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Educational Apps for iPhone and Droid
posted by: Colin | March 30, 2011, 07:30 PM   


eSchool News recently provided two articles listing the top ten apps for two different smart phones—iPhones and Droids. They are worth perusing. And the comments generated from those lists provided another organic list from readers. As a devoted member of "Team iPhone" I favor the PI83 Graphing Calculator app. In other words, a 99 cent replacement for the $70.00 TI-83 calculator from my days of Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry. My co-worker, a strong "Team Droid" supporter, finds the Google Sky Map to be quite fantastic. "It's free, easy to use, and it connects you instantly to the night sky...imagine if you have a telescope with you when you use it..."

Alix's post yesterday about technology in the classroom confirmed that student engagement rises when technology is used effectively and appropriately. Combine that knowledge of engagement with the recent Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium which predicts that mobile learning devices are on the cusp of large-scale implementation in less than a year. In fact, with educational, functional, and entertainment mobile applications, it's no surprise that predictions show 80% of internet access occurring through a mobile device by the year 2015. This is the perfect mixture for a disruption in education that can revolutionize the brick and mortar model—learn-anywhere capabilities can meet students' needs in ways unimagined a decade past. Let's get excited. And let's get going.

Experiment with technology-friendly lessons, encourage professional development that puts teachers at ease with technology, advocate for mobile learning opportunities at your school. Research on your own about the benefits of mobile learning and find what devices would work best for you personally and in the classroom. Or maybe just start by purchasing a smart phone and trying a few of the apps recommended above.

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The iPhone and iPad are popular because they offer great touch screen functionality on a thin, light device that also offers great value for money compared to other devices on the market. For example, the iPhone 3GS costs $199 with a contract (the plan starts at $20/mo), and it offers an incredible amount of functionality for what you pay (it has hundreds of free apps available). However, there are apps that offer more value for less money than the iPhone itself – things like simple games or HDD Media Players educational content. This makes them great options when you need something quick to check off your list when you’re not in school or studying – like if you want to know how long it takes to get from one point to another while riding your bike or driving your car. Many people don’t realize how much time they spend in front of their computer learning rather than playing games – this is why it’s so important to make sure you have apps that give students the abilities needed for success in life – those include things like math, reading comprehension, writing skills and more!
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