Apps for Mobile Education eLearning
Tyler Stubenhofer’s assignment for a Master’s Seminar was this very assignment: come up with apps for distance learning. Here is the excellent list he put together. And click here to see his blog called Tyler Stubenhofer’s Blog: education, technology and other stuff.
These are the applications that apply to my life:
Sign 4 Me: It’s a great way to learn sign language. I was trying to learn a few words from Isaac Millman’s picture book, Moses Goes to a Concert. It was tough to figure out the motions from the arrows in the drawings. Incidentally, this is an excellent series on a school for the hearing impaired.
Response Ware: My 5th Grader just got interactive Smart Boards in her classroom and there was a lot of talk about cost of replacing the response clickers that every kid gets. This is probably not an app for elementary school students because not all kids are going to have an iPod and it would be very distracting to have it in class, but it would work well for college kids!
WhiteBoard Pro: The design team that I know at work requires everyone to work at the same office because they design collaboratively and often cite the need for all to huddle hear a white board to sketch out and share ideas. This could be a breakthrough for them! Or anyone else who participates in telephone conference calls!
This app translates voice-to-text. You speak, it types. According to its description, DD is “up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.” Part of the reason an individual may be in a DE class is that he/she is separated geographically or travels often and a face-to-face class wouldn’t be an option. This would be a great app for light traveling; no need to take a laptop just so you can type. (It’s FREE!)
Sign 4 Me
Sign 4 Me is fairly specific in terms of the users it would benefit, but any opportunity to learn while mobile makes even informal distance education possible. Plus it’s “The ONLY app that provides sign language instruction in 3D!” (It’s $9.99)
PenUltimate (iPad only)
Taking notes on the go has never been so easy nor looked so darn good. The description says it all: “take notes, keep sketches, or work through your next breakthrough idea– whether you’re in the office, on the go, or home on the couch.” (It’s $2.99)
Many schools are purchasing “clickers”: special hardware devices which allow for nearly instantaneous student responses. A friend of mine loved them for multiple choice quizzes and assessing student understanding. With ResponseWare, those “clickers” are unnecessary; those with an iPod Touch or iPhone need only access this app. From description: “allows students […] to respond to interactive polling questions. Responses can be tracked by individuals for later reporting and point values can also be assigned.” (It’s FREE!)
This “reference” app allows the user to “access expert knowledge. Wherever you are. Whenever you need it.” It’s like having an interactive, constantly updated encyclopedia right on one’s mobile device. Nothing personal, Wikipedia 🙂 (It’s $1.99)
The screenshots make this look like like a doodling app, primarily. And maybe it is. But it’s also a “collaborative drawing app” (my emphasis). Often, distance education classes will require cooperative activities, but collaboration over hundreds of miles isn’t ideal. Well, Whiteboard Pro allows for short, collaborative brainstorming sessions, potentially making the process a little easier.