In a previous blog, I mentioned that physical textbooks seem so “yesterday” and suggested using online resources.
I would like to enlarge on that concept through the use of Smartphone or Mobile Learning Apps. Let’s use a Spanish class as an example. Spanish students need to go from mere memorization to high level language use.
Students can use apps for basic memorization of words. For example, they could use a program such as
Spanish Flashcards Free (http://freeapk.com/app/1093_android+app+Spanish+Flashcards_1.6.html). Likewise, they could use an app such as 1001 Spanish Verb Android App Free (http://androidappsgames.com/android_app_1691.html) to learn basic verb forms and to see the various conjugations of a verb
A step up from mere memorization on individual words is learning language phrases. The free Hola Spain Tourism HandAPP (http://www.appbrain.com/app/hola-spanish-handapp/com.movinapp.hola) has Expressions organized into categories such as Greetings, Phone, shopping (22 expressions), directions, etc..Since these are grouped into categories, the student sees both the essential questions and answers. These cover many of the common vocabulary topics presently in the school curriculum.
With these apps, students can practice on their own anytime and anyplace.The classroom time can be spent in creating conversations based on the learned words and phrases. If the student has done a practice conversation such as about health and has not remembered a certain phrase, the student can quickly review the phrases using app on the mobile device.
These few apps show that a language teacher can certainly replace a physical textbook. In a future blog, I show how students can use apps at a high language level. Students can become more engaged and more active in their learning as they use apps
Are you app to use apps in your classroom?
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.
Also, my book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.