Teaching with Apps

Saira Mall–Educational Technology Liaison, CTSI

In early April, UofT launched Mobile Learn, Blackboard’s app through which students can receive course notifications and information about their courses.  With the launch I was wondering what apps are especially useful in supporting teaching.

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article by Jeffery Young (2011) who identified the 6 Top Smartphone Apps to Improve Teaching, Research, and Your Life.  Young based his app suggestions on scenarios people mentioned most often: taking attendance (Attendance ), reading scholarly articles (Dropbox, Evernote and Goodreader), reading notes (JotNot Scanner), using textbook tools (CourseSmart), and mind-mapping for planning lectures (Mindblowing and MindJet).  A few are free some may require a fee to purchase. Young also noted:

Some of the most innovative applications for hand-held devices, however, have come from professors working on their own. They find ways to adapt popular smartphone software to the classroom setting, or even write their own code. (January 2, 2011)

Mobile UofT (mobile.utoronto.ca) has been launched for all faculty, staff and students to submit ideas for developing mobile apps.  If you have an idea for an app contact Mobile UofT and connect with mobile experts who can help you develop it.  You can also showcase your app project on the web site or view current mobile projects at the University.  A range of UofT apps are available for download from the web site that have been created by instructors and students including MyVoice, U of T Map, UTM Mobile, UTSC Campus and UTL Mobile.

If you are searching for ways to incorporate apps that enhance teaching and learning, MERLOT has created the Mobile Learning Apps Collection. Their catalogue consists of open educational resources and commercially-produced apps.

We want to hear your ideas on developing apps that support teaching! Once you’ve assessed your app needs contact Mobile UofT at http://mobile.utoronto.ca/contact.  We’d love to feature your project, find resources and help you with mobile development platforms.

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