Educational Technology/Learning Tools

Social learning tools are those tools used for pedagogical and androgogical purposes that utilize social software and/or social media in order to facilitate learning through interactions between people and systems.[1] Some of those tools can be used in education as collaborative technology such as mobile apps. Mobile apps are a technology application developed on a small wireless computing device, such as mobile phones and tablets, rather than using laptops and computers. Each app provides limited and isolated functionality, whereas acts as individual software units with limited function. This use of software has been popularized by Apple Inc. and its App Store, which sells thousands of applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch [2].

1.1 The role of mobile apps as collaborative technology Mobile devices enable improved access to existing desktop tools. The most common examples of mobile versions are email access on smartphones, instant messaging (IM) and Web conferencing tools. The tools and capabilities are generally familiar to users, whom quickly will adapt to the new possibilities with little need for explicit direction. This can manifest itself in various ways, but some common areas include using smartphones in an email "triage" capacity, deleting unimportant messages and saving important communications for action at the desktop [3].

1.2 How do the apps enhance the academic education.

The Apps provide myriad ways to help students to learn new concepts and express their creativity. In other word, Apps can be used as a different tool of teaching in order to help students to learn faster within wider range. Actually the Apps of learning have similar features as apps of game, and that’s why children feel very comfortable with electronic gadgets and equipment. It is a fact that children can learn quickly through games and sporting activities[4]. In addition, the apps also help teachers achieving better performance in organizing, managing, and monitoring classroom activities Moreover, the apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store have lots of Apps that benefit children with learning disabilities such as TapToTalk, Crazy Face Lite. Historically, access for students and in some countries to ICT (information and communication technology) has been limited. This posed a major barrier to the advancement of education. Now however, cellular and smartphone (depending on where you are from) is changing that reality. For example, in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, UNESCO runs a project of using SMS texts to distribute educational content to studs in disadvantaged areas. This project seeks to help students retain and strengthen their new literacy skills, which are usually stunted if there is not constant practice [5].


  • Free or subscription-based dynamic learning tools with content that may be borrowed and adapted for a variety of uses.

2.1 Use of using mobile apps in the classroom

Learning Aid - students who have a smartphone can use various applications that are designed to assist in learning and designed just for students. Many of these smartphones have programs that are similar to what is found in a laptop or desktop computer. Being able to quickly look up facts on the internet is possible on many phones. Memory Aids - most cell phones have a camera these days, so children can use these to take pictures of things in class. This is great for science class, for example, where they may be exposed to certain creatures, plants and other things that they probably won't encounter anywhere else. This is much more effective that simply producing a quick sketch [6].


  • Free versions may have limited functionality.
  • Content provided by others may have been posted in violation of copyright.

3.1 Others disadvantage of using mobile apps in the classroom:

Distraction - by they’re taking selfies or texting in class, cell phones can be very detrimental to a student’s ability to pay attention in class. Interruptions - not only can cell phones cause distractions for individual students in class, but they can also interrupt the entire class. A ringing, beeping, or buzzing cell phone can disrupt a test, lecture, or study period. Cheating - putting cell phones and test times together can result in student dishonesty. Cell phones make it very easy for students to share answers, take photos of quizzes or tests, or look up answers online during testing. Some students may take photos of their notes or textbooks in order to reference them during testing. Inappropriate Use - many parents have rules about cell phone usage, but it’s harder to enforce those rules when your child is away from home. It’s easier to view inappropriate sites, and send lewd texts or sexual photos while students are in school than it is to do at home because of the lack of individual supervision students receive while at school [7].


See AlsoEdit


[2]Rouse, M. & Wingmore, I. (2013) – Mobile app [available from:].

[3]Mann, J. (2013) Gartner: Benefits of mobile collaboration [available from:].

[4] Otakhor, EO. (2007) - Facilitating Improved Education Service Delivery in Nigerian Universities: The Relevance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Revolution [available from:]

[5]Leyden, A. (2015) – Why mobile learning apps are the future of Education [available from: ].

[6]Cirelli, C. (2006) – Pros of cell phones in school [available form: ].

[7] Huckabay, C. (2015) - Disadvantages of allowing cell phones in high school [available from: ].