Mobile Learning Apps
Mobile learning or Mlearning is defined as "learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices.” It allows for more flexible and student centered learning, giving students more autonomy by giving them more control of their learning through the use of their mobile devices.
((Crompton, H. (2013). A historical overview of mobile learning: Toward learner-centered education. In Z. L. Berge & L. Y. Muilenburg (Eds.), Handbook of mobile learning (pp. 3–14). Florence, KY: Routledge.)
ABC Spelling Magic
What is it? This app is a free app that would work well in a kindergarten to grade two class or for any student that may be struggling with their spelling. This app has two levels of difficulty. In the first level the app provides some letters from the alphabet and the student is asked to spell a word from the letters provided. The app then teaches the students the sound of the words and letters. The next level of difficulty provides students with the entire alphabet and they are asked to spell words. The app then will provide the student with the sound of the word, sounding it out phonetically. This not only provides the students with practicing the spelling of their sights words, but helps them practice their reading of words as well.
How can it be used? This app could be used really well in a grade one classroom for practicing sight words. In grade one students are taught to know words right away, just by sight, without sounding them out. With this app, the student practices seeing their sight words within combinations of other letters and also gets practice saying the words.
What is it? Animoto is another free app that can be download to apple products or can be accessed through the internet. Animoto allows the student to create slide shows, adding music of their choice from a vast music library provided and can customize the video style. Videos can be posted and shared wherever the student likes.
How can it be used? This app is perfect for students of all ages to present their knowledge in a fun and creative way. If a student is asked to do a research project on a certain geographical location and asked to create a slide show, they can find pictures under open or creative commons licenses and put them into the animoto app, creating a visually appealing way to show the area they are researching. Not only does this allow for the students to present pictures in a fun and different way from the typical powerpoint slide show, but it is extremely easy allowing them to feel competent and independent.
What is it? Audioboo is a free app that can be downloaded to apple devices, allowing teachers a simple way to share audio with students as well as a means for students to record themselves and share it. This app is good for all ages, but I think could be really utilized to the best of it's abilities for division two and up.
How can it be used? Instead of having a student write out a story, give them the option to speak it and record it using audioboo. Not only does this allow the student the opportunity to focus on making clear and cohorent sentences as well as their story telling skills, but it gives them the opportunity to share it with less pressure and also be able to listen to it themselves.
Scribble My Story
What is it? Scribble my story is a free apple app that allows students to create their own stories as well as read and add to others. The app provides six stories that students can create their own drawings for, all with the touch of their fingers. There are also blank books allowing students to write and illustrate their own story. The stories can then be shared to friends, parents and other teachers easily.
How can it be used? In a kindergarten class with students have not yet learned to write, read the preprogrammed stories with them, allowing them to create their own illustrations that they believe match the story. The student can then continue on their own to practice reading the book themselves, 'reading the pictures' that they have provided. Have the students send the books to their parents in order to show them their creation and so they can read the book together whenever and wherever.
What is it? Edmodo is a free app that can be used on apple devices. It is a learning management tool that allows online and secure class discussions, assignment postings, file sharing and uploading, a classroom activity feed, online grade posting and lots more. It is a way for students to be in touch with one another, the teacher and their learning.
How can it be used? For division two classrooms, Edmodo could be a great means of having online debates. Instead of classroom debates or discussions that have some students speaking out and others too nervous, put the debate up online so that shy students are given a platform to voice their opinions without fear.