entire world with almost all addresses listed and pictures from all of these destinations. The Google Maps app is a collabrative effort between Google and anyone who chooses to upload his pictures to the geographical cloud. One can zoom in or out as much as one pleases until there is a security blur. Google Maps also has a Streetview option which can stimulate driving on a road in the app. This app is accessible on most all devices.
This app would wonderful for any language or social studies classes, offering road names, historical images and routes between destinations. Instead of having to have an altas or globe in a classroom, Google Maps could be used by all students stimultaneously and qualitively. This would give students an in depth image of whereever they may happen to be studying.
Phrasal Verbs Machine
The Phrasal Verbs Machine from Cambridge University Press is an iPad app which is designed for English language learners to learn phrasal verbs, such as 'end up' or 'check in'.
The purpose this app could serve is massive as many immigrants are coming to Canada, whose children may not know English well. Verbs are difficult subject in any language and have to be taught throughly and with an app like this such verbs could be mastered fairly quickly outside of the classroom.
iBooks is an app, comparable to Kindle, which is used to read eBooks. Once the eBooks are downloaded from the internet, they can be read offline. iBooks also connects with iTunes and sells books so that one does not have to search far for eBooks. This app is available exclusively on Apple products.
The app could reduce weight of backpacks and lessen room taken in lockers, alongwith the abilities to enlarge fonts, so that anyone with vision can read the text. If textbooks were made available on iBooks, the use of this app would attract a much larger audience.
Babbel offers a great range of language learning apps, to name a few Swedish, French and Portuguese. One selects a catergory of words one wants to learns and then vocabulary can be built, with the proper pronounications, all available offline after downloading.
As a modern language teacher, Babbel could be used as supplementary homework or a possible preteaching method. It can also be used for private use to make progress in a language one wants to learn, opening up doors.