Mobile Apps In The Classroom

Briana Foster

The assignment asks for mobile apps for the K-12 classroom, and I decided to focus on Jr. High/High school as I am a secondary teacher. Now there are many apps for the elementary level (sometimes it seems like there are more for elementary than secondary), and I would recommend searching online or on iTunes for further information regarding k-6.

As well, being a science major I wanted to focus on apps that would apply in my classroom setting and that I could possibly use next semester in my APT. Two of the apps however are student organization based to help with studying and keeping track of assignments.

Here are the top six apps I would use in my classroom - enjoy!

1. Science Glossary

Copyright n.d. Visionlearning, Inc

Description:

"A glossary of scientific terms and short biographies that support our science education website, http://www.visionlearning.com. All definitions link to related terms and to free, detailed science learning modules. Though geared for high school and undergraduate students using our website, the glossary and modules are appropriate for anyone generally interested in science" (Visionlearning, Inc., n.d.)

In the classroom:

I personally have had this app now for about a two years and it is extremely helpful as a quick reference tool when dealing with science materials. Its easy to use layout allows for quick searches to find the term, and provides information such as a definition, basic history, and examples. As well, certain terms are connected to modules on the visionlearning website which has additional information.

In the classroom this would be a beneficial tool for students to use as a quick reference for definitions and questions. As well, it makes the student go and search for the answer in a trusted source (i.e. not wiki).

Rating:

I would give this app 4/5 apples because some of the terms they have listed do not have any information when you press on it.

2. Periodic Lite

Copyright 2009 Johnson Tech, LLC

Description:

"It includes useful information such as an element's atomic weight, electron configuration, melting point, boiling point, atomic radius, ionic radius, and discovery year" (Johnson Tech, LLC, 2009)

In the classroom:

Another app I have had for a while, Periodic Lite is the perfect tool for the chemistry classroom or unit. It easy to navigate system allows for students to look up elements by alphabetical order or atomic number, and provides all information that would be on a periodic table - along with additional information such as group and electron configuration.

I would use this app as a means for replacing a paper version of a periodic table which students could use working on assignments or reviewing materials.

Rating:

I would give this app 4/5 due to the app not providing the ion charge of each element for chemical bonding situations.

3. Convert

Copyright n.d. tap tap tap

Description:

"Convert is a unit converter and calculator designed with simplicity, usability, and beauty in mind. In a nutshell we created Convert because we just weren't satisfied with any other unit converter in the App Store "(tap tap tap, n.d.). Feature include: "simple, elegant user interface; built-in calculator; and unit calculations" (tap tap tap, n.d.).

In the classroom:

Yet again another app that I have had and use all of the time! The one thing I hated in school was having to memorize how many feet in a meter, and in the grand scheme of education it is not the vital tool students should have to worry about (unless the POS says so). Why stress students out when they have to do conversions in a question?

This app would be perfect in the classroom as a quick tool for students to use for questions requiring conversion, and would reduce the stress on students who may have difficulties in doing these calculations. As well, there is a build in calculator for the days they forget (not scientific however!).

Rating:

I would give this app 5/5 apples.

4. Discovery News

Copyright n.d. Discovery Communications, LLC

Description:

"You want to be up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs and cutting-edge technologies and understand the meaning behind the headlines everyone is talking about . . . With the Discovery News app, you will be constantly updated with news articles, video stories, special features and more - with a primary focus on explaining the world through a lens of curiosity" (Discovery Communications, LLC, n.d.).

In the classroom:

An easy and effective way to save paper and encourage a flipped classroom, Discovery News would allow students to read articles and watch videos regarding the newest scientific research and discoveries occurring. I would use this app in the classroom by assigning readings/videos for students to complete at home so that the next day a discussion can occur based on the pervious day's homework.

In addition, this app allows for students to search topics that interest them and focus on how science is all around them.

Rating:

I would give this app 5/5 apples.

5. Flashcards +

Copyright 2013 Connor Zwick
Description:

"Designed at Harvard University, Flashcards+ is an optimized way to learn and retain new information. It allows you to easily create and study flashcards without the hassle of having to buy and write on actual note cards. . . Integrated with Quizlet and Course Hero"(Connor Zwick, 2013).

In the classroom:

A relatively new app to me, Flashcard + would be a beneficial tool to use in the classroom to improve student understanding regarding the curriculum, and to prepare them for assessment. I really enjoy the app as it allows students to create their own decks or through Course Hero (which I have an account for) to downland pre-made decks that I have made for them. As well, it keeps track of which cards are answered wrongly to provide additional assessment of what students need to spend their time studying on (i.e. unit 3 not 4).

This would hopefully help with student studying and decreasing test anxiety. Finally, this app works in conjunction with my edmodo Course Hero app - so if i post cards on edmodo students can download them onto their phones through this app.

Rating:

I would give this app 4/5 apples because it is hard to add photos to the cards.

6. myHomework

Copyright n.d. instin, llc

Description:

"myHomework is just what you're looking for. The clean interface and design make this app great for college, high school, or middle school. . . Keeping track of assignment has never been better! The myHomework student agenda is today's students favourite way to focus and reduce anxiety" (instin, llc, n.d.).

In the classroom:

Another a new app to me and suggested by a colleague, myHomework is a free student agenda and organizer which which allows for reminders on assignments, and an additional way for teachers to relay information to students. It would be beneficial for students due to the reminder feature (i.e. an alarm about homework/assignments being due the next day), and - lets face it - a student is not likely to misplace their phone as compared to a bulky student agenda.

Rating:

I have not used this app yet and will provide a rating after trying it out in my APT.

What did you think of the apps I choose? Answer bellow:

THE END :)

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