Apps for Mobile Learning

Music and Languages

mLearning

Mobile learning can include apps, websites, etc. This flyer showcases some apps that can be used in an elementary school classroom. Included here are two examples for each a language arts class, a music class, and a second language class.

Apps for a Language Arts Class

Grammar Wonderland (Elementary) Lite

Grammar Wonderland is a free app for elementary children that provides a way to learn grammar such as parts of speech. This is taught by having the children play a game where they have to answer questions regarding grammar in some way.

One of the general outcomes in the grade two English Language Arts curriculum (from the Alberta Education website http://www.education.alberta.ca/media/307131/grade2.pdf) is "Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to enhance the clarity and artistry of communication." One of the more specific outcomes of this general one is "identify nouns and verbs, and use in own writing" and "identify adjectives and adverbs that add interest and detail to stories." In order for me to complete this objective, I would implement this app as a way for the children to practice identifying verbs, nouns, etc. so they will then have a greater knowledge of how to place these words into their stories.

One way to integrate the use of this app into my class would be to have a day where the students play this game for a certain amount of time and then do something as a whole class that would test their knowledge of what they just learned.


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Grammar Wonderland

iTrace- Handwriting for Kids

iTrace is not a free app (costs $3.99) but can be very useful for young students learning to write. You can choose to trace standard letters, cursive letters, and even change the orientation for left-handed students (from http://bestappsforkids.com/2013/itrace-handwriting-for-kids/). This would help students develop penmanship in a different and possibly more engaging way than rewriting the same letter multiple times on a sheet of paper.

To implement this app into the classroom (provided that all my students have access) I would use it to teach printing/cursive depending on the grade instead of having them write the letters on a sheet of paper. I would still demonstrate what the letters look like on the board before they start. Once they have had practice writing on the app, I would get them to transfer their writing on to a sheet of paper to hand in to be assessed.


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Please find below a video that showcases how iTrace works.

iTrace — handwriting for kids

Apps for a Second Language Class

Learn French by MindSnacks

Learn French is a free app with "9 addictive games designed for essential vocab and conversational skills" (from iTunes). The fact that these games have been considered addictive would cause the students to be more excited about learning the concepts because, at least in my opinion, kids like playing games. The games that this app includes are used to test what the students have learned. Along with the terms that the students are learning are audio clips of native speakers so the children can learn proper pronunciation.

As a teacher, I could use this app during the period of time leading up to a test. It would be a fun way for the students to master the needed skills and they would probably remember concepts better because of this.


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mindsnacks

Duolingo

Duolingo is an app that provides different methods of learning a language. These methods include writing/typing out the answer, choosing the correct word(s), as well as speaking the answer into the device's microphone. This would be a good way for students to practice while outside of school and have very minimal access to their teacher to help them. In the same way that I said I could use Learn French by MindSnacks, I would introduce this tool as a study/practice tool. This app has different lessons/units in it so students can focus on one particular skill and begin to master it.


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Duolingo - use

Apps for a Music Class

Rhythm Cat

Rhythm Cat teaches "you to read the most commonly used rhythm notation" (iTunes). This app is free and can be upgraded for $4.99. What the students are required to do is press a button on the notated beats but not press the button where there is no note being played. There are different levels and as you finish one, the next one is unlocked.

In the classroom, I could get all the students to work on a specific level for a given amount of time and then we could go over the rhythm as a class. This would be a good way for students to practice reading rhythms and would lead to them being able to figure out more complex rhythms based on the simple ones they have already learned.


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Rhythm Cat Pro HD

Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

This free app was designed to be a way for students to learn about different instruments and musical terms through games and quizzes. This app is based on a composition by Benjamin Britten by the same name as the app. His piece showcases the different instruments and their families.

In a classroom I would use this as a practice tool for the students after the information is first introduced and during the time prior to a test. Of course, the students will be free to use the app outside of class as well.


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