Mobile Devices & Mobile Apps
Rethinking the classroom with mLearning
Photo by Brad Flickinger
5 Apps which enhance learning in K-12 Classrooms
A tool which enables students to create their own stories and then add animation and sound. It allows for recording of your own voice to be added to the animation and then shared with friends around the world.
CLASSROOM USE: Students in early elementary school grades could enhance their story telling skills by creating a living version of a story that they have imagined. This encourages students to use not only their imaginations, their language skills but their visual and presentation skills as well. This could be easily used in conjunction with a story telling event where parents are invited to share in a special evening at the school.
This mobile app provides the ability to add voice recordings to photos and then to share them as photo post cards.
CLASSROOM USE: This would be an amazing tool in a Language arts class, at any level. A teacher could present an interesting group of photos and students would tell a story of what they believe the picture is saying, or what's just happened before the picture was taken, or what is about to happen next. This would be a great introduction to creative writing. After students have recorded their messages, they could be sent to other groups or to the teacher for sharing.
This app has over 100 functions and replaces the need for an expensive TI83 graphics calculator, all for .99 cents.
CLASSROOM USE: This app varies from the others I've chosen, but I wanted to include it because it shows how mLearning can bring down certain costs to students. With the big price tag on a graphing calculator, many students go without or hope to borrow one. This app makes if very easy for students and teachers to make sure that all students have a graphing calculator in their hands. This replaces the old technology and puts it in one device for students.
This app allows you to record your voice and then to share it with your world. The free version of this app allows for up to three minute recordings which can be uploaded to a website and shared.
CLASSROOM USE: A great example of what could be done with this app would be a Grade 2 class, as part of their science curriculum from Alberta Learning recording a weather report and broadcasting it to the school or posting it to a school blog. The Grade 2 curriculum studies fluids, buoyancy and hot and cold temperatures. A full year of weather recording through weathercasts would be an amazing legacy for a class to leave behind, to be used as reference in years to come.
Scribble Press is an app which allows young people to both write and illustrate books (ibooks) which can be published. There are many templates to choose from to help the imagination along.
CLASSROOM USE: In the Grade 3 program of study, a general outcome is that students be able to: listen, speak, write, view and represent to explore thoughts, ideas feeling and experiences. Scribble press seems particularly suited to this exploration. Students could use their imaginations in a writers symposium or workshop, with the ability to incorporate work from across curriculums. This truly is a tool that helps jumpstart the imagination.
Shake this app and it will come up with a journal writing topic to spur on writing.
CLASSROOM USE: As a writing exercise for Grade 8 students; students with the app would shake their mobile devices and Journal Jar assigns a topic for writing a 2 paragraph journal entry. Topics could be things like: "If I were and inch tall, what are some things I would be able to do that I can't now", or If I could trade places with any celebrity, who would I be?" or "Write a list of 10 things that make you feel good". Topics like these tend to spark the imagination.