Tips 2012 Professional Learning #14: What is a good App?

What is an application (App)

The use of apps in mobile devices is somewhat different to the use of software programs on a computer.

Applications commonly known as apps are small executable files which are downloaded onto your mobile device. There are apps written for Apple devices which you download from the iTunes App Store. There are apps written for other mobile devices which run on an Android operating system. There a a large number of free apps for educational purposes.

There are thousands of Apps

What is a good App?

This is a frequently asked question and rightly so, as purchasing apps in volume can be a costly exercise.  The choice of an app is very specific and needs to be carefully linked to the pedagogy (PK) (teaching) and the content (CK). When pedagogy, content and the technology are considered we are working in the zone advocated in the TPACK model.

TPACK Mishra and Koehler (2009)

 

There are a few criteria that you need to consider:

1. Why do you need to use an app-when selecting apps for educational contexts you need to be very clear on the intended function and the learning outcomes.

2.Links to the curriculum- we need to be clear how the app supports the learning outcomes as stated in the curriculum or the students IEP.

3.Purpose and function- the app needs to have a function that will enhance learning is the app replicating an existing activity or is the app transforming the way students learn and express their learning

4. Deep learning/ skill re-inforcement- does the app promote deep learning or is it for re-inforcement. We want a balance between apps that allow practice and re-inforcement and apps that encourage creativity and higher order thinking.

5. Transfer- is the learning transferable to other settings

6. Workflow- how easy is it to export the contents of this app

7.Tracking progress-can you keep a record of a students’ progress while using the app

8. Wifi- do you need access to a wifi network to use this app- many classrooms do not have enough wifi bandwidth for all students to be working online at the same time

We value your comments please let us know how you select apps.

6 thoughts on “Tips 2012 Professional Learning #14: What is a good App?

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