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Categorizing Your Student Learning Apps

One of the things that I find most difficult in wading through the flood of tech tools is keeping up with everything that is coming out while not losing track of what I already have. This is especially true for mobile apps to be used in the learning environment by students. To help me keep things in order, I categorize them into 4 broad categories. Apps that: Teach, Create, Engage (& Quiz), and Practice.


Teach:  These are apps that can serve as the “teacher” of the content and allow me to step aside and momentarily become a facilitator in the classroom. I’ll dig into these deeper in a future post, but Khan Academy is a great example. This app delivers content to the learner so that they can learn something directly.

Create:  These are apps that can be used to create content that you can deliver to your learners. There are quite a few and they can vary from text, to images, to video. Explain Everything is my favorite for now. Worth the $2.99 for sure. If you’re looking for a free option to try first, consider the ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard.

Engage (& Quiz): This category includes the apps that can be used to have students actively participate in the learning environment. For example Math Champ is an app that lets your learners respond to math quiz questions on their device and the results from the entire class can be displayed. These type of apps are especially useful for BYOD schools.

Practice: This last category is the one that many students may call the most fun (but not necessarily so). The key is that there is an educational skill that is practiced while using the app. Motion Math and iPrep: Advanced Math are a couple of examples. Motion Math Zoom is a game like app that works on finding place on a number line). iPrep: Advanced Math is a higher level math practice app that is not structured as a game. There are countless others that would fit in this category.

These work for me. What other categories do you have for your apps for student learning that you use to keep things in order?


About Jason Gibson

Jason Gibson is a learning and behavioral consultant working with schools and treatment facilities across the US supporting children and adolescents with cognitive, social, emotional and behavioral issues. His focus is on practical implementation of research informed practices to increase outcomes for learners with and without disabilities. With degrees in psychology, social work, and education, Jason’s peer-reviewed research has been published in journals such as “Topics in Early Childhood Special Education”, “Closing the Gap”, and “Education and Treatment of Children with Developmental Disabilities”. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky writing his dissertation on the Efficacy of Online Professional Development to Increase Implementation of Stimulus Preference Assessments. In addition to his consulting work, Jason is the director of the BabbCenter and provides guidance to one of the leading counseling centers that operates from a faith-based perspective. Jason grew up in Titusville, FL and prior to moving to the Nashville area, made central Kentucky his home for 8 years.

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  1. Pingback: Engaging Learners through Organizing | Systems of SupportSystems of Support

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