5 Of My Favourite Mobile Apps
The learning environment is quickly changing, and many new exciting technologies are coming about that can help our students learn. After a bit of research, here are my 5 favourite mobile learning apps. In no particular order.
Also, they're all free. Learning can be fun AND free.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. "TED isn't a learning app, it's just a bunch of people talking about random stuff". Wrong. TED is amazing. It is inspiring (especially when kids present), eye opening, incredible and so much more. It gives light to a different side of knowledge and learning. It makes learning fun and above all, it shows students that they can achieve anything. During my IPT, my Sci 8 students fell in love with TED Talks, becoming greatly inspired by a young man who was trying to clean the oceans (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROW9F-c0kIQ).
In the classroom, I could create an assignment that would have the students do their own TED talk, possibly on a technology that they have created, or something related to our unit of studies. I would ask them to watch TED talks to see how the presenters work, what the style of presenting is like, and possibly piggyback off some of the ideas.
Brain Tuner X
Before I say anything about how this app works, let me just say that I own this app. It's the best.
One thing I've noticed in my friends and family is that many of them lack basic math skills. This is not to say that they aren't smart people, they just aren't strong in basic arithmetic and often panic when asked simple multiplication problems. I can't begin to lecture you on how important these skills are, inside and outside of the school setting. This app is a quick response, simple arithmetic skill app, that tests your response time and the amount of correct answers that you enter.
Like many other apps that I list, this app is great for so many things. In younger grades, using this as a replacement for Mad Minutes (Anyone know what I'm talking about?) would be a great way to interest kids. In other grades, encouraging kids to brush up on their math skills (especially when you aren't allowed a calculator such as in Math 31)
Yet another app that I own. Starting to see a trend here? Out of all the apps that I've listed, this is by far my favourite one. If you read this, please take 10 seconds, and go download this app. You're welcome in advance, and I'm sorry for your future addiction.
Sporcle is a quiz based app. It quizzes you on... well, everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. "Countries Smaller Than Rhode Island", "Name The Things That Come In 7's In Harry Potter", and "List Every President Who Doesn't Have A Repeating Letter In Their Name" are just a few of my favourites. Sporcle does what teachers for years have been trying to accomplish; make learning fun. While you're doing a quiz, it doesn't feel like you're learning, you're just sitting there trying to remember how many "E"s Eisenhower has in it.
Sporcle has quizzes for every subject and most curriculum areas in school. It covers basic math, famous literature, great poets, biology, chemistry, music, geography and so much more. Besides using this as a supplement to a online worksheet for a subject area, I think that a "Sporcle of the Week" would be a fun way to get students to learn. I would create a board which posts the fastest times and most correct answers, and challenge students to beat my times and the times of their peers. Coordinating these quizzes with my teachings will, once again, make learning fun for students.
As a science geek, who gets his kicks from physics and chemistry, I love this app way too much. Having the power of the elements at the tip of your fingers is incredible. You are given all the important info about the element that you have selected, you can see its place on the table AND you can get extra information about it. A chemist's dream, wrapped in an app.
I have always wanted to participate in a "Do you know your elements" quiz, where the quiz would consist of questions that ask about table placement, properties of the element and where it can be found in technology. Call me crazy, but implementing this quiz once a week for fun (or for bonus marks) could really involve students and get them to care about chemistry a little more. It would cut down the hours that students spend searching for an element on an exam, and help them understand the building blocks of our world.
Flashcards: Study Help
I'm not a visual learner. At all. It's kind of rough actually. I found that during my teaching, I subconsciously teach biased to my own learning style. Thanks to EDPY 303, I know that a large portion of students are visual learners, and would greatly appreciate things such as flash cards to help them study. Well look no further. This app allows you to create your own flash cards, to group those flash cards and to review them on the go. Due to the large number of visual learners that I will likely encounter, this is a great app to have in my classroom.
In my classroom, I could have students create these flashcards before every test I give them, and create study groups within the classroom. The uses for this app are pretty much endless, and will benefit tons of students.