mLearning Options for K - 12
5 Mobile Apps that can be used in the K - 12 Classroom
Apps for the Classroom
Detailed below are 5 Mobile Apps that I think could be used effectively in the K - 12 classroom. The majority of these apps I think are best geared to the elementary grades, specifically the lower elementary grades. However, they can absolutely be used in all grades depending on how the teacher decides to incorporate it into his/her lessons.
Woices.com Location Based AudioGuides
Woices.com is a great tool that allows individuals/students create virtual tours of their surrounding area. This can include their community, city, or travel destinations. This tool offers the students the ability to create an audio recording of the information about the community, city, or travel destination, and include visuals (pictures) so that the listeners of the Audio Guide can see what they are learning about.
Application for the Classroom: This is a fantastic app to use in the Social Studies classroom. For example, the grade one curriculum focuses on Citizenship, with a particular emphasis on Community. Using Woices.com, students will be able to give a tour of their favourite place in their community and tell others the importance of that place to their community.
Toontastic is an app that promotes creative story writing. Students will have the opportunity to create a story based on the cartoon characters, which enhances their imaginations and writing skills. Additionally, this app helps to teach students about the key principles for telling a story. It is interactive, engaging, and "fun" learning. Furthermore, students have the option to share their stories via ToonTube with their family and friends. Along with this option, students can see other stories created by students in other cultures, thereby gaining exposure to different customs and lifestyles world wide - all through the medium of story!
Application for the Classroom: This app is perfect for the English Language Arts curriculum in the elementary school. It helps promote writing and storytelling skills in an engaging and "fun" manner. Additionally, this app can be used for cross-curricular purposes with Social Studies. Students will have the opportunity to write a story about their home (community/city/province/country) and share it with others nationally and internationally. Furthermore, students will have access to other cultural stories from around the world to support their learning. This especially works for the grades two and three curriculums.
StoryKit App really focuses on writing stories and then reading them aloud. There is a lot of flexibility in the types of stories that the students can create with this app, such as their own stories based on a specific topic (i.e.: their lives or something imagined) or taking a familiar story and either rewriting the ending, or rewriting it entirely. The end product is an electronic storybook that they can share. This app is found on the Apple iTunes App Store, so it is really great to use in a school/classroom that has access to iPads.
Application for the Classroom: StoryKit App is a fantastic tool to use with the English Language Arts curriculum at the elementary level, but certainly can be utilized in English Language Arts classrooms from K - 12. This tool helps students practice their writing skills and their reading fluency skills. Reading fluency skills are very important across all grade levels. Using this app, students will be able to actually hear what they sound like and make the conscious decision to improve. Specifically, this app is perfect for helping English Language Learners who have difficulties with their spoken English, thereby increasing their confidence in their speaking abilities.
In short, mobl21 is a great Learning Management System (LMS) tool. Teachers can create Study Guides, Flash Cards, and Quizzes; share the content with students and schedule the sharing; connect with their students through SMS and Voice Casting, opinion polls, and reminders; and they can assess student usage, gather scores, and determine who are the active learners in the course. Furthermore, students have access to the information on mobl21 at anytime and anywhere so that they can connect, learn, and study at their own pace.
Application to the Classroom: Learning Management Systems are becoming vastly important tools in all schools and all grade levels. It helps promote communication and collaboration among students and the teacher. For example, a teacher can use mobl21 to post information that supports concepts learned in class and new content for upcoming lessons. The possibilities this LMS tool provides for the classroom becomes virtually limitless, and it absolutely supports a blended or flipped classroom model for learning - especially in the secondary grades in the K - 12 system.
Audioboo is a great way to give students a voice! This app allows students to capture their thoughts, as a means of self expression, and to share their voices community wide - home and school. Audioboo helps to motivate students to engage in their learning, while supporting a flipped classroom model (through the availability of many audiovisual recordings) and personalized lesson plans. Additionally, audioboo is a great tool for teacher professional development.
Application for the Classroom: The best example I thought of for how this app's use in the classroom was for grade six Social Studies. Part of the grade six Social Studies curriculum emphasises learning about our government. This tool is perfect to use in this setting, especially around election times (municipally, provincially, and federally). Students can record information on the various electoral platforms of the candidates, and include their thoughts and opinions on the platforms and the candidates. The students Audioboo recordings can then be shared with the school at large to provide useful information and informed thoughts and opinions with the rest of the school community.