Five Android Apps for mLearning in Social Studies
Google Drive is a service to allow multiple users to share files and collaborate on documents. Users are allowed to upload files, including images, PDFs, and documents. Uploaders can choose whether other users are able to see, download, or edit the files.
Social Studies can easily be a handout heavy class. Instead of burdening students with easily damaged or lost paper they can be given the option to receive handouts from Google Drive instead.
MapMaster is a geography game that quizzes players about countries, cities, physical features, and famous locations. It uses GPS coordinates to tell users are close they are to the target.
Gamification is a great way to get students invested in learning geography, which is often considered a dry topic but is extremely important. The use of terrain maps and features is a rare element that makes this the most useful app of this sort that I've seen for teaching students all aspects of geography.
This app connects to Wikipedia to provide lists of famous dates. This list can be broken up into events, births, and deaths. The Wikipedia connection offers, in general, a good level of accuracy, and also the easy ability for users to fix errors.
Having students start class by looking at this list can be a great way to start class discussion. Anniversaries have a lot of importance for out culture, so connecting lessons and discussions to things that happened on this day can help students create a connection and be more engaged.
This news aggregator provides links to various newspaper websites in one app.
Media literacy is an important part of the Social Studies curriculum. This app allows students to efficiently cross references news stories from multiple sources to see how different sources spin things differently, helping them to learn about bias.
Spreaker allows users to record and upload audio. Users can create and sort both short clips and longer pieces, as well as stream live. Suggested uses include journalism, sports commentary, and concert streaming.
Students can use Spreaker to replace written portions of various assignments. For some students it might be easier to make notes in speech rather than on paper, or to hand in a recording of their thoughts rather than a written essay. For more creativity students could create projects such as radio dramas.