How can apps benefit my students?

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We live in a world where education is constantly evolving. Every day there are new things to learn, new scientific achievements to share, or simply new volcanoes emerging from the earth that need to be named and recognized geographically.

It is hard not only for students to keep up with the rhythm of this new era, but also for teachers. While there are some of us who prefer the traditional ways of learning and teaching, we simply can’t ignore the fact that technology is changing the world, and not only the world, technology is also changing us.

Generations of children are coming our way with new ways to process the information we give them. We, as human beings, have never been in a world so full of knowledge. The difference now from 1945 is that we have the power to decide what we do with all that information. Do we send it back to the trash bin? Or, do we keep it for a later reading? Do we subscribe to that blog or not? It’s all part of this new era, and it’s hard, because we’re living in a world where kids’ attention is harder to gain.

iPods, iPhones, tablets, Kindles, and everything in between; our children are using gadgets to get hold of the information that used to be provided to teachers through radios, movie theaters, TV and old magazines. So, if the tools they are using to learn are changing, why aren’t the classrooms changing too?

Studies that go back to 2004, (10 years is a lot if you consider how fast we’re moving) showed that establishing an e-learning system for supplementary learning purposes in the classroom can help students to improve their learning capacity, but most importantly that it allows them to have more effective interactions between them and their classmates and between them and the teacher.

So, what does this have to do with apps? It’s easy! Once we’ve figured out what technological tools we have, we need to make sure we use them correctly. There are thousands of apps online that can help us improve the things we are saying in the classroom. If I’m a science teacher and it is, let’s say, Shark Week, I might want to give my students a chance to look at this amazing app called: Ultimate Sharks. Or if I’m doing a screen-writing workshop and I need to enhance my student’s ability to create a simple plot, I can use a specific app for this task.

The more we learn about apps ourselves, their functionality, their pros and cons, the more we’ll be able to explore them as a way of enhancing what we are trying to teach. It’s like being a writer and knowing which pen will help us write more smoothly.


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