Science K-12 Apps for mLearning


1. Science Glossary by Vision Learning

What is it? Science Glossary is an app that provides definitions to thousands of scientific terminology that students will encounter. It connects to the www.visionlearning.com website, providing additional resources for students.

How can it be used? This app can be used for students of all ages and grades as a supplemental resource to teach scientific terminology. Because this is a basic app that provides definitions for scientific words, I would implement this tool the moment students have difficulty with the terms. This app would be the most beneficial for higher grades as the number of terms they must know grows exponentially.  Much of the difficulty in science is having to learn the different definitions, so having this app to aid them when studying would be an asset.

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2. Oxford Instruments Periodic Table by HMA Digital Marketing

What is it? This app displays the Periodic Table of Elements and provides information for each element. For extra information, it also displays the range of elements each scientific instrument can detect.

How can it be used? Like the Scientific Glossary app listed above, Oxford Instruments Periodic Table can be used as a resource for students in grade nine and above. According to the Alberta Education Program of Studies (2013), grade nine is the first time students encounter the Periodic Table, and will revisit the material in Science 10, Chemistry 20 and Chemistry 30. This app will remove the need for a paper version of a periodic table. More importantly, the app provides students with on-the-go accessibility to the table whether they are inside or outside the classroom.

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3. Cell Defense: The Plasma Membran by Brett Baughman

What is it? Cell Defense: The Plasma Membrane is an app that tests the students knowledge on the cell membrane through an interactive game. The user must defend the cell from an invasion from Dr. Vial by building  a plasma membrane with all its parts.

How can it be used? This app can be used as a game resource to review the material with students right after they have learned the material and right before a test. As the game provides students to interact with the different parts to build a functioning plasma membrane, the student must know how the part functions and its specific membrane. As a tool right after students have learned the material, they are able to quickly check how much of the material they understand what still needs to be reviewed. As a tool before an exam, this game acts to reinforce the students understanding of the material in an interactive and engaging manner.

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4. BenchFly by BenchFly

What is it? BenchFly is a tool that will allow students to record their scientific procedures in the laboratory and share it with their friends. As a resource, it provides laboratory videos, tips, and tricks, for students to learn about specific protocols.

How can it be used? This app would be used as a resource for students to learn about laboratory protocol and as a tool for students to record their procedures while they conduct their own labs. I would only implement this tool in high school because this is when there is a heavy focus on laboratory learning. If students are unsure or unclear about how a specific protocol is to be carried out, they may use this tool as a resource for learning. Overall, students are able to use this tool as a resource to learn how scientists conduct their research as they carry out their own experiments.

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5. Mitosis by Standard Nine

What is it? Mitosis is an interactive app that allows students to choose from the categories: explore, read and listen, test yourself, or library. The first two choices provides a step-by-step process of mitosis and includes a short description, and image. Scientific terminology is bolded for students. Test Yourself allows students to apply their knowledge. Lastly, library provides resource links to YouTube videos on the process that will help reinforce the concept for students. Students are able to interact with the cell by touching the cell and dragging or pinching it through the different stages.

How can it be used? This app would be used as a supplementary resource for students to better understand the process of mitosis. It can be used in conjunction with the textbook. Because it does offer a step-by-step description along with the ability to quiz yourself, this may be a more comprehensive resource than the textbook. The additional library resources for YouTube allow students to see how the process occurs. Students who are visual and hands on are able to actually manipulate the cell which will better reinforce the concept of mitosis.

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Educations Interactive Whiteboard by Educreations, Inc

What is it? Educations Interactive Whiteboard is exactly what the name says it is: an interactive whiteboard. The app has various drawing tools and colours that allows you to use your mobile device like a whiteboard. You can draw, solve equations or write a message. This can then be saved and shared with your friends.

How can it be used? I wanted to include this app because it is one of my favourites. This app is not exclusive to science, and can therefore be used for any subject, any purpose. Students can use this as a tool to scribble a quick note, a study guide as they would draw images or write on it and have the ability to save it. This app allows students to share their whiteboards with other students. I imagine that because it is a blank canvas, any grade can use this for educational purposes.

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Flashcards* by Brainscape

What is it? Similiar to the app above, this tool is not exclusive to science. This app allows students to create flashcards that can be categorized and shared with others.

How can it be used? I This tool can be used as a study and testing resource for students. students can input the information and routinely test themselves wherever, whenever, they want through the use of the flashcards. I think that from junior high onwards, students could really benefit from the use of this app. When used for mobile learning, the flashcards are interactive, engaging and provide a more active way for students to learn the material.

The science curriculum can elementary, junior high, and high school can be found at the following listed reference. This was used to determine the appropriate grade level for the app.

Reference: Alberta Government. 2013. Alberta Education - Programs of Study. [online]      Available at: http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/program/science/programs.aspx [Accessed: 4 Aug 2013].

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