mLearning in the Classroom:

Apps and ideas on how to use them.

iPad Apps

This list contains five applications for the iPad and ideas on how to integrate them into an elementary classroom. The ideal age range would be grades 2-6, depending on the complexity of the assignment.

Grammaropolis

The parts of speech are animated characters whose personalities match their function from the sly pronoun always trying to replace the noun to the conjunction who just wants everyone to get along. Students earn badges after following a curriculum map that includes songs, books, videos, and quizzes. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2012/12/my-35-favorite-free-apps-teaching)

Although grammar is not explicitly taught in the curriculum, parts of speech are. These can be particularly hard to grasp, especially for students that struggle with English or reading and writing. This app would provide the context necessary to learn and distinguish between functions. It would also allow for children to have fun while learning. Students can work individually on iPads to progress through the levels. This provides a building block to:

Mad Libs

Mad Libs is a fill in the blanks game. Players provide words to fit the parts of speech required (adjective, noun, etc.). The words are then inserted into a pre-made story which sounds hilarious once compiled.

This is a fun way for students to apply their knowledge. In younger grades it could be used to practice weekly words, and for older students to apply parts of speech. It can be used individually, in partners or in groups. It could also have a dual assignment where one partner or group creates the story and the other creates the words to fill in the blanks. Teachers can use Mad Libs to assess student understanding based on whether they are choosing appropriate parts of speech to complete the task.

Fotobabble

Fotobabble allows users to take or use existing pictures and tell a story about them. They can share their pictures once they are done recording.

This is a great tool because it can be used in a variety of ways and allows the teacher to view the product easily, since it can be saved or shared. It could be used in math, where a student takes a picture of their finished work and explains their process on how/if they found a solution. It could be used in Science to quickly record observations. It could also be used in English, as a fun way to create short illustrative stories. Regardless of the subject this app relieves a lot of writing pressure for students.

Popplet Lite

Popplet lets you get all your ideas out, then categorize and rearrange them. Students can do collaborative mind mapping, plan out projects or reports, record their thoughts, or make mood boards. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2012/12/my-35-favorite-free-apps-teaching).

Popplet could be used in Language Arts where students map and organize their writing process. The collaborative aspect allows for peer review and editing. Mood boards could generated in music or art, in response to certain pieces of work.

Face Talker

The FaceTalk mobile app allows you to a pick photo from your photo album, camera, or Facebook, create a recording, and when played back the picture talks!

This is another app that lends itself to many subject areas. Instead of writing a science report from a third party point of view, the student could describe the changes, reactions, results, by recording them and using pictures. It could also make Social Studies fun, by providing a comprehensive report, where the pictures actually tell the students story.