Mobile Applications for K-12

Chrome-based teaching tools to supplement your class with!

Introduction

We as students know that everything that has to do with teaching is evolving. From the way class material can be obtained to the methods of testing we are seeing a revolution in education that is gradually becoming technology-centred. More and more kids are given cellphones before they even know their multiplication tables and many teachers see this as a hindrance to their education. But those teachers have probably never even checked to see if those cellphones have a place in the classroom.


In this S'more I am going to go through five mobile applications that can aid your students in class and turn their cellphones into a tool to facilitate the advancement of their knowledge.

typingweb

The TypingWeb Chrome application is a typing tutor and keyboard tutorial that can help students increase their typing speed without having to pay for anything. Typingweb has many typing lessons to help students with their typing technique and typing style. Every time a section is completed, TypingWeb suggests you take a test to see how well you've improved within those sections. TypingWeb also stores your statistics like which lessons you've finished and your test results. TypingWeb also analyzes your keystrokes and determines which keys on the keyboard are your problem keys.


TypingWeb is a useful tool because of the evolution of technology. Many jobs now require high typing speeds and the number of computers in post-secondary classes have been rising. With the introduction of the tablet and cellular phones, typing is breaking the computer-laptop barrier and becoming a relevant skill in mobile technology.


TypingWeb can be used in computer classes in a K-12 scenario. A teacher can gauge the typing abilities of the class through the typing test and then determining where they should start from the lessons on TypingWeb. This can increase the students' typing skills to aid their knowledge into technology.

Geogebra

Geogebra is a multi-platform application that combines geometry, algebra, graphing, statistics, and calculus into an easy to use format. Geogebra can be compared to a calculator except that Geogebra has more functions than a TI-83. Geogebra can create graphs and points such as those in university-level graph theory. Geogebra can generate different sine functions and their teachers can play around with the settings of the equation to show the class how they behave. For younger students, Geogebra can be combines with many open-source sister applications to create games such as the sand-truck game linked below. Geogebra can be used by teachers to create visuals of anything brought up in class. If a teacher puts their Geogebra application up on screen for the whole class to see, they can follow along with the teacher to understand the mechanics of the material.

FlashCards

FlashCards is a simple application that does what the name implies. It is a simple application that allows students to write down tidbits of information needed for tests/assessments on separate 'digital recipe cards'. FlashCards simulates a stack of double sided recipe cards where one can write a question on one side then write the answer on the other. This application can come in handy in a classroom setting. In classes with a lot of information, students can use FlashCards to organize questions or notes that they took down. Using FlashCards on a mobile device increases the accessibility of students' notes. FlashCards also negates the use of paper, thereby staying environmentally friendly while helping students keep track of where they are in their studying.

EasyBib

From what I understand there has always been a great emphasis on making sure students cite their sources. Many post-secondary institutions see plagiarism as an offence that can get a student expelled and even taken to court. One could infer that a lot of these cases aren't meant to be intentional, but that still can be a problem.


EasyBib is a mobile application that can effectively teach students when it is appropriate to cite sources and how it can be done properly. In a K-12 setting, there is less emphasis on making sure that sources are cited. But in an effort to prepare for the future when it will be more relevant, students can use EasyBib to learn how cite their sources and format their bibliographies according to the style that the class requires. A teacher could spend a whole class with EasyBib to make sure their students understand the difference between the distinct citation styles such as Chicago, APA, MLA, etc.

Fraction Wall

Fraction wall is an application which is made to visually represent the properties of fractions. Starting with one number then creating colour-coded fractions to portray how many of a part of one number can go into another. This application has more relevance in the grades 3-9 area where students are just getting into fractions or starting to play with how fractions react.


In a classroom setting, this application can be used by students to 'take apart' integers or rational numbers. The visuals can help students understand how portions of numbers can fit into the initial number itself. All in all, Fraction Wall is a visualization of an important topic in grade-school mathematics, as it becomes more relevant as schooling goes on.

Image Sources

typingweb.png [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.typingweb.com/

geogebra_logo.png [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en/info

flashcardstogo.png [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.flashcardstogo.com/

EasyBib.png [Web Map]. Retrieved from http://www.easybib.com/

fraction-wall.png [Print Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.visnos.com/demos