Mobile Learning Evolves from Initiative to Ecosystem

Written by Berlin Fang

The Adams Center’s Berlin Fang published the following article with WISE Ed Review, an online platform hosted by World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) to share thoughts in educational innovation.

“On November 6, 2014, I organized a meet-up during the 2014 World Innovation Forum for Education. The audience was small, but diverse and active. Participants came from Egypt, France, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, China, as well as Qatar, where the summit was held. A variety of mobile phones were used by participants of this session, including iPhones that are often seen in the US, Huawei’s Mate used in China, as well as some “dumb” phones used temporarily during travel.

Curious what people do with their phones, I asked everyone to recommend one favorite mobile app. Participants from France and Canada both recommended Uber, an app to help get a taxi. A participant from Egypt said she used whatsapp. Professor Jiao Jianli from China recommended Zite, an app to gather and curate mobile content. A participant from China recommended a Chinese app that provides recipes and tutorials for cooking Chinese food. Almost all of us use some kind of social media tools such as Wechat, Twitter, or Instagram. Of course, Skype is everyone’s favorite app as well.

Click here to Read more.

The Adams Center will also host “appy hours” for you to share what you do with your mobile apps.  Please check our weekly newsletters for details.

iPad Apps for Reading

Written by the Instructional Design Team

Hoopla (free):

This is an app that allows you to check out digital books and movies from the public library, if such titles are available in digital format.   Not every library  book or movie is available yet, but it is a nice to check out books once in a while right from your mobile devices.

Kindle (free app; books are purchased through Amazon):

You do not have to own a Kindle device to read digital books from Amazon.   You can download the Kindle app on your iPhone, iPad and computer to read your favorite books.  As long as you log in with the same Amazon account, you will be able to use multiple devices to read the same book.  You can also annotate and highlight along the way.

Audible (free app, but books are purchased through Amazon or

Audible has been purchased by Amazon,  so you will find that it is possible to sync your reading in a totally new fashion.  For books with both Kindle and Audible versions, you can pay a few extra dollars for an audible version and read the book when you use the Kindle, or listen to it when you use Audible.   You can listen from where you leave off in reading, or vice versa.

Gutenberg (free):

The Gutenberg app offers thousands of free books, including audio books.  Check out whether the books you or your students read happen to be there!

APPs For The Beginning of the Semester


Looking to use your iPad in new, fun ways with your students? Below are a couple free apps that you may find useful.

Talkboard is a simple and intuitive collaborative whiteboard app. Anyone you invite to your Talkboard can write or sketch on the board. It updates live so everyone can see as the board evolves and share what is created.

  • Showme   is an interactive whiteboard that allows you to create voiceover whiteboard tutorials and share them online.


All the Write Moves

As students use their iPads more for writing, they may find these apps helpful in coordinating with their laptap and transferring docs back and forth.

  • My Writing Spot:  The blog buzz is that this is the best writing app. Not free ($4.99).  It syncs with an associated desktop writing app, so that you don’t have to work out of multiple files, or go through the annoyance of transferring plain text files into whatever format you want to work with on your desktop or laptop computer

  • Pages:  The most robust, pricey ($9.99), but the cadillac of writing apps. Works with iCloud.

Getting Organized

The beginning of the semester is always a good time to start thinking about these apps. Students may ask you for help. If they do, here are some apps you can suggest:

  • MyHomework Student Planner: Students may like this cross-platform planner as a way to get organized with various classes and multiple learning management systems.

  • CourseNotes:  Handy little app that let’s students organize their notes in one spot.  $4.99 (although, it is healthier than a McD value meal 🙂 )

Apps to Spice Up Your Quizzes

Written by the Instructional Design Team

While quizzes and tests are often used to generate grades, they do not always have to be. Some of you may use quizzes to help students learn and you do not care how many times students take them and how much they get with each attempt. In some cases, if students spend much time taking such quizzes till they “get it”, it might be a desirable process of learning. Such assessments are often labelled “formative assessments” as compared to “summative assessments”. If this describes what you want to do with some of your classes, you might want to try a couple of interesting applications that do exactly that.

Quizlet is an application (available on the web and as an app in the iTunes App Store) rather popular for formative assessment type of learning activities. You can generate a “set” of items that can be studied as flashcards, quizzes or even games in a variety of formats. Such activities can be easily shared in your course site, blog or Facebook page. Please check this set for an illustration.

You can sign in to Quizlet using your Google account. A set you create in Quizlet can be protected for personal use only, or you can share it with the general public. A third option, which is probably going to be very helpful for class use, is to share it with your class only with a password.


If you have graphics in every item of a quiz or test, you could also use a site called “Photopeach” to do that. Photopeach can be used to create photo slideshows. It is fairly easy to create. You will just need to upload a number of images or photos to create a photo-based slideshow, and then you can create short quizzes over particular photos. You can also have some stock music playing in the background as students view the show and take quizzes. The downside of this application is that you can only have three choices at a time with the quizzes. Check this set for an illustration.

Please contact the Adams Center for assistance if you need to set up such quizzes. If you use either of these two applications, we would love to hear how you use them and any advice you would give in using them.

We’d like to thank Jonathan Gray and Dr. James Langford for suggesting the use of such applications for quizzing!

Teaching with the iPad: Creating a Classroom Research Project has a new tutorial on using the iPad in the classroom.

Learn how to lead your students through the process of conducting and sharing their research, with the assistance of the Nearpod app for creating interactive presentations. These lessons highlight the possibilities for the iPad as a tool to collaborate, remediate, problem-solve, assess, and communicate with your class. The iPad multisensory features, the on-board apps, and the ever-growing variety of apps available in iTunes provide a great platform for teachers to discover new ways to engage students.

Click here to access the tutorial today!

ACCESS Keynote Speaker Robbie Melton to host Adams Center lunch

Dr. Robbie Melton, Associate Vice Chancellor of eLearning and Emerging Mobilization Technology at the Tennessee Board of Regents, will host a lunch in the Adams Center on using mobile devices and mobile apps for improving learning, enhancing teaching and increasing retention

Have You Met Lynda?

Ever wished you could sit in on a class on Photoshop, FinalCut Pro, Excel, or Maya? Ever wanted to improve your skills as a public speaker, portrait photographer, team leader or software developer?

Then get to know Lynda. Starting this semester is available campus-wide, providing the ACU community the opportunity to learn virtually anything on their own schedule. Absolutely free. offers more than 80,000 video tutorials on a range of software, along with leadership skills and career insights from industry leaders. Each course is taught by experienced professionals in the field who help you understand not only how to do something but when or why to use certain tools and techniques. is now available to students, faculty and staff on the web and the iOS app. For help, or for more information, visit or come by the Learning Studio.