As I began developing my mobile learning app, I decided to make a website that my students can use to review a book that we read in class prior to doing an in class activity. Since I am going to be an Early Childhood educator I wanted to design an app that the students would think was fun with a lot of videos and interaction. The website I designed is geared towards third graders, to use after we read The Gardener by Sarah Stewart. I would instruct the class to go on the website to refresh their minds on the story through different modes of learning; reading a summary, watching a video or taking a quiz to test their knowledge, not for a grade. There is also an area where the students are able to send me any questions that they have so I can address them in class the next day.
While I was designing the website, I wanted to utilize my knowledge from the article, “Developing Mobile Based Instruction” by Florence Martin, Raymond Pastore, Jean Snider, University of North Carolina, Wilmington. This article states that when designing a mobile app, “you have to make good choices about what it is you are going to put in there…it can get cluttered really quick, because everything is so much smaller.” I wanted to make sure that everything I added to my mobile learning app was useful information so it did not get cluttered too quickly. Below are screenshots that were taken from my iPhone of pages of the website. I believe that the mobile app I created was concise, containing only essential and helpful information, easily viewed on an iPhone.
In addition, making this mobile learning app was a very important learning tool, since learning through mobile devices is going to become more and more prevalent. According to the article “Are You Really Ready for Mobile Learning?” by Heather MacNeill, “we’ll likely see the rise of mobile gamification and social and collaborative learning apps that can be incorporated into corporate learning programs.” Since corporations will begin to see a rise in mobile learning apps, so will schools, as they begin to ready their students for life beyond the classroom. As a future educator of young children, it is my goal to always keep my classroom relevant. This article also stated, “providing employees with the freedom to discover their own resources and discuss the material in a forum with peers is much more effective at promoting knowledge retention than force-feeding training manuals or required readings in a closed environment.” Although this statement is specific to businesses, it also applies to schools. Research has shown that people learn more effectively experiencing learning through interactive modes, rather than reading a textbook. This is why mobile learning apps have the power to be extremely effective to students.
Another article, “Learning Management Systems 101: Rethinking Your Approach to Employee Training” by Stacey Pezold states “it typically takes employees 40 to 60 percent less time to study a particular material via e-learning than in a traditional classroom setting.” This sentiment relates to the notion stated above, that individuals learn more effectively through interaction. In the future, I believe it would be very effective to introduce a mobile learning app prior to teaching a lesson. For example, before reading a book in class, the students could look over a mobile learning app to get familiar with the characters and the context of the story. In addition, prior to teaching a math lesson, I could introduce the topic using a mobile learning app. Using this interactive method would help the students to comprehend the information and would greatly increase their background knowledge prior to the lesson.
Exploring mobile apps through creating one and researching them, has opened my eyes to their versatility. I am excited to use this technology in my classroom to help my students further comprehend and interact with topics that we are learning.