There is no shortage of Learning Apps in today’s connected world. These range from full-fledged web applications such as Blackboard or Angel that many schools use for their learning management platforms to small mobile learning applications that you can find on iTunes or the Google Play store. The image to the left shows a small number of the android learning apps available in Google Play there are hundreds of other educational apps available. The iTunes app store has a similar list of learning apps.
Of course with all these learning apps to choose from how do you determine what are the best learning apps, versus which ones or worthless and not worth the time to install. This is a hard question, and it depends on what you are looking to accomplish.
While there is a multitude of learning type apps for the desktop, mobile has taken over the world, so we will focus the majority of this conversation on the mobile learning app offerings available.
The use of smartphones is becoming the norm, especially when you are talking about the millennial generation. It’s growing trend across all population segments, and as the smart phone technology continues to advance, this will become more of a factor in education. This means colleges and universities will need to incorporate the use of learning apps more into their curriculum.
If you need further proof that you need to be paying attention to the learning app market and just mobile access in general for your students, then take a look at the latest Noel Levitz e-expectations reports. 40% of high school seniors now only use their smartphone when accessing internet based resources and this trend is only growing. By the time the next e-expectations report is released, its likely that number will grow to over 50% or more. The use of mobile devices among college students has continuously grown every year that these surveys have been performed and it will only increase.
It clear form the data that educators need to incorporate learning apps into their curriculum, but with the many choices, it becomes very difficult to choose the correct one. The truth is there it no best learning app for every situation, and many factors play into this choice.
The first and foremost item to consider when searching for a learning app to incorporate into your courses is the purpose. For example, if you are teaching a college algebra course then an app that provides examples of quadratics could be useful, but you may not want one that is just a calculator and would do all the work for the student. Would not promote active learning and a learning app that is not conducive to learning would not be very useful.
Stand Alone – Learning Apps
One learning app for math that is very well done is Math Formulas Free. It allows the students to have many of the standard math formulas for a variety of applications at their fingertips. And while it helps the students understand how to use methods, it does not just do the work for them. This app is available in both Android and IOS formats, so it’s a great fit for most students as they will likely own one of these devices. It is also available in multiple languages, so it’s not only useful for English speaking students.
It provides all basic formulas in mathematics and is useful for all students whether they are in high school or college. The functionality includes methods for the following:
- Analytic Geometry
- Probability and statistics
- Units Conversion.
- Math Tricks.
This app also has many tools to calculate the geometric shapes or find the roots of equations.
This is not the only useful learning app in the math arena there or thousands. The way to find the one that works best for your learning app needs is to download several and look at the features. While I prefer this math learning app, you may find another that works better for your teaching or learning style.
There are a lot of these sorts of apps around that can teach various subjects. The best one for each depends upon the grade level of the student and the purpose of the learning app. The only way to find the best one for your purpose to do a search of the app store, then pay attention to the comments and rating of other users. Then give the ones that look interesting a try.
This is the only way with the stand alone apps.
LMS – Learning App
The apps that offer content and connect to a learning management system is a different story. If you are looking for learning apps for programming or development type courses, then you can get better than Udemy. Udemy is a learning platform. Its more than just an application. It allows you to take courses from a wide variety of authors. Educators can even create their courses and put them up for sell using the Udemy learning app platform. Google also offers Google Classroom to educationalinstitutionss free of charge which while it’s not full-fledged LMS system if you combine it with the other GAFE tools it cna work very well.
While UDemy is a great platform and there is quality content, it may not be what you are thinking about when you think learning app. Many colleges and school districts utilize platforms such as Blackboard, Angel, or Moodle to deliver their online instruction. Blackboard is probably the most widely used and also the most expensive. Blackboard does have many hooks that the other LMS platforms do not have so we will focus on it. Blackboard has hooks into Banner Student Information System as well as many of the other popular SIS systems that college and universities use for managing their students. It is fully mobile friendly and offers mobile applications in both Apple and Android formats. Blackboard follows the standard format for course creation and as such you can import content from a variety of sources. It also has agreements with most of the major textbook publishers and can tie into their content as well as content such as MyMathLab, etc..
Educational – Learning Apps
There are many other Learning Apps on the market that can be incorporated into online courses or even lecture courses. The is no one best learning app as they all have their strengths and weaknesses. The question is which one is the best for you and that depends on. It depends upon your purpose for acquiring a learning app and it depends on the technical ability of the people who will use the learning app. The best way for you to determine which is the best one is by doing your research. A simple google search for learning app reviews will give you a vast number of others who have went before you and have found out which of the learning apps, work best for different purposes. There are also reviews on all the app stores which you can read about the experience others may have had with a particular educational application. With a little research you will definitely locate the right application for your learning needs.