A Review of m-Learning Tools

Benefits and drawbacks of use in a K-12 classroom setting.

CHALK PUSHCAST

Chalk Pushcast allows podcasts to be heard and shared easily on Blackberry smartphones. It works very well in K-12 classrooms, and its use is easy to guess: mobile lectures, able to be played anywhere! Though something like that has various benefits with being able to be replayed and recorded, its drawback is that it's only on Blackberry devices, which virtually no students own.

ONPOINT DIGITAL'S CELLCAST

The CellCast works in a lot of the same ways as Chalk PushCast, but this one offers much more: it can send content out to mobile phones and track students' test scores on the app itself. This one would work marvelously for recorded lectures and "Check Your Understanding" quizzes, all of which could be done on a mobile device. Unlike Chalk PushCast, this one doesn't look like it's exclusive to one particular kind of smartphone.

Some Other Podcast Apps:

Mobl21

This one is a straight-up mobile learning app; it offers the whole package, "the works." Mobl21 offers flashcards, study guides, and quizzes, all of which can be done on any mobile device. Obviously, this can be used as another way to track students' progress in a K-12 setting. It also shows off multiple content streams, so students can pick and choose what to study. This would help if a student was behind on literacy: the teacher could give them (ungraded) work from lower grades to help the student catch up with their peers.

WordPress

This app is one I've reviewed several times, but it works astoundingly well on mobile devices as well. This one could be used for students to journal even if they were on the go, which works well for most students trying to do QuickWrite assignments. However, it would be a lot harder to write a longer entry on a mobile device, mainly because such a task would take a lot longer. Overall, I would say it's better to use WordPress on a computer.

Learncast

LearnCast offers an educator the ability to create mobile courses, so the benefits of its use in a K-12 setting are obvious. It boasts that the creators don't need any HTML or programming knowledge to create these courses, so it's accessible to all teachers looking to create their own content. For those who don't wish to do so, however, it also offers pre-made courses. It's also able to measure scores and progress, just like a lot of the other apps. Moreover, they offer SkillBadges for their students, and so there is a built-in reward system that could work quite well for the younger learners.