Mobile Learning!

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K-12 Classrooms? No Problem! Here are 5 Apps that will make mLearning in the classroom more successful!

VoiceThread

VoiceThread is an extremely useful App for K-12 classrooms. This tool allows students to post images, videos and drawings. Students can add their voice to their thread in order to narrate what they have posted, or provide a verbal explanation of their work. The creator can also choose to add written explanations to their thread. The student's peers are then able to provide feedback on their thread by making comments directly on their work. VoiceThread provides another means for assessment, allowing students with more options in how they are able to express their knowledge of a topic.

In my opinion, a teacher could use VoiceThread in a K-12 setting as a form of assessment. Not only can students express their knowledge visually through the use of images and videos, but they are also able to use their own voice. For example, if a student struggles with expressing thought through writing, they would have the option to verbalize their response instead. This can accommodate UDL principles for assessment into the classroom as well.

Journal Jar

Journal Jar is an app that is available on almost all platforms, including the iPad. This app allows students to think creatively and critically by providing them with a variety of questions and images that they are able to write a response to. There are more than 150 journal prompts that come with this app, and it has the ability to provoke inspiring thought and response from students who use it. A student can change their prompt by simply shaking their device.

This app is especially useful for Language Arts at the elementary level. A teacher can ask students to find a journal prompt, take some time to reflect on it, and then write a story about it, or a response to it. In this way, the teacher is providing their students with the opportunity to think critically about their responses, while still harnessing the creativity that students should be able to express. This app can be used as a method for teaching, for example, because the teacher is able to elicit responses from students and perhaps conduct a discussion with the class as a whole to direct student focus on a particular aspect of the activity.

Audioboo

Audioboo is an app that enables users to record and share audio. A "boo" is made up of audio, a picture, a location, a title and a description. This app allows you to record your voice, listen back on it, and share it with others all very simply. The user is able to record three minutes of audio for free, making this a perfect app to use in a classroom.

This app is especially perfect for use in a Social Studies classroom at any level from K-12. Instead of having students simply write a paragraph about a current event going on in the city, province, country or world, students can use Audioboo to record a podcast to cover the news story. This allows another means of expression for students in the classroom and can increase student engagement as well. Students may also use this app to create a podcast about an event taking place in their school, student achievements and much more.

Edmodo

Edmodo is a virtual classroom that allows students and teachers to collaborate and gain access to resources that will enable them to transform learning and reach their full potential. Teachers are able to sign up for Edmodo and create a group for their students which can include apps for learning and tools such as polls and quizzes that facilitate learning in new ways. Teachers can monitor these tools and track student progress easily. Teachers are able to collaborate with other teachers online in order to share ideas and gain knowledge about methods and techniques that may be helpful for their students. Students are also able to access Edmodo. This site engages them in learning and allows them to reach resources necessary for success.

Edmodo can be used in classrooms across grades K-12. The teacher can set up a group for their class and provide the necessary tools for students to develop their learning further. For example, a teacher may set up quizzes and polls to review previous topics with students in preparation for an exam. Because Edmodo allows teachers to track student progress, the teacher is able to gauge where their students are, which ones need more help and identifies students who are excelling in specific areas. The teacher can also create assignments and quizzes for summative assessments. By utilizing Edmodo for this purpose, the teacher is allowing students more options in how they are assessed. Allowing students the opportunity to be assessed through a technological tool enhances their chance of success if they prefer technology over pen and paper.

StudyBlue

StudyBlue is a mobile app that is directed toward students. It possesses features that aid students in studying and learning and allows the user to adapt these features to suit themselves specifically. Features include flashcards that can be made by the user, quizzes, review sheets and tracking to record progress. Teachers are also able to use this app and track student progress through the "Class Stats". StudyBlue has a variety of subject areas geared toward students so that they can study what they want, when they want.

StudyBlue can be used in all subject areas, and is most effective for use in a high school classroom. Teachers can use this app as a form of formative assessment based on the ability to track student progress through "Class Stats". This way, the teacher is better able to figure out which students are struggling with content and which students are not. This can facilitate the teacher employing many strategies such as strategic grouping, in which the teacher will group struggling students with those students who are excelling in order for the students to collaborate and learn from each other.

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