m-Learning Apps for the Classroom

Focus on Grades 7-12

What is m-Learning?

Mobile learning in a nutshell is a form of pedagogy which emphasizes just-in-time, just-for-me and just-enough learning via the use of mobile devices and networking and can be used to facilitate, support, enhance and extend the reach of teaching and learning.


Below are a few awesome apps for the classroom!

1. Khan Academy by Khan Academy!

A little bit about the app...

This is a fantastic app by the popular and well-known Khan Academy which provides students of all ages with a wide range of video tutorials in almost any topic you can think of!

  • Browse and watch a complete library of over 4,400 videos
  • Learn about a plethora of topics including (but not limited to!) k-12 math, biology, chemistry, physics, humanities, finance and history
  • Easy and quick access to short and helpful tutorials
  • Can search for and share videos
  • Can download videos and playlists to watch offline whenever it's most convenient for you
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch; optimized for iPhone5
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

This app provides a wonderful support resource for students. A possible classroom activity involving this app could be to have students find one or more videos on a current topic the class is working on and then do a video swap with a class peer. By doing this students get additional exposure to relevant topics in a collaborative setting.

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Click HERE to access additional information on the Khan Academy app!


2. Dictionary.com by Dictionary.com and LLC

A little bit about the app...

This is one of my personal all-time favourite apps (nerd alert) because it provides an extremely fast and simple ways to look up the meaning to any puzzling and/or challenging words I come across... anytime!

  • Dictionary and thesaurus
  • No internet connection required when searching for words
  • Exactly like the online version; provides definitions along with contextual example sentences
  • Also includes a medical dictionary with over 35,000 words
  • Compatible with iPad, iPhone; requires iOS 5.0 or later
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

This app can support students when doing assignments or activities by providing a quick and easy way of accessing definitions to unknown words. One activity you could do with this app is to have students use the thesaurus offered to find alternatives for at least 5 words in a short essay. In the assignment they could indicate both the original and the "discovered" word. This is a great tool for helping students to become more proficient with English and expand their vocabulary; this app could be particularly beneficial to any ELL students.

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Click HERE to access additional information on the Dictionary.com app!


3. Leafsnap by Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution

A little bit about the app...

This is an extremely snazzy app which acts as an electronic field guide and uses photos of leaves as a means of identification making it the perfect app for anyone who is an outdoor enthusiast!

  • Uses visual recognition software to identify tree species from photographs of their leaves
  • Compatible with iPad; requires iOS 4.3 or later
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

This app would be fantastic in a biology class. As an activity, you could have students use the app to identify at least three different species of trees in their backyard or neighbourhood, later they can write a short description of each species. This would make a perfect activity for a unit on ecology or biodiversity.

Click HERE to access additional information on the Leafsnap app!


4. VideoScience by Object Enterprises

A little bit about the app...

This app provides access to videos on a range of experiments which can be recreated in the classroom/home and are an effective way to engage, excite and inspire students!

  • Library to short videos of over 80 hands on science experiments
  • Access to demonstrations on simple and inexpensive experiments
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

An activity involving this app could be having students find one experiment that interests them and then getting them to recreate it at home with a partner. They could make their own video demonstration on the experiment and document observations, feedback on the experiment or any possible future improvements.

Click HERE to access additional information on the ScienceHouse app!


5. 3-D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool by Invitrogen Corporation

A little bit about the app...

This is a very cool app which would be perfect for high school or even university cellular biology students!

  • Includes a comprehensive video library
  • Cell structure screen with links to individual structure pages and a short description of each cell structure
  • Stain your own cell activity to help students acquire a deeper understanding of the functions/structure of a cell
  • Compatible with iPad; requires iOS 3.2 or later
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

Using this app, students can explore various cellular structures in an interesting and engaging way. An activity could use the "stain your own cell" feature to stain at least 3 cell structures and following this write a short description of each structure's function. This can also help to familiarize students with common dyes used in cellular biology labs.

Click HERE to access additional information on the 3-D Cell app!


6. Moon Phase by RomanDuck Software

A little bit about the app...

This app would be absolutely perfect for a science class doing a unit on astronomy. The Moon Phase app provides a comprehensive guide to a wide range of moon and sun info and is a great way to teach students about the universe.

  • Aesthetic and easy to use format
  • Full and new moon alerts
  • Provides a calendar of the moon phases by month as well as additional information on the current phase
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
  • $1.99


How could I use this app?

For an activity, students could create a moon journal and use the app to track the moon phases for a week.

Click HERE to access additional information on the Moon Phase app!


7. Stack the Countries Lite by Dan Russell-Pinson

A little bit about the app...

This app is a super useful tool for making learning about geography fun and can provide an engaging experience for teachers and students alike!

  • Helps students to learn to recognize and identify countries of the world
  • Can work continent by continent until all countries are identified
  • Also includes questions on capital cities
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; optimized for iPhone 5
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

This app would be a perfect support resource for a social studies class focusing on geography. The teacher could let the students access the app either on iPads or their iPhones and work to piece together a specific continent with some sort of prize being awarded to those who finish the fastest, turning it into a bit more of a competitive game show-like activity. This would be a great tool to help students prepare for geography exams!


Click HERE to access additional information on the Stack the Countries app!


8. Learn Spanish by MindSnacks

A little bit about the app...

This is a fantastic app for those who want to learn Spanish as a second language. Simply by playing games on the go you can learn to both read and write Spanish! This app even won one of the best educational apps of the year via iTunes.

  • Features 9 addictive games which focus on developing essential vocabulary and conversation skills
  • Perfect for all ages
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; optimized for iPhone 5
  • FREE


How could I use this app?

This app would be absolutely perfect for a Spanish option course in which the teacher is trying to develop essential vocabulary with the students. As homework, the students could be required to spend at least half an hour per night playing one of the 9 games (who WOULDN'T want homework like that?!) which would quickly develop their speaking and comprehension skills.


Click HERE to access additional information on the Learn Spanish app!