Mobile Apps in a K-12 Classroom
By: Ms. Cassandra Anastacio
Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding using different mLearning tools to express their knowledge on the play Romeo and Juliet. Students will also be asked to reflect on the work they created as well as how the play addresses issues within modern day society. Through critical thought, students will enhance their understanding on this piece of work by William Shakespeare.
This assignment will focus on a students ability to critical analyze as well as understanding the deep rooted messages within the play. Using an alternative form of learning through media, students will address their different learning styles. Students should think about ways to express their knowledge in an easy, informative way while keeping in mind they will be collaborating with peers.
If wanting to use a different app then the 3 below, please contact the teacher directly to discuss.
App 1: Voicethread
- VoiceThread is a free, online learning tool, which can be accessed on a computer or through downloading the app through iTunes or Android. Individuals can record themselves and while the recording is in progress, one can talk, type, and draw on the screen. This mLearning tool also can be a collaborative tool between students and teachers allowing for discussion, audio comments and drawings on the uploaded thread.
- In the k-12 setting, VoiceThread can be used for students in the classroom to create lessons or presentations about a chosen topic to enhance their understanding. By using both audio and visual, VoiceThread can address different types of learners as well as engage students more. One of the benefits of this app is that if you access it on one device, it will automatically save where you left off when you open it again on a different device. This can make learning more readily available to all students.
- In the English 10 classroom, students are asked to write a short paragraph outlining any chosen act in the play Romeo and Juliet. Please remember to think critically about the act and relate conflicts and/or problems within the act to modern day. Students will then record their work using VoiceThread and personalize it with images and text. Later, I will assign the VoiceThreads to other students to collaborate and ask critical questions in regards to the chosen act.
I created a VoiceThread explaining some of the benefits of using this mobile learning tool. Please go to the webpage listed below: https://voicethread.com/new/myvoice/#thread/6293463/32414736/33848901
App 2: StoryKit
- StoryKit is a free app that allows children to create their own story book or edit and customize old picture books within the app. When creating their own storybook, students can include pictures or voice recordings from their own iOS or Android device to have a more personalized experience.
- StoryKit can be used in a classroom setting to create creative books about a chosen topic in which students can share with both their peers and teachers socially. With this app, there is a sharing feature in which students or teachers can post their own digital stories onto various social media sites like Facebook or even Edmodo.
- Students are asked to create their own virtual story book using Storykit. After each student chooses any scene of their choice, they are asked to create a storybook as an adaptation of a modern day Romeo and Juliet. After critically analyzing the problems within the chosen scene, students are asked to reflect on the problem onto how it is present in modern day society. Then, using this app, students will create a modern day story book that outlines those problems and addresses them.
App 3: Comic Touch Lite
- This is a free app available on the iTunes store. It allows students to create their own comics regarding any chosen topic. Students can also take pictures on their devices and upload them to this app while being able to comment or write about it using comic book style formats.
- Using this app, students are asked to create their own comic regarding a chosen scene in the play Romeo and Juliet. Within the comic, there should be critical analysis of the text regarding issues prevalent in current society. When students are finished completing the comic, they are asked to save it and then print it off for collaboration and later assessment.
Resources for teachers: Apps to enhance learning in the classroom
Listed below are various apps for teachers, specifically English Language Arts teachers, that can enhance the learning experience for students. Through the effective and efficient use of these apps, they can help break down learning barriers in classrooms.
App 1: Ready to go spoken English
- A free app available for Android or Apple devices that is organized in a game format to teach students various English phrases sometimes not found in textbooks.
- This can be very beneficial in the classroom when dealing with students who do not have strong English or young students learning how to read. In some old textbooks found in schools, some English phrases do not appear and this app can bridge the gap.
App 2: Reading Bear
- Reading Bear is a free interactive website that assists students in phonetics and vocabulary. By clicking on certain letters and words, Reading Bear sounds out the letter and then students are able to take a quick quiz based on the sound and word shown.
- Reading Bear uses a systematic phonetics approach, which is known worldwide so it is easily used in all classrooms. Within Reading Bear there are also presentations that can be shown as videos within the classroom setting that use both visual and audio forms of teaching to target various learners.
App 3: Kindle
- Kindle is a free app for students, educators, parents, and virtually everyone. There is a collection of books and magazines that can be purchased for online reading. Some of the books are free and categorized for you on the app. Once you have a book or magazine you are reading, you can highlight information and bookmark the last page you were on and it will them automatically synchronize the information onto all your devices working with the Kindle app.
- In a classroom setting, the Kindle app can be used for paperless, digital reading in which students can customize the reading experience by highlighting and changing the font to suit their needs. While doing a novel study in class, I can get students to access the novel on their Kindle that they can easily read and take anywhere to access. Special modifications include adjusting the font as well as the amount of light needed which minimizes the reading and learning barrier for students.