K-12 Mobile Apps
A few favorite Apps I have already used in a Grade 6 classroom! All were used in the class projects for social studies.
There might literally be tens of thousands of apps out in the cyber universe. I have tried a few and reviewed a few that I decided were not appropriate for the classroom. It is important to preview all apps for content and grade appropriatness. Also ask youself, "What is the purpose of this app? Does it add anything meaningful to the classroom activity?"
At any rate, I am going to share with you 5 apps that I used in Grade 6 Social studies!
Across the term students were looking at themes of Citezenship, government and homelessness. All there work was tied into one final project. Where they wrote, recorded, filmed and created a final multimedia piece. Many of the students used the following apps in their work:
1) Dictionary.com (Mobile app available for ipad etc)
This app helps students with spellings and proounciations of words and also helps them pick different or more appropriate words for situations.
In the context of the grade 6 project, many students used the app to make sure they were spelling political terms correctly and also used the app to help them find words beyond their current vocabularies to help them describe events like visiting a city council meeting. Others used the online app to hear words spoken correctly before using the words in their live recorded script readings.
imovie is an apple app that was on the class ipads. It is a tool that is used to create multi media short movies.
In the grage 6 project students took pictures and videos during a number of class field trips and merged these with audio recordings they made of descriptions of the trips and reflections on the curriculum learnings. The final movie was presented to the entire class and again on parent teacher confrence night as evidence of learing.
This project hit curricular outcomes in social studies, language arts and technology.
3) google maps
Google maps is an app that you can get directions, find addresses from etc. Most mobile devices also use google maps as a gps unit as well.
For the purpose of the Grade 6 project, students used the street view mode to be able to visit areas of the city where the homeless frequent. They could see visually some of the circumstances and issues facing the homless commnity and also see that some of those places where pretty close to where some students live. These images were used in students presentations and were also used by their teacher to stimulate group discussion on the issues. (Some students looked at areas of other cities on their own time)
4) The City of Edmonton (not an offical city app) byTraimany media.
This app is sort of a catch al for information about Edmonton. With news links about the city, twitter trends about the city, youtube links, local events etc. It seems to find various online information, links etc about the city and put them in one spot.
Students used this app for their grade six social studies to find current news articles regarding homlessness and civic government acyivities. some of the articles were referenced in their own writing and others were used as research for class debates based on civic issues.
5) Class Dojo
Is a behavior and feedback app used by teachers to give immediate feedback to students, primarilybased about their behavior. For example points are awarded for positive behavior and taken away for negative behaviour. A teacher can also make basic written comments as well.
In the context of this social studies unit, the students had to research and participate in debates. Some were individual debates and others were team based. As the debates occured on the school mini stage the judges were giving real time feedback and scores on smartboard screens. All feedback was either positive or very helpful criticism. As the debates occured over a series of weeks, class dojo seemed to add energy to the event and reaised the stakes for the students and they tried very hard to get positive scores and feedback!