All posts by Ibrahim Ercan

Ibrahim Ercan has a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Erciyes University and he is doing his M.A. in English Language Teaching at Çukurova University. He is interested in incorporating technology into language learning and teaching by specialising in web-based applications, mobile learning, MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) and graphic & web design.

Top eBook Apps for iOS and Android

Reading is one of the best ways to use mobile devices efficiently. Here you can find the list of top eBook apps for many different reading tasks like extensive reading or reading for fun to build digital literacy among learners.

iBooks –  It’s the best way to read and download eBooks on an iOS device. You can add bookmarks or notes to your favorite passages. And also it has a built-in dictionary where you can look up any word easily without leaving the page.

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Google Play Books – It’s the easiest way to read books on Android devices. You can download eBooks from Google Play and have fun while reading your book and drinking your café.

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Amazon Kindle – You can get access to more than 3,000,000 books and audiobooks. With this Kindle app,  you can get your book once and read it on any device and share across your family’s devices. You can choose books from Kindle store. It’s available both for iOS and Android.

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Wattpad – You can pick from over 20 million free stories: sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, romance, action thrillers, and more. You can also write, read, comment, chat with readers and writers and vote. You can synchronize your Wattpad library between your phone, tablet and web.

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PocketBook Reader – It allows you to customize your reading experience by adjusting text size, layouts, colors and many other options.

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50000 Free Ebooks – Oodles – This ebook reader and free book app lets you read and collect all your ebooks in one app. You can download the best ebook reader on Android and get access to over 50,000 classic ebooks for free. Now it’s only available for Android users.

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Nook – It has a library of over 4 million free best-selling eBooks, magazines, comics, and kids’ books in every genre including fiction, romance, business, sci-fi, mystery, and more – including 1 million. Sample Nook books are free and you can try any newspaper or magazine free for 14 days.

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Kobo – It allows you to browse more than 3.5 million free and affordable titles in the Kobo Store, including bestsellers, award winners, new releases, classics, and hidden gems. You can sync your bookmarks, notes, and highlights, so you can keep reading across all your devices.

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OverDrive – You can borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming video from your library using OverDrive on your mobile devices.

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NeoSoar eBooks, PDF & ePub Reader – You can link Dropbox to own your Cloud Personal Library; bulk import your eBooks and auto-sync across your devices. It a powerful PDF & ePub reader, support Adobe DRM eBooks.

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Moon+ Reader – You can read thousands of eBooks for free. It supports online ebook libraries. You can read local books with smooth scroll and tons of innovation. It’s available only on Android devices.

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Aldiko Book Reader – It support epub, pdf formats as well as Adobe DRM encrypted eBooks.

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Create your Online Radio with Mixlr and Let Your Students Speak!

Mixlr is a simple way to share live audio online. You can broadcast using any source and invite others to listen and chat in real-time. All you need to do is just create a Mixlr account and download the Mixlr desktop application to your PC or Mac. If you are planning to broadcast in a sophisticated manner, of course, you need a high-quality microphone that will provide a smooth sound quality. Some of the basic features of Mixlr application:

  • Embed live audio on your website or blog
  • Tune in directly from Facebook and Twitter
  • Build a community around your live sounds
  • HQ recording and export to your favourite archive services

Using Mixlr to Foster Your Students’ Speaking Competence

I have used Mixr to create our online radio station called AnttennaFM with my colleagues to facilitate learning of English in a meaningful, natural and constructivist way to help those who are learning English in an EFL context. We let our students create their own radio program and speak about a specific topic each week. They also invited some guests to their radio program. You can find our radio archive on Audiomack.

You can download Mixlr application using the links below or you can go directly to the Mixlr website.

 

Learn Phrasal Verbs Easily with Phrasal Verbs Machines

Cambridge University Press has created two distinctive apps for mobile handsets to help learners of English learn phrasal verbs easily and in a fun way. The Phrasal Verbs Machine and Phrasalstein mobile and web apps, which are available both for iOS and Android devices, show a different way of learning the problematic part of English verbs.

The Phrasal Verbs Machine

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The Phrasalstein

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Best MOOC Providers to Cater for Your Online Education

As Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) get more and more popular, their effective use and uptake by learners all around the world are also significantly changing the way we foster our education. Different from traditional learning methods, MOOCS are great opportunities to create alternative and unique learning experiences without the restriction of time and place.

