Mobile Learning in K-12 Education
Education 210: University of Alberta
Apps that promote mLearning:
There are many free apps now available for educational use. These apps can incorporated into K-12 learning and help students learn subject matter in diverse, effective and fun ways! Keep reading for a quick review on five different apps!
What is it? This app allows students to create their own audio guides for walking tours around a particular city. They upload their own script and can focus on certain locations around their own city or one they have visited!
How to use it? You could easily implement this tool into a social studies class for an individual project. First, get students to research the history behind the location they will be describing in their audio guide, then let them formulate a script and finally they can record it using this app and share it. This is a fun way to learn the history of a city, or specific location, and allows students to take ownership over their project since it will ultimately be shared with future visitors of the said location.
What is it? Journal Jar provides interesting writing prompts that students can choose from to complete a short writing assignment on. They are available online or on a mobile device. The student can easily switch the topic to look at new prompts if the first one does not interest them!
How to use it? Allow students to explore the app and find a writing prompt that interests them. Once students have chosen a prompt, get them to complete a short writing assignment (10-15 minutes) which answers the prompt's question(s). This app allows students to choose their topic independently which may make writing more enjoyable for them. The ability to choose a prompt themselves allows to choose topics that they understand or are knowledgeable about and will most likely result in a better display of a student's writing ability.
What is it? This app allows students to create detailed books about whatever topic they want. This could include personal or imaginary stories. It also gives students the option of rewriting a classic story or telling a story from a different perspective.
How to use it? This app allows students to be creative, either by making their own stories come to life through an online book, or changing the plot/point of view of a classic tale. The option of being able to alter a classic story is very interesting and allows students to look at narratives from multiple viewpoints, a skill that enhances writing immensely.
TALKING TOM & BEN NEWS REPORTERS:
What is it? This app allows students to create their own personal dialogues that comment on current school, local or global news stories. Students create the script and then the characters Tom and Ben relay this news in a fun video.
How to use it? Get students to complete a relevant dialogue, either individually or in groups, about a current news story. This is a great way to get kids engaged in current events that are happening at both the local and world wide level. By having to create something of their own based on a news story, students will retain the information much more effectively than just completing a worksheet or reading an article on a news topic. It also gives them creative jurisdiction over what news topic they want to choose for their presentation. Students can then show their short videos to the class informing their classmates of the news story they chose and vice versa which will result in a well-rounded current events lesson.
What is it? This fun math app is available on iPads, iPhones and androids. The student is a secret agent battling against Dr. Odd and he or she can earn new spy gear or other rewards for every mission that is completed. You can set your math challenges depending on the math level of the student playing.
How to use it? Math is often perceived as boring or difficult by many students. Games like this can help battle these preconceived notions and help students better their math skills all at the same time. The app can be adjusted to the player's individual mathematical skills and therefore is adaptable to age and level. This game is about beating the clock, which a lot of math apps focus on, however, there is a training round before you enter the real mission which allows students to spend more time on math problems first. This app, and its overall spy motif, is a great way to engage children in a subject that is often disliked and also would also serve well as a type of homework or math practice.