'Appy Learning!

5 Mobile Apps for Use in K-12 Education

Nearpod

This app can be used in so many ways! So I'll start with the downside, which is that for it to be effective an instructor and all students MUST have access to an Apple device. This necessity will eliminate many classes, but if a teacher is so lucky as to have access to a number of iPads or other Apple products that the whole class may have one, Nearpod is great. It allows for real-time collaboration and assessment as well as interactive presentation.


There are many great ways to use Nearpod in a K-12 setting. Imagine that you are giving a lecture accompanied by a slide presentation. Not only is your slide visible on the screen at the front of the room, but on every students device. Not only is it visible, students are able to interact with and modify the slide (I.E. Circle something and ask for clarification). BONUS: This can even be done remotely. That's right, a student who is at home sick, for example, or travelling with a sports team needs only the pin number for your Nearpod presentation and can join in remotely with any Apple Device.


You can do this and more with Nearpod. Nearpod gives teachers ability to manage content on student's devices, and to generate and illustrate content quickly (I.E. With a class poll). Extra bonus: Nearpod comes with access to a library of ready-made educational content, but you can also upload lessons of your own in a variety of formats to Nearpod.

Story Kit

This is a free app that is available for both IOS and Android. It allows users to create and share electronic story books. It is very user friendly and flexible. For example, illustrations may be drawn on the device, taken as a photo with device's camera, selected from saved images, etc. It allows voice/sound recording, easy addition/deletion/re-ordering of pages, and easy sharing.


One concrete way that a teacher may use Story Kit in a K-12 setting would be to have a Sr. High Class that is studying Shakespeare "Re-Tell" a play that they are studying in their own words. Given that to do this for a whole play is a tall order, I would divide the class into groups, divide the play up into an equal number of sections, then have each group "Re-Tell" a section using Story Kit and share with the rest of the class.

Soundnote

Soundnote is an IOS app for individuals, so it's not a big deal if everyone doesn't have an Apple device in a class as is necessary for Nearpod. Soundnote allows a user to take notes either by typing, writing, or sketching on a mobile device while simultaneously recording audio. Here's where it gets cool: not only does a user then have their notes and an audio recording, the two are synchronized. What this means is that as a user reviews his or her notes, the app remembers when in relation to the audio recording all notes were made. Are you unsure of what you meant when you wrote that sentence fragment? Tap it, and Soundnote will replay to you the audio recording of what was being said while you wrote that note. Or you could review the entire recording.


In addition to helping with note taking, one concrete way to use this app is with students who struggle with reading. Not only could a teacher provide a student with written material in this app, the teacher could also add drawings or audio recordings to aid in comprehension.

Miniteach

This app would be extremely valuable to students who have not yet fully mastered the language of instruction. Miniteach teaches phonetics, linguistic symbolism, and includes a translator. It supports numerous languages and a variety of quiz/exam formats.


In addition to being a private trainer, it appears that an instructor may also have input in this app to guide a struggling student to work on areas of particular need.

Animoto

This is a video-making app. It is easy to use even for beginners. In an educational context, a user with a mobile device can generate video footage and then easily edit and share that content for a presentation.


A concrete example of this would be a time when a class is being taken for a field experience. The teacher wants to make sure that all students are actually learning something (which is sometimes tough to ensure through supervision outside the classroom) and so gives the class a variety of video-making options that students will then use mobile devices and an app like animoto to fulfill with footage they generate while on the field-experience.