More than 75 percent of teens own cell phones, up from just 45 percent in 2004, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project. However, nearly 70 percent of schools nationwide ban mobile devices during the school day, according to a survey conducted last year by CommonSense Media. But some districts are beginning to realize the untapped potential of handheld devices. As best said by educator Lisa Nielsen, “It’s not a question of if, but when all schools will allow mobile devices for learning.”
Handheld devices such as the iPhone® and iPod touch® are viewed by many educators and ed tech experts as a pathway to improved student engagement and personalized learning. A recent study found that vocabulary improved as much as 31 percent in children ages three to seven who played with the popular PBS KIDS MARTHA SPEAKS app. Smartphones have become increasingly popular among parents – their use is 12 percent higher in households with children than other households according to Nielsen.
I Education Apps Review (IEAR.org), an online community of more than 500 educators, administrators and app developers, is taking a closer look at the educational value of mobile devices in the classroom. Founded by Scott Meech, the organization publishes a blog with educational app reviews, and suggestions on how to use these apps and devices for personal productivity, as classroom tools, and for other creative educational endeavors. You can follow IEAR.org on Twitter, or sign up to be a member of the community here.
A few of our clients have developed apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch:
Shmoop is one of the leading education iPhone app developers, with more than 400 applications on topics ranging from Ulysses to Stairway to Heaven. Designed to make learning fun and relevant, Shmoop Learning Guides are available in seven subjects: literature, poetry, bestsellers, U.S. history, civics, biography, and music. Shmoop helps students understand how subjects relate to their daily lives.
Discovery Education introduced a U.S. Geography application to both educate and entertain middle school students. U.S. Geography by Discovery Education offers videos, knowledge-based challenges and games aligned to national education standards, plus a leaderboard-driven competition, to engage students in learning U.S. geography concepts. The app will be on display at booth #628 during ISTE.
Lightspeed Systems developed a mobile Web filter application to secure school-issued mobile devices for learning. The Lightspeed Guide Browser regulates and monitors Web browsing on mobile devices, when used in conjunction with the company’s Internet filter for education institutions that protects students and the school network from safety and security threats. The app will be on display at booth #580 during ISTE.
STI launched a mobile Parent Portal for InformationNOW, the company’s Web-based student information system, to help schools facilitate school-home communications. Its iPhone app, InformationNOW Mobile, provides parents with on-demand access to information about their children’s education, including grades, progress reports, report cards, and class schedule, as well as school announcements and calendar.