“She works on learning and technology
in a way that is creative, concrete and quirky”

I’m an educator who loves apps

I do love them.

I love apps because of what I can do on the go. Apps on my mobile devices enable practice, a quick lesson, a conversation with a coach or team, or a reminder about how it is that I might think about something. Here is the story of how apps helped Aaron Ifland, a doctoral student, who attends two universities 118 miles apart, and teaches at a third.

I also love their ability to support activities that appear mundane to others, but are important in the moment. Here is an example. A few days ago, I had to get from a hamlet in Maine to a hamlet in upstate New York. I knew I had to go south through New Hampshire and Massachusetts. But that was about all I knew.

Travelling alone, I was not going to be able to consult maps or even to look at my Smartphone or iPad, not on those slender highways chock full of trucks, SUVs, and RVs. And what’s with the roads? The roads have two names and as many as three numbers. (How can it be 33W, 109 and 9S at the same time?)

My brother-in-law suggested I consider the app, GPS drive. I took a look at it and purchased it for $2.99. What a great investment! Her dulcet tones guided and soothed me during the 4:30 minute drive and for several subsequent jaunts. Some will remember the TV ad from a few years ago with a man confessing his love to his GPS on the Eastside Highway in NYC. I got his passion. I was genuinely fond of her. She helped me out.

For more about apps for performance support and learning, please visit my blog post, Apps– BIG Help, small price, at Learning Solutions magazine.

Comments

  1. Richard Clark just (re)published some age-old wisdom on instruction. The Path he talks about could be littered with apps. And what if teachers were trained to create apps rather than homework assignments?

    http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/spring2012/Clark.pdf

  2. I’m hooked too. Apps’ specificity and delivery at the moment of need is AMAZING. I’m attached to an app that allows me to check for forgotten characters. I wish I had this years ago, it would not only save me so much time but allowed me to better use it in writing/reading rather than searching.

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