Apps for Education
A collection of apps for use in Secondary Level Spanish (Grades 10-12)
The Apple world alone has over 1.2 million apps, with Android leading in the app market with over 1.3 million. With such a large market, it is important that as educators we choose wisely the apps we plan to use in our classrooms. Apps can do many different things from storing information like DropBox, to practicing a language with Duolingo.
"Nicole and Tommy Spanish" is an Android app that can be used on a variety of devices. I like to stay away from Apple, because with android, it can reach a variety of devices, and with Apple they can only choose a variety of versions of the same devices. This app can be used best for the vocabulary section of a lesson. What I like best about this app is that it has many comparisons so that the students can make their own connections to the words.
Next, I wold recommend Mindsnacks, as an enhancement to a lesson. I found that this app is nice to use for learning and practicing conjugations of the 3 main Spanish verb endings, -er, -ir, and -ar. Sometimes, when we are learning these things in a classroom it can get repetetive. For this reason, I think that using this app to play games in order to learn the grammar, would make it funner for the students. This is also more engaging than making the students rewrite all the different conjugations of every ending.
Personally, I used Duolingo to introduce myself to the Portuguese language before I went to Brazil. I found that it was easy to use, had nice colors, and would remind me often to work on the app. It's a set of lessons that are then followed by different questions which you have to pass in order to move on to the next category. I found this app very useful and students can work at their own pace. Even if you don't want to integrate this app into the class, you can recommend it to your students as a contingency app, or as something they can do on their free time, if they would like to keep learning Spanish.
Here is a picture of a Peruvian parrot.
Although I mentioned earlier that I would want to stay within the android family, there is a possibility that the school that I am teaching at will have Apple devices. Teachers must be able to adapt and work with what they are given. Here is an example of an Apple app I would use in my Spanish classrooms. You could use this app for presenting on verb conjugations. Students would be asked to make a presentation and then annotate the reasons why they did what they did. This is a nice way to see how the students are thinking meta-cognitively and this could really help them in the long wrong. Definitely reaching out to the multiple intelligences and also providing multiple means of representation.
There are many ways to get students to show you that they are meeting the Learning Objectives. One of them can be cartoon strips. In the language classroom, these types of activities really help to practice making short sentences in the different tenses. I would use POW! Strip Designer in my class for the students to show me that they are able to understand and appropriately use the different conjugations and times.