Mobile learning (m-learning) is the fusion of mobile devices and educational pedagogy. Mobile devices such as smartphones, digital media players and tablets are being used to support student learning through technology integration. Mobile learning is currently being adopted by educational institutions (New Media Consortium, 2013). In elementary schools, tablets such as iPads are commonly used for m-learning practices (Merchant, 2012; Pegrum, Oakley, & Faulkner, 2013).
Apple, the leading mobile device provider, offers educators with more than 20,000 educational apps available for download (Rao, 2012). These apps can be placed into different categories depending on what they can and how it will be accomplished. Productivity and creation apps best support student learning and teaching (Attard & Northcote, 2011). These apps are not subject or concept specific, they can be used across contexts for different purposes. Students have more control over the process and presentation of their work while using these types of apps. Here is the top K-6 recommended productivity and creation app list. It is important to note that the specific app itself is not as important as its function. For example, audio apps allow students to record their thoughts and ideas. Audiboo is listed as the recommended audio app on this list, but Croak.It is another great alternative that has similar features and functionality.
When selecting apps or mobile devices for learning, we need “to consider how educational experiences might be enhanced or transformed through the use of mobile technology” (Merchant, 2012, p. 779). We should focus on how technology devices support teaching and learning and not on the device itself (Attard & Northcote, 2011; Pegrum et al., 2013). Pedagogy should drive the incorporation of technology.
Attard, C., & Northcote, M. (2011). Mathematics on the move: Using mobile technologies to support student learning (part 1). Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 16(4), 29-31.
Merchant, G. (2012). Mobile practices in everyday life: Popular digital technologies and schooling revisited. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(5), 770-782. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01352.x
New Media Consortium. (2013). Horizon Report, K-12. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-report-k12.pdf
Pegrum, M., Oakley, G., & Faulkner, R. (2013). Schools going mobile: A study of the adoption of mobile handheld technologies in Western Australian independent schools. Australasian Journal Of Educational Technology, 29(1), 66-81.