Mobile Apps for Effective Learning
I chose only to review free Apps so they could be available for all my students. I also chose mostly Physics/Math Apps because these will be the subjects that I will be teaching.
Edmodo is a free VLE, and specifically the one that we explored in the previous module. It can also be used as a PLN. Having the option to download the app on mobile devices truly allows teachers and students to collaborate anywhere, anytime.
Uses for Edmodo
• Secure classroom discussions
• Posting assignments
• Gradebook tracking
• File sharing and uploading
• Student progress tracker
• Educational resource library
I could potentially use the Edmodo App for all of the things listed above, but specifically, I would use it as a supplement to in class learning. The option to take quizzes and polls straight from the mobile app could really engage my students in class. Pausing for a moment every so often during my lecture to test my students' knowledge and understanding of each topic will help me see who needs more help on which topics. Then, the individuals that do well on the in class quizzes could potentially be paired up with the struggling students when it comes to assignments. The use of the mobile app in class helps me determine who could work well together by matching the strengths of one student with the weaknesses of another.
Khan Academy’s library includes over 4,200 videos that allow you to learn about nearly any school subject for free! The massive number of topics included in the Khan Academy Library, all of which can be found on the mobile app, include:
- K-12 math
- and more!
The App (and the website) offers downloadable videos, where you can take individual videos or entire playlists that you can later watch offline at your own pace.
Listen to Salman Khan talk about his instructional education videos. He discusses some real benefits of incorporating mLearning in the classroom.
As Khan says in the above TED Talks video, I could assign specific lesson videos on the app for my students to watch for homework. This allows them to spend more time on topics they feel less comfortable with, really giving them the opportunity to work at their own desired pace. Then I could use "traditional lecture time" in class to have my students work on problems and assignments, where they now have to option to ask me, and their peers, for help. This changes the classroom from a situation where the students have to listen to the teacher present the material, to a classroom where students can collaborate with each other and help one another learn. Also, my teacher-student relationship can be much stronger, and effective, because I can put more time into focusing on each individual's needs and struggles.
My Script MathPad
MyScript MathPad turns your handwritten equations or mathematical expressions on your screen into their digital equivalent text. The resulting digital equation can then be easily shared as a clear image for free.
Benefits and Features
- Write mathematical expressions in natural way with no keyboard
- Recognizes 200 characters and operators
- Scratch-out gestures to easily delete symbols and numbers
- Portrait and landscape operation
- Redo and undo functions
As a prospective math minor teacher, I can see this app being extremely useful to both me and my students. It takes messy writing, and transforms equations into a version that everyone can easily read. This will make my notes much clearer for my students. Students could also use it for their notes by writing the equation on the mobile device and sending it to their computer as a picture, which then can be inserted into their notes (if they use a computer to create their notes).
A more involved way to use the app would be to assign problems to my students and have them send me their final answer via email, using the picture from the app. This allows me to set deadlines outside of school hours by requiring emails to be sent before a specific time. This helps to develop time management and responsibility with my students, and the app makes the final product easy to read and easy to share.
Quick graph is a graphic calculator that can display up to 6 equations on the screen at a time. It displays explicit and implicit equations as well as equalities and inequalities in both 2D and 3D, in the Cartesian, polar, spherical and cylindrical coordinate systems. Graphs can be shaded with custom colors to easily distinguish between equations.
Graphs can be copied, emailed via the in-app email, or saved to the photo library where you can store commonly used equations. Equations can be delete by swiping them from the list, or shaking the device to clear all entry fields. Shaking the device also resets the view.
The 3D view allows for interactive rotation, translation and zooming by simple touch gestures. Also, depth of the surface is demonstrated by the lighting in 3D mode.
I would strongly encourage all my students to graph each function they work with to get a sense of familiarity for which functions produce which graphs. The ability to add more than one graph allows my students to compare functions helping to familiarize them with the effects certain aspects of the functions have. Quick Graph will really benefit the visual learners of my classroom, as they can see what function they are working with.
Since the students can save graphs and email them straight from the app, I could evaluate my students by requiring them to submit their final answers (most likely in calculus) in the form of a graph. I would set a date and time that my students must email their graphs to me, strengthening their time management skills, and their ability to associate graphs with functions.
iFormulas allows you to easily search for mathematical formulas in 7 subjects. You save your most used/needed formula to a favorite tab for easy access. The app includes over 380 different formulas, definitions, properties, etc..
The feature to save favorite equations allows for my students to have their traditional formula sheet with them wherever they go. This fits with mLearning because it turns a lengthy formula sheet into an easy to navigate and extremely portable formula device. This supports learning by saving my students time finding formulas. They can save the formulas for the current topic under the favorites tab and have them at their disposal so they can spend more time doing the homework rather than spending more time looking for they right formulas to use.
Physics 101 Calculator
Physics 101 Calculator provides a single source for all your physics formulas and features a quick calculator that generates an answer and eliminates the mistakes due to tedious algebra.
Find the formula for a problem you wish to solve, enter the known values in the correct fields, and Physics 101 Calculator will do the rest for you!
Physics 101 Calculator includes:
- Formula-Specific Calculators for quick solutions
- Database of 30+ Newton Mechanics Formulas
- 2D Motion Formulas
- Circular Motion Formulas
- Springs Formulas
- Universal Gravitation Formulas
- Units Converter
- Degree/Radian Converter
- Trig Calculator
- SI Units
- Variable Descriptions
This app goes one step further than the iFormulas app because it not only provides my students with a portable, digital formula sheet, it also allows them to apply these formulas right from the app. This gets the students familiar with the needed equations, and provides them with a means to check their work before they submit it to me. For written assignments, I will require my students to show their work (so I know that they didn't just punch numbers into the app), but they can use the app as a means of self assessment to check that they are on the right track.