Mobile Apps for the 7-9 Social Studies Classroom


Mobl21 is an amazing app that has tools for students, teachers, and institutions.  Teachers are able to "develop content that learners can access from their mobile devices" (Mob 21, 2014).  This lets students to work at their own pace (Mobl 21, 2014).  Students are able to access class material and notes at anytime and anywhere.  Teachers are also able to "track and monitor contact access and view test performances" (Mobl 21, 2014).  Flashcards, quizzes, study guides, lessons, can all be downloaded onto student phones or on class sets of mobile devices.

I would use this app to create short quizzes (for participation marks) that students could take throughout the study of a chapter.  The results would give both the student and myself feedback on what they understand in the course and areas that need improvement. I would also use this app to create flashcards for my students to help them study before an exam.

Talking tom and Ben news

This app allows students to create their own news story and have two characters (Tom and Ben) who are news anchors present the story on the news (Terrell, 2012).  Teachers can use this app to have students create presentations.  This app is available on iPhones, iPads, and on Google Play.

I would use this app in a grade seven class, as it appeals to a younger audience.  I believe that an important part of Social Studies is following current events and discussing them in class.  I would have students get into partners, research current events, and use Talking Tom and Ben to present the events they found.  The entire class would watch each current event and I would use this video to facilitate a class discussion on the current event.

Top hat

This mobile app is filled with an amazing amount of features! (All information below is directly from Top Hat (2014) and full citation is available on my Module 9 bibliography).

Top Hat has 3 main engagement features: classroom engagement, homework and review, and course management.  

- In classroom engagement, teachers can ask questions and take polls.  They can receive immediate feedback on their SmartBoards and use a variety of features to ask questions (multiple choice, image identification, numeric answer, word answer, sorting, matching, and feedback).

- The homework and review feature allows teachers to post questions that students can access outside of school, post review questions before tests, upload power points, pictures, pdfs, and documents.  Teachers are also able to organize course content into folders

- The third engagement feature is course management.  In this feature, teachers are able to integrate both their LMS and attendance into Top Hat.  Teachers can also see who is online, give grades, reuse and share content, restrict access to different course, and find new material.

I would use everything Top Hat has to offer as a teacher! For example, I would using the multiple choice question option at the beginning of every class to test students on the material learned the previous class.  The questions I would use would be similar to ones on their exams.  The immediate feedback given would inform both the students and myself and I would spend time working through the questions with students to ensure that they understood the answers.

History: Maps of the world

This app allows students to research and explore maps from all around the world (ancient maps are available). Search options include: country, category (money, transportation, etc), topic, or era (Asia Society, 2014). This is a free app for iPhones and iPads.

When we are studying explorers in grade seven social studies, students can pull up maps to see where the explorers were trying to go, why they ended up where they did, and discuss what might have affect their journeys (climate, transportation, etc).

OECD Factbook

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has developed this free app for iPhones and Androids which provides information on “global economic indicators including population, migration, energy, technology, education, health, and the environment” (Asia Society, 2014).  OECD Factbook can be accessed in a number of formats, including: mobile app for iPhone, print, Web Book, Factbook explorer, or on its database (OECD, 2013).

This is a great app that I can use to have students do comparative research on different countries when looking at what a standard of living is and the quality of life of different global communities.  This would be ideal in a grade nine social studies classroom when learning about the economy.  


VoiceThread allows people to "upload, share, and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files, and videos" (VoiceThread, 2014).  People are able to comment on both their own and other peoples' VoiceThreads by using a webcam, audio file, microphone, or by text.

I would have students create VoiceThreads on controversial political issues.  They would describe what the issue is through multiple forms of communication and they would have to comment on their peers VoiceThreads, by sharing their stance on the different topics.  

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