Unit 5: ‘There’s an app for that!’

Use of the term ‘app’ has become more widespread in recent years due to the popularity of smart phones (particularly due to the app stores from Apple and Google).  Short for ‘application’, the term can apply to any piece of software that runs either on your computer, through a website or on your mobile device. The most famous of all is one you all know: email. Generally apps have a specific purpose and it seems like there is an app for just about any task you want to do. But how do you find the best one for your needs?

As teachers, most of us learnt about Bloom’s Taxonomy as a model for scaffolding student learning and developing project/activity rubrics. This framework has also been applied to the explosion of apps and web-based tools now available, providing some 21st Century versions of how learning online and utilising online tools changes the education paradigm –

Mobile Apps

There are a growing number of devices for accessing and producing digital content. One of the biggest are tablet computers like iPads. As this short French video demonstrates, you’re seemingly never too young to learn and experiment with these tools!

Many Victorian schools have been trialling the introduction of iPads. The DEECD’s iPads for Education website includes details of the Victorian iPad trial, which saw iPads introduced in 10 different education settings.

If you are looking to get started with some great mobile apps that you can use with students, have a look at the great resource The iPad as…  which categorises great apps based on the tasks that students do every day.

Reflection

The sharing of our favourite apps is a popular topic of conversation in offices and at conferences. We want to hear what your most useful apps are, along with an explanation of how you use the app. It might be something you use on your phone, on a device, or a tool that you use on the web.

Post on our Wallwisher about your most useful app, and then head over to the VicPLN Facebook group to join in a discussion about other great apps.

Go back to the Unit 5 overview

4 Responses to Unit 5: ‘There’s an app for that!’

  1. Marion says:

    The Ipad as resource is fantastic

  2. blacca says:

    I love my iPad & wouldn’t trade it for the world, but some of its limitations are frustrating…. not being able to ‘mark as all read’ in Google Reader; copying & pasting can be painful, let alone no Flash.

  3. Joy Burlak says:

    An interesting article in Herald Sun on Tuesday “Just shut your Facebook, pal”. The social faux pas of using technology to catch up while you are catching up in person. I think we need to stress the separation of functions. Facebook for example for social networking. but not for anything to do with work/study. As a distraction tool/time gobbler it is perfect! Any thoughts?

  4. neelika says:

    I don’t have an IPad but am planning on getting one as I now see the need for it.
    My biggest question about using these unending string of social networks is that how does a teacher get the attention of 25 students, who are engaged in using probably 25 different apps.

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