What are Mobile Apps?

There is a revolution that is taking place in software development that parallels the changes in recent years in the music, publishing, and retail industries. Mass market is giving way to niche market, and with it, the era of highly priced large suites of integrated software is giving way to a new view of what software should be. Smartphones including the iPhone and Android have redefined what we mean by mobile computing, and in the past three to four years, the small, often simple, low cost software extensions to these devices — apps — have become a hotbed of development. New tools are free or sell for as little as 99 cents, and anyone can be a developer. A popular app can see millions of downloads in a short time, and that potential market has spawned a flood of creativity that is instantly apparent in the extensive collections available in the app stores — themselves a new way of delivering software that reduces distribution and marketing costs significantly. Apple’s app store opened in July 2008; Google’s followed in October of that year. Since then, simple but useful apps have found their way into almost every form of human endeavor.

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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • The education sector is quickly adopting mobile apps and results are positive coming in. - jean.tower jean.tower Feb 23, 2012
  • Industry (publishing and other content developers) are quickly bringing apps to the marketplace and providing movile versions of nearly all titles. States in the US are changing their content regulations to allow for digital, often mobile enabled, instructional materials and providers will oblige in increasing numbers. As far as students are concerned, hands down they prefer mobiles over textbooks already. - chris.brown chris.brown Feb 29, 2012
  • Publishers are rethinking how they offer digital content and provide opportunities for assessment of that learning through mobile apps - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • Relevance is also critical in thinking about BYOD environments - where educators will be quick to target cross platform resources - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • Looking at Webinars and K-12 Education conference topics for teachers, finding and sharing "the right app" seems to be a hot topic. Seems as if teachers move from finding the right Web2.0 tool to finding the right app. Teachers talk about choosing their mobile device not based on cost any more, but they are willing to move to a new brand because of the educational apps it offers.- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Not only are there many choices of apps already, but also the possibility of students developing apps, allowing teachers to work on several different skills and even teach about economy in real world scenarios! - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • The growth of mobile learning initatives in Africa are accompanied by an increase in mobile learning applications which opens the way for the growth in mobile learning apps both spontaneious and through conscious crowd sourcing interventions - shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs Mar 4, 2012
  • How Mobile Apps Are Changing Classrooms and Education Mobile applications are not just responsible for changing how school is taught outside the classroom, but inside it as well. The range of uses varies as widely as Garage Band for iPad in music class to experiencing entire course curriculums in iTunes U. http://huff.to/zyFVAu - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Who buys the apps, who owns them , and can they be considered a consumable? - jean.tower jean.tower Feb 23, 2012
  • which is a challenges in my country (Denmark) because the schools must pay for the teaching materials and the apps can’t be bought with a site license. - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Mar 4, 2012 Same in Brazil! - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • I am beginning to see some buzz about apps and the cloud linked up. From what I understand, the potential is for extending popular apps with cloud based services/features. Some information on this may be useful here.- chris.brown chris.brown Feb 29, 2012
  • I would encourage us to think beyond iTunes, and look at Google Chrome, Intel AppUp, etc - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012
  • The ability for teachers to develop their own apps - needs drive, just in time apps for their own class room. Thus teacher development- sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012
  • Learners developing their own apps and the growth of 'open' apps - shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs Mar 4, 2012
  • Rubrics for evaluating educational apps – Tony Vincent presents a rubric to help teachers evaluate educational apps. http://learninginhand.com/blog/ - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • Apps can help us personalize and differentiate for a wide variety of students. They can make a huge difference for disabled students. - jean.tower jean.tower Feb 23, 2012
  • List of apps geared to K-12 classes - bwatwood bwatwood Feb 27, 2012
  • Its a leap in convenience for the user and at the same time brings down some of the barriers of entry to new content providers.- chris.brown chris.brown Feb 29, 2012
  • Individualization of instruction and assessment - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012 Yes, and ...now we need to develop our instructional toolbox/challenge ourselves on teaching in this type of PLE, not in our current 4-walled room where one content/concept fits all. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Mar 2, 2012 Agreed!- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • Students rather than always being consumers and users of apps should be able to create their own apps e.g. http://www.siliconrepublic.com/new-media/item/24542-worlds-youngest-mac-app-de - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Mar 1, 2012 Agree with Deirdre. Being able to design/write your own app might soon be linked to basic literacy skills - sarietjie.musgrave sarietjie.musgrave Mar 4, 2012 Exactly! - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012/ Also agree. - helen.padgett helen.padgett Mar 4, 2012
  • Will the growth in apps also reinforce the growth in informal learning- shafika.isaacs shafika.isaacs Mar 4, 2012

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?