Mobile Apps


Mobile Apps on Tablet Technology

Apps are found on mobile technologies such as tablet devices. Rocky View schools uses iPods and iPads for mobile learning, however Android devices are also in use. Students/parent may have a personally owned device (POD) such as a Smart phone that run apps but most teachers prefer mini or full size tablet computers for student use rather than Smartphone technology.

Learning Apps fall into four categories; content creation, data collection, information, and drill and practice. Each category of app can play a role in supporting personalized learning. And while apps are great for engaging learners in skill development, those that facilitate deep learning are preferred.

A clear advantage of apps is that teachers can recommend apps for specific learning needs. Since new apps are released daily, experimenting with apps to assess the right fit for the right learner becomes an ongoing process. Fortunately many apps are free or cost only a few dollars so if they don't work out they can be deleted.

A content creation app is used by learners to construct their own meaning during the learning process and are better suited for deep learning. Apps in this category are used for brainstorming, collaborative writing, audio/image/video capture and editing. This category of app usually comes with most tablet devices. This type of app is more suited to help student develop the attributes of the 21C Learner. Social media apps fall into this category.

Data collection apps can also fall into the first category.  This category of app often collects data such as GPS information, environmental data, movement data etc.  Apps in this category provide real time information that can be used for authentic learning. These apps can be used to aggregate and personalize information so data becomes more useful for the learner.

Information apps provide a window into the Internet stored information. Many information apps are available from Wikipedia to e-books webpages, video, search engines and so on. 3D images of all parts of the earth and sky are widely available at no cost.

Drill and practice apps include many highly engaging apps. These need to be chosen carefully as they can absorb a great deal time with little learning benefit (think Angry Birds). However if drill and practice apps are chosen carefully they can be useful for skill development. Several language learning apps are excellent.

Technical Requirements

A tablet computer is required for most apps. Google Chromes are an exception as apps from google play are cloud based and do not reside on the device. There are apps for Apple/Android/Windows/Blackberry devices.

Accounts & Passwords

Many apps required accounts to be set up. Be very careful when sharing personal information when setting up apps. Parents need to manage the set-up of student owned devices. Schools must be aware of district policy and procedures when setting up school mobile devices with online accounts. Passwords need to follow RVS security standards and practices.

Security & Privacy Information

Refer to the How To folder at the top of this page to find RVS security and privacy procedure/policy information.  Many apps have built in technologies that track the location of the device and push notifications to the user.  Check with your local or district school tech when setting up apps so that security issues are addressed and understood.

Contact Person

Joan Kollewyn Learning Specialist Rocky View Schools

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