iOS Apps in Education

Five mobile apps for education in a k-12 classroom

Busuu

What is Busuu?

Busuu is a language learning application/website that allows students to learn many different languages wherever and whenever they like. According to Busuu CEO Bernhard Niesner, Busuu is the world's largest social network of language learners with over 45 million users. This application features a peer review system, whereby completed assignments can be corrected by fellow Busuu members from around the world. For example, a user who speaks French, but not English, can receive feedback for his English writing assignment by English users. Likewise, English users wanting to learn French can receive feedback on their French writing assignments from French users. This dynamic works with about 10 different languages to choose from.

Check out this short clip from CEO Bernhard Niesner to find out more!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSoohsItzeM

How can it be used in the classroom?

This application can be used to facilitate English language learning in an ESL classroom. Teachers may set goals for students within the application, or have students complete lessons during extra-time. Supervised assistance may be needed for students outside the grades 2-12 range as website navigation or writing assignments may be too difficult for younger users.

Did you know?

Busuu is a language spoken in Cameroon by only 8 speakers. With a dedication to preserving nearly extinct languages, Busuu supports social projects and various NGOs in building schools in Africa.

Check out the website!
https://www.busuu.com/enc/
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VoiceThread

What is VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is an application that makes it easy for users to share information with fellow peers, classmates, or colleagues. Users can create a personal "voicethread" page using different types of media and post information for whatever purpose they wish. Its appeal has much to do with its flexibility, as more than 50 different media platforms can be used in a single "voicethread". Users can also comment on each other's work. This ability to interact, stay connected, and share information with fellow users makes VoiceThread a useful web 2.0 application in education.

How can it be used in the classroom?

VoiceThread can be used with regard to many different subjects and objectives. For example, it can be used in a high-school social studies class to demonstrate student learning about a particular battle or event in WWII. Using various web resources or personally created media (e.g. videos, voice-recordings, articles, images, etc.) students can create a collage of infromation on their VoiceThread page. Students may then be asked to peer review their classmates work in an exercise of assessment and critical thinking. The application allows for much flexibility and creativity as students can access their VoiceThread from any mobile device, and apply content that they persoanlly find interesting or useful.

Imagine!

Imagine going on a class field trip to a museum and being able to take pictures of interesting artifacts, uploading them to your VoiceThread through your mobile device, and having a classroom discussion at the same time. Or imagine being in an international art class that spans several different countries and cultures, but being able to work collaboratively, in real-time, on a particular project.

Check out the website!
https://voicethread.com/
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Edmodo

What is Edmodo?

Edmodo is a learning management system that allows for greater classroom flexibility, networking, and communication for students, teachers, and parents. It's useful as a mobile application, because it enables students the opportunity to access classroom content on the go. It's personal in the sense that students are in control of their own learning and have the choice to participate in the class however or whenever they wish. Using the online forum feature, Edmodo can also be used for classroom discussions, allowing students to discuss certain topics or experiences they find interesting or relevant to the class.

How can it be used in the classroom?

Edmodo is especially useful for large-size classrooms with a heavy curriculum. Students may feel overwhelmed by the amount of content a science, math, or social studies class might require. The may also feel like they're falling behind, especially if they miss a class. The benefit of Edmodo is that students in these types of situations can stay updated by the resources that teachers upload. Education is no longer a matter of intensively jotting down everything the teacher says during class, but responsibly participating and staying engaged with class content.

Did you know?

Edmodo was founded in 2008 and has since then achieved nearly 50 million members!

Check out the website!
https://www.edmodo.com/
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Seesaw

What is Seesaw?

Seesaw is a learning application for teachers looking to personalize learning experiences for children and keep parents informed about their child's accomplishments. Designed mainly for kindergarten and elementary classes, users are able to easily update a digital journal of their learning (without having to use webpages or passwords) with feedback coming from both parents and teachers. According to its website, Seesaw empowers students by, "Building Independence, Encouraging Reflection, and Inspiring Creativity".

How can it be used in the classroom?

Students in a grade one class can complete a drawing or spelling exercise, take a picture of it, and upload it to their learning journal. Indeed, it requires minimal teacher supervision, and parents are immediately sent a notification when their child's learning journal is updated. Uploads require teacher approval before they are sent.

Check out this short clip to learn more about the basics of Seesaw!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlw-tUKvnNc#t=28

Check out the website!
http://web.seesaw.me/
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TED

What is TED?

TED is an application that provides some of the most fascinating and thought-provoking ideas in the world. Speakers on TED come from many different backgrounds and speak about many different topics including science, business, and philosophy. Their ideas are often seen as innovative, because they are conferences of experts and intellectuals in their particular fields.

How can it be used in the classroom?

TED is especially useful in a secondary school, because it helps inspire young minds about various topics. Having access to TED on a mobile device provides users with a video library full of thousands of TED talks that they can watch anytime, even outside of class. For example, a class learning about market economics could watch the TED talk video, "Rainer Strack: The workforce crisis of 2030 - and how to start solving it now." Likewise, a class about climate change or Brazil could watch the video, "Tasso Azevedo: Hopeful lessons from the battle to save rainforests." After watching a video, the class may likely have more ideas or opinions about a topic. This can help encourage classroom debates or give students ideas to reflect on. Indeed, the aim of incorporating TED into the classroom is to facilitate debate and critical-thinking.

Keep in mind!

Apple Inc. rates the TED app 12+ as users younger than this age may be exposed to inappropriate language/topics.

Check out the website!
https://www.ted.com/
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