Mobile Apps In the Classroom

Five different applications and their utility

Mobile learning or M-learning is being dubbed the future of education, almost every student has a smartphone and mobile learning applications are an easy way to engage with technology for many kids. Here I mainly explore Apple or Apple compatible apps and their uses. Apple's app store has an enormous number of apps, mostly cheap or free, many of which are designed for use in education.

App One: Polleverywhere

Students respond to poll questions via twitter, a website or text message. The responses are displayed on screen in real time. This allows to check anonymously for comprehension or understanding. It can also be used to pose simple questions when students enter the classroom before starting class (fun questions, review etc.).

App Two: iBooks and iBookAuthor

This application is Apple's online bookstore and library and is present on all iphones and iPads as an embedded app. It can be used to read books or pdf's and can be used for all kinds of educational resources. It's an easy way to view and download textbooks, articles and resources. Apple is determined to involve themselves in the future of learning and this is one of the ways. Print media is becoming less popular and textbooks on your cellphone is today's reality. There is also iBook Author where teachers and students can create and edit content.

App Three: BrainPop Featured Movie

Brain Pop is an extremely popular online learning tool that I remember using in junior high. They have developed an app for iphone and iPad that features original animated educational videos and corresponding quizzes. They publish a new video daily and have many videos across all subjects. It's a very fun and educational app that gets a vote of confidence from Apples "Apps In The Classroom: Using ios Apps for Mobile Learning" ( Kids can watch videos and participate in the interactive quizzes to review concepts.

App Four: Grammer Jammers

While my focus is on grades 7-12 there are tons and tons of great applications developed for elementary. This application does deal with my main field, English, and is a fun way to get students interested and involved in grammar (not always the most popular or exciting subject). Students play games, listen to songs and watch videos that help them learn important grammar in a fun way.

App Five: Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus  

A Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus have always been an important classroom tool for high-school english for decades. Now you can have these as applications for your iPhone. While this is only "replacement" on the SAMR scale it is still a worthwhile way to bring these devices into the digital age. It is a great way for kids to learn new words, find that simile they were searching for and become more verbose! The application has great content from an extremely respected source.

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