What is a MOOC?

Here in this post I’ve gathered some of the best MOOC providers for you with a link to their websites and mobile applications.

Coursera – It works with top universities and organizations to make some of their best courses available online, and offers courses in physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, Digital Marketing, Data Science and other subjects. You can also get a verified certificate with a certain amount of money.

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EdX – It was created for students and institutions that seek to transform themselves through cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogy, and rigorous courses. You can receive an official credential from the institution and signed by the instructor. It offers courses from a wide range of categories in architecture, humanities, science, engineering, etc.

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FutureLearn – UK-based free online course provider. It offers  courses from top universities and cultural institutions. You can also get a certificate.

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Iversity – It offers free online courses from top European universities. You can also earn a verified certificate and European Credit (ECTS) points depending on the course you take.

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Khan Academy – It offers ”a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere”. You can see video courses in the form of YouTube videos and with practice exercises and tools for educators. All resources are available for free to anyone around the world.

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Udacity – Discover online classes taught by top instructors and industry experts. Take courses at your own pace.

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Udemy – It is an online education marketplace with limitless variety: over 7 million students enrolled in more than 30000 courses. It offers both free and paid courses, especially in computer engineering.

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iTunes U – It offers a variety of courses from different universities all around the world. It also provides learning management system in which you can engage every student with rich learning materials like apps, books, videos, podcasts, and primary sources from across iTunes.

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EMMA (European Multiple MOOC Aggregator) – It offers a series of MOOC courses that you can follow, studying the different units in each lesson and completing the assignments to check your learning.

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MIT Open Courseware – It makes the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT’s subjects available on the Web, free of charge. With more than 2,200 courses available.

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NovoEd – You can take online courses, corporate training programs, and leadership development modules on NovoEd’s social learning platform.

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Canvas Network – It offers free online courses and classes from the world’s leading universities.

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Open2Study – You can choose all free courses and all run over four weeks. Everything you need is to complete the course, including videos, further readings, assessments, quizzes, transcripts.

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Top Apps for College Student Survival Infographic

Top Apps For College Student Survival Infographic

Today’s student is more in tune with technology than ever before, and this app guide shows how students can make the most out of the college experience. From finding a date to making new friends, keeping your focus to taking better notes, the Top Apps for College Student Survival Infographic outlines the smartphone apps no college student should live without!

For Note-taking

  • Evernote – It is the most widely used study app and for good reason. The app syncs all your college work to an online account so you’re always connected with resources to study.
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)

For Studying

For Reading

  • Chegg – Textbooks are ridiculously expensive, and Chegg offers you the option to rent online versions of your books for less. You can search by title, author or ISBN! Easy!
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)

For Writing

  • Dragon Dictation – It uses accurate voice recognition software to let you speak Recording and instantly see your words in text. Write essays with ease, and update your social networks with speech.
  • Download (iOS)

For Referencing

  • Refme – You can create references in any style by scanning a book bar code or using doi number of any article in seconds with RefME’s free referencing generator. And also you can easily sync your references with its web app.
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)
  • Easybib – It generates citations In MLA, APA and Chicago style by scanning a books bar code or by entering the title. The app also lets you easily email and export the bibliographies to yourself.
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)

For Sheduling

  • iStudiez – It keeps track of your class schedule, assignments and grades. The app will even tell you what score you need to get on the next test or assignment to stay on track toward your final desired grade for the class.
  • Download (iOS)

For Calculations

For Managing Finances

  • Mint – Grub drinks, books, fees, the facets of college life add up quickly! Mint is a web and mobile app that helps you keep track of your spending.
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)

For Meeting Up

  • MeetUp – It allows you to find, meet, and organize with fellow enthusiasts in your area who have a shared interest. Looking for some buddies to go canoeing with? MeetUp can help!
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)

For Career Building

  • LinkedIn – It is a way to keep in touch with employers and co-workers at Internships, but perhaps more importantly it allows you to meet new people based on similar interests or those who attend your college or university.
  • Download (iOS)
  • Download (Android)

Source: E-Learning Infographics

Student Mobile Workspaces Infographic

Student Mobile Workspaces Infographic

Having a powerful mobile workspace has become a crucial component in higher education. The Student Mobile Workspaces Infographic gathers mobile device statistics from 2013–2014, showing how the challenges of the mobile campus can be transformed into new opportunities for learning!

The wide variety of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices used on campus by students and faculty create a significant opportunity for anytime, anywhere learning.

  • 58% of students own three or more mobile devices.
  • 89% of students own a laptop
  • 43% of students own a desktop computer
  • 31% of students own a tablet
  • 76% of students own a smartphone
  • 16% of students own an e-reader

Students say they value technology because it helps them:

  • achieve academic outcomes 76%,
  • prepare for future educational plans 76%, and
  • prepare for the workplace 61%.

Students also say that technology makes them feel more connected to:

  • their institution 64%,
  • their professors 60%, and
  • other students 53%.

But despite owning and valuing these devices, 74% of students say the use of smartphones in class is banned or discouraged at their institution.

The challenge for colleges and universities is to bridge the gap between the expectations of campus users and the capabilities of the institution. 94% of higher ed leaders agree that students today should be able to remotely access all the information, data and software they need, on any device, at any time, and with a consistent user experience. But 55% said their institution 55% does not provide remote access to students.

Why?

  • 61% no budget or staff to provide this level of service
  • 38% some software simply cannot be used remotely
  • 12% too difficult to adopt new major technology
  • 34% we don’t have the network infrastructure
  • 21% we don’t have the expertise

At most schools, a significant portion of students and faculty require access to resource-intensive software applications for cad, statistical analysis, art, photography, etc.

  • Institution-owned computers in labs, libraries, etc. 89%
  • Personal computers in certain campus locations 54%
  • Personal computers anywhere 52%
  • Tablets via wifi 42%
  • Smartphones via wifi or cellular data network 36%

What percentage of your students and faculty require access to resource-intensive, on-campus-only software?

  • less than 50 percent: 39%
  • 50 to 60 percent: 15%
  • 60 to 80 percent: 9%
  • more than 80 percent: 6%

The inability to easily access all software, including resource-intensive applications, from any personal computing device is frustrating to higher ed leaders, 97% of whom said it would be helpful to be able to provide all students and faculty with secure, seamless access to these applications anytime, anywhere and from any device or operating system.

The rapid evolution of technology is changing the way we learn, work and educate. Students want the freedom to learn and study using the latest software or applications on any device, in the location where they feel most productive and inspired. As the leader in mobile workspaces, citrix provides students, faculty and staff with on-demand, secure access to the apps, data and services they require, expanding beyond traditional methods to promote independent and exploratory learning – without compromising security or compliance.

Source: E-Learning Infographics

Take Your Students Outside of the Classroom with Quizlet

quizletQuizlet is an easy and fun way to engage your students with vocabulary activities outside of the classroom with its web and mobile applications. Quizlet’s flashcards, tests, and study games make learning fun and engaging for students of all ages, especially when students are using their smartphones all the time. So it’s a great opportunity to use their mobile handsets for meaningful tasks. You can create a class for your students and have an access key/link for your class. It can be a private or public class.

By creating mobile learning content on Quizlet, you can let your students learn anywhere, any time they want. It lets you create study cards, which you can enter definition for each word, and use its tex-to-speech technology to add sound feature. And also you can track your students’ progress when you upgrade for a small amount of money per year.

Here’s an example of reading class I’ve created for my students.

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Watch the Quizlet Tutorial

Screenshot from Quizlet

FLASHCARDS

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LEARN

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SPELLER

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TEST

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SCATTER

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SPACE RACE

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How to Get Started with Mobile Learning

How to Get Started with Mobile Learning Infographic

Just like with any new project, a mobile learning implementation program needs a thorough assessment of the current training situation and the tools being used to deliver training. An initial needs analysis has to be conducted which broadly includes the following steps:

  • Define business goals – Know what the organization aims to achieve and how mobile learning can fit in the picture.
  • Define learning objectives – Understand what skills are required & what kind of modules will serve the purpose.
  • Research your target audience – Understand the people and their learning needs on the job.
  • Understand the devices – Know the devices you will be designing for, as it will have a direct bearing on app and content development.
  • Enable appropriate IT policies – To ensure that sensitive organizational data is not compromised.

Once this is done, various options to render content exist.

Device Agnostic Content: Used to make content responsive for a large variety of devices with less of time and monetary resources. Such content is designed without keeping its optimum performance tied to any particular form factor, so that it can provide similar learning experience to all users. Generally suitable in organizations with a BYOD policy.

Native Mobile Apps: Slightly more expensive to develop but hugely beneficial because of their performance. They are capable of providing better user experience, interactivity and engagement by making full use of the device’s hardware features such as camera, magnetometer, gyroscope etc. Generally suitable in organizations which provide devices to employees as native apps are developed keeping a specific device in mind. Native apps can be used to deliver:

  • Experiential learning through 3D simulations.
  • NFC or QR code enabled contextual learning performance support apps.
  • Augmented Reality solutions that superimpose digital information on things captured by the device’s camera.

Sources: Origin Learning and E-Learning Infographics

Watch out for These Trends in Mobile Learning: 2015 and Beyond

2015 Mobile Learning Trends Infographic

The 2015 Mobile Learning Trends Infographic explores what role mobiles are playing in shaping up the workplace learning scenario. These trends with mobile learning are evidence to the fact that we are on the brink of a new era of learning – through the mobile device.

Flash to HTML5
For years, Flash has ruled mobile content delivery arena. But it’s high time that content designers shunned the legacy approach and embraced HTML5 – the smarter and faster way to render engaging content such as animations and videos to a whole range of mobile devices.

Device Agnostic Design Approach
Of course, this is both a cause as well as an off shoot from the previous trend. With the number and kinds of devices growing every day, it will be impractical and extremely laborious for organizations to develop native apps. Device agnostic approach to design is helping solve this problem.

Mobile App Analytics
In 2015 we can expect to see analytics playing a bigger role in understanding learners’ interaction and behavior with mobile based courses, such as by monitoring app traffic and visualize page-flows.

Multi-screen Usage
The study which was conducted among of more than 2,000 people in both the UK and the US shows that as multiple devices become an inseparable part of our lives, shuffling between them has become a norm.

Responsive Web development for Multi-device Consistency
Responsive design is key to delivering consistent learning experiences as learners start a course on the laptop, finish it on their tablet and may be, review it on their mobile device. The current trend is to explore more ways to make content progressively enhanced and responsive to support learning behaviors and provide consistency as learners switch between devices.

Bite-sized Learning for Performance Support
With the increasing trend towards mobile learning, is also an increasing speculation and awareness about how to make it more effective. Consequently, there is a gradual shift from just shrinking down web pages to render on the mobile screen, to providing bite-sized learning ‘nuggets’.

Mobiles as Devices for Competency-based Learning
The aim of competency building is to make workers adept at specific skills or competencies. In the area of competency building, mobile devices are and will continue to play the important role of augmenting training beyond the classroom. It is common to see mobile videos and simulators in the healthcare segment where newly practicing professionals or surgeons access videos from a library, say before a surgery.

Gamified Mobile Learning and Assessments
Gamification on the mobile is fun, engaging and convenient. Taking short quizzes and assessments on the mobile is also on the rise, and this trend will continue.

Geo-Location Sensitive Learning
Learning design based on Social, Mobile, Real-Time Learning, and Geo Location technologies means learners can have real-time dashboards to monitor their progress and access to the right content or experts based on geo-location—all through mobile delivery.

Augmented Reality for Mobiles
Augmented Reality is already making big waves. Many schools have toyed with the idea of using AR applications to support learning, such as when a student scans a page of his homework, a video of his teacher explaining a related concept pops up, or book reviews in the form of videoattached to scan-able book barcodes.

Social Mobile Learning
Mobile supported Learning Management Systems (LMS) with social features are rapidly changing how employees interact with each other to share knowledge and drive innovation.

Wearable Devices
Since we are talking about mobile devices here, it would be unfair to not mention wearables. Be it for monitoring health, finding directions on the Google Glass or connecting with people with over Apple Watch or Android Wear, there is a lot of activity in the wearable technology segment. Such devices can be used for context sensitive content rendering, such as live streaming of a surgery procedure on the Google Glass. As wearables shift from becoming more of a need than a luxury (just as smartphones did, a couple of years ago) we can expect to see them being used actively for learning as well.

Sources: Origin Learning and E-Learning Infographics