mLearning for K-12 Classrooms
using mobile technology to enhance learning
I've created this Tackkboard for my EDIT 202 class at the University of Alberta. I am personally of the mindset that there are many ways that mobile technology (hardware or software) can be used in the K-12 classroom to enhance student learning. Apps can be used to make learning more fun and engaging for students, which will make their learning experiences more memorable. They may also be more able to apply what they have learned to other, real-world situations. I'd like to give five examples of apps/software/hardware that can be useful in the K-12 classroom.
On to the technology!
Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe
What is it? It's a mobile app created by Brian Cox, particle physicist and professor at the University of Manchester, designed to let users explore the universe in 3D. It links users to hours of BBC video about the universe, shows 3D models of planets, moons, galaxies, and nebulas, and provides interactive articles. Students can basically go on a quest through the universe using this application.
How can it be used? Students can use it as a research tool for Science classes. When studying the universe/planets/astronomy, students can use this as a reference. The teacher could also demonstrate its' use to students, and have them choose a topic to research using the app.
The Elements: A Visual Exploration
What is it? Based on the book "The Elements" by Theodore Grey (Popular Science magazine), it's a fully interactive periodic table. Every element is pictured with an animated image alongside all the important facts. This application makes chemistry, and the periodic table of the elements, interactive and interesting.
How can it be used? It can be used in the classroom any way that a periodic table would usually be used. If a classroom has a set of iPads, students can each use this app on the iPad to really explore the periodic table interactively. The app also is available in more than a dozen different languages, so language is not a limiting factor in using the application.
What is it? Little Alchemy is a free, interactive game that is supported by the Google Chrome web browser, iPad, and iPhone. The premise is simple: the user begins with four elements (water, fire, earth, and air) and mixes them, two at a time, to create 360 different combinations of things. From these four elements, the user creates things such as: plants, humans, trees, houses, oxygen, birds, even mountains!
How can it be used? It can be used in the classroom as a fun and interactive way of illustrating how all the elements on earth are linked. Students can create a final product (it will be shown in red), and as an assignment, map out how they arrived at that final product. What combinations did they have to make before they came upon the final product? How did the elements contribute to the making of the final product?
What is it? It's a game where players assemble math equations on a crossword-like board. Turns are scored based on the product of each equation that is assembled by the player in the turn. It provides various skill levels from easy to genius, so it can be adapted for different grades.
How can it be used? It can be used as a fun and interactive way for students to practice their math skills. Because of its game-like setup, students won't feel like they're doing math drills (even though they are!) It emphasizes the math equations that they are able to create, and helps them feel knowledgeable and confident, adept in their math skills. Students may play against the computer, or against other students in the class (on their iPhone or iPads).
What is it? As you may have guessed from the title, this is an app that allows the ethical and environmentally friendly frog dissection lab! It allows students to virtually dissect the frog step-by-step, with 3D images accompanying the dissection. It also provides quizzes, step-by-step instructions, information on different types of frogs, and an anatomical comparison of frogs to humans, in addition to other resources.
How can it be used? This allows students to perform the frog dissection lab without any of the mess, or ethical/environmental concerns of animal cruelty. I think that this application could replace the real-life dissection lab.