5 Favorite Apps for K-3

mLearning for the Elementary class

ClassDojo

ClassDojo is a classroom management app that allows teachers to give feedback to students through specified positive or negative points like "+1 Helping others" or "-1 Off-task." Point systems are common in classrooms without mobile technology but what I really like about this app is the ability to give specific behavioural feedback to individual students during class or work time that a teacher is otherwise too busy to frequently give each individual student feedback. It allows the teacher to track when things happened in class, give comments to students and has the option of a parent login so parents can have a better idea of what their "classroom child" really looks like. All of these functional improvements are on a fun, easy design that allows students to monitor their own progress and have personalized avatars. This app addresses one of the extra challenges in mLearning of maintaining a learning environment by incorporating the management into the technology while they are using it.

Accessible online, for Ipads and Android devices.

Student Introduction to ClassDojo

Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a game-based classroom response system. Like many existing classroom response systems, it allows teachers to ask questions, make surveys and build response-type games for their lessons. What I really like about Kahoot! is that it allows students to ask their own questions, demonstrating further digestion of the content. Kahoot! also provides a sharing platform for teachers to share and find different ways others have effectively used the app in the classroom. While students do not need an account to participate they are required to show their names which addresses the accountability issue often found in mobile response systems.

Kahoot! is accessible to any device with a web browser.

See this blog post with a video of students playing Kahoot! The effectiveness of the feedback is demonstrated in the students expressions along with an explanation of events in the post.

Doodle Buddy

Doodle Buddy is an enhanced interactive whiteboard for touchscreen tablets. While there may already be an interactive whiteboard in the class, Doodle Buddy allows students individual exploration time they wouldn't necessarily get in front of the classroom. I like this app for its easy to use format, it's flexibility in being able to import other photos and the individual exploration aspect. Students are also able to save and send their work to the teacher to ensure that they are on topic and to allow for some assessment, depending on the activity.

Doodle Buddy is free for the iPad at the Apple App Store.

How to use Doodle Buddy as a Learning Tool

Journal Jar

Journal Jar is an app that provides prompts for writing like "What makes you laugh?" or "If I was the teacher, I would....". I see journal time as an important time to develop writing skills in a safe, free-form environment. Often, students' complaint about journal writing is that they don't know what to write. Journal Jar gives randomized prompts for the students that need it. It would also provide valuable as a demonstration tool. Using the app during group writing activities can show students how effective writing can be done from an unplanned prompt by effective writers.

It is accessible on both Android and Apple devices.

Free Journal Topics Jar App - How To Get Ideas for Journal Writing

Bill Nye the Science Guy

In the Bill Nye the Science Guy app, the television show that excited my generation about science moves into even more interactive activities to foster a love of science in kids. In this app, students are able to explore the concepts on Bill's desk, directing them to videos, games and real life experiments exploring these concepts. With this app, teachers can direct students through experiments, allow for interest-based science time and ensure that students will be engaged.

This app is free on the Apple App Store.

About the Author

Jocelyne Murray is a student currently studying Elementary Education. In her Edu 210 class she is exploring how to more effectively use the tech tools around us in the modern, dynamic classroom. For more information, see her wordpress e-portfolio linked below.