Faculty Exchange/Mary Anderson Provides Context For Assigning Student Built Apps

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General Information

  • Audience - All WSU instructors interested in having students build apps in their courses.
  • Interview Date - 11/16/2015
  • Tools Used - BuildFire

Meet the Faculty Member

Dr. Mary Anderson is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Winona State University. She earned her her doctoral degree at St. Thomas University and has served as a Elementary Principal.

Viewing the Interview Segments

The full interview is divided into six segments. Select play to begin viewing Segment 1. To advance to another segments at any time by using the Next Next button.

Segment Descriptions

  1. Introduction
  2. Could you talk specifically how this assignment came about? Here Mary describes how she had a student who wanted to build an app in one of her classes and how this lead to everyone wanting to do the same after seeing the different ways they could build an app to fit their own needs.
  3. What does this process provide student that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do? Mary explains the powerful ways the student can manipulate the app interface and content so that it better meets their needs in the classroom setting.
  4. What are some of the outcomes you are seeing in terms of student learning? Feedback from her students indicate that they see the value of building these resources and the marketable skills they gain from doing this assignment are an excellent feature for prospective employers.
  5. Could you explain how you went about building this project out for your students? Here Mary walks through the process she conducted to make this assignment a reality.
  6. Where is this assignment going? Because of the