Engage Using Mobile Devices

Apps in the 21st Century Classroom

The mobile revolution is here. More teachers and schools are moving toward mobile learning in the classroom as a way to take advantage of a new wave of electronic devices that offer portability and ease of use. Netbooks, iPads, cell phones, iPods and e-readers are becoming the tools of choice for today's educators and studends alike.

It is important to embrace this revolutionary way of teaching to create lessons that engage our students in the classroom and amaze our students with a unique learning experience.

Grade 7-9 English iPad Apps:


Price: Free

With the Kindle app, students can actively read directly on an iPad. Students can highlight and take notes as they read. It is also possible to read Kindlebooks purchased directly from Amazon.

This app would give my students an alternative to reading a traditional hardcover or softcover book in their English class. My student's can read class books easily using this app on most mobile devices. A benefit of this option is that often eBooks are less expensive than in traditional format.


Price: $2.99

This digital notebook app includes full word processing capabilities in addition to the ability to annotate a PDF document. Students can write by hand, type, and insert images. Notes can be organized within the app by divider and subject, backed up to a number of cloud storage solutions.

This app could be used for the student's in my classroom that would prefer to take notes on a mobile device as opposed to the traditional pen and paper option. This could be substantially more useful for students who prefer to keep a typed version of their notes for ease of readability.


Price: Free (Lite version) $4.99 (Full version)

This app facilitates the creation of eBooks on iPad. Students and teachers can create and curate by adding text, recording audio, drawing pictures, and inserting photos as well as videos to create multimedia books. Once created, books can be exported as PDFs. It is also possible to combine books for collaborative projects.

This would be a useful app for the creation of an assignment around the creation of a book or book creation process. I would encourage my students to use this app if asking them to create an alternate or additional chapter to a novel we are reading.


Price: Free

Appleā€™s free download lets any Mac user to create an iBook. Content can include text, images, video, and interactive graphics. Once the iBook is complete, it can be exported from iBooks Author as a PDF, Text document, or published to the iTunes store.

As an alternative option to BookCreator, I would allow my student's the choice to explore iBooks as a book creation tool as well. I think it is important student's have choice around the apps they choose to work with as each student has personalized preferences.


Price: Free

A great blogging option for younger students, Kidblog allows a teacher to setup a class blog that individual students can post to from their iPad. Student accounts are created by the teacher. Students can login and post from either an iPad or from the web.The Kidblog app allows students to include both images and video in their posts.

I would use this app as a way for my English student's to create a collection of their written work. Similar to an ePortfolio, my students could post their work to a blog, reflect on the process, and easily refer back to it to make improvements.  


Price: free (20 units); remaining units is available for purchase

This language-learning app features both words and expressions and coveres a wide range of topics. Comprehensive vocabulary and interactive tests are available. Levels include beginner to advanced so it can be implemented in any grade level.

I would use this app for students to work on their English skills if they have any idle time. Rather than wasting this time I would encourage my students to engage and explore this app. I may choose to use the interactive tests as a form of assessment as well.

Oxford Dictonary & Thesaurus

Price: $28.99

This may be one of the most expensive apps available for English learners but there is none more comprehansive. This app contains the complete Oxford Dictionary and thesaurus. It also includes added audio fetures.

Rather than encouraging students to spend money on this app I would choose to have this app installed in a classroom iPad or tablet in which students can use and reference. This will reduce the need to have large, bulky dictionaries in the classroom.