The Web offers a great opportunity in helping teachers to adopt student centred methodologies, not only for the enormous availability of content but also for the number of tools in the form of Web 2.0 applications or mobile devices apps. These applications give users the opportunity to create and share digital artefacts, to support the collaboration and communication between workgroups and to aggregate, remix and share heterogeneous materials. When incorportated into daily teaching and learning activities (TLA), such applications can improve the collaborative, cognitive and creative work of the students, enhancing and redefining traditional educational practices.
Nevertheless, although these applications are generally easy to find and use, there is a lack of knowledge about their existence, their functions and their potential in an educational setting.
AppInventory is a tool for the discovery, learning and evaluation of a sufficiently extensive set of applications, which although they are not generally designed for use in education, represent a considerable potential for implementing active teaching approaches supported by technology .
The analyzed applications have been described according to different taxonomies and have been placed, according to their functionality, in 3 macro-categories:
- creation and sharing of digital artifacts;
- support for communication and collaboration in working groups;
- aggregation of heterogeneous contents;
declined in 25 specific sub-categories. The attribution of an application to a category is weighed and not exclusive: this choice derives from the need to describe with a certain precision the multifunctional nature of the applications and facilitate their finding during the exploration of the catalog.
The aim of the catalog is not to increase the operational skills in the practical use of individual applications, but rather to inspire teachers during the micro-planning of didactic activities. AppInventory wants to be a kind of well-stocked “toolbox” to suggest original activities, increase their variety and offer students the tools for creating and reinterpreting cultural contents.
Given the wide variety of applications presented, we hope that this catalog will be interesting not only for teachers but also for those involved in technology and for all those, professionals and non, who want to discover and experiment with new tools within their activities.
All the material is provided both in Italian and in English and is usable through this Web platform that allows the exploration and evaluation of the app.
Numerous students from the University of Udine contributed to the project and, with different tasks, made possible the creation of this catalog: it was a concrete and demanding experience in active teaching that involved 138 students over a two year period and which couldn’t have been coordinated and completed without the support of Cloud platforms for sharing and collaboration.
Playlist of created videos
Watch all the videos on the SASWEB Lab YouTube channel.
All the material produced for this catalog is made available with license
Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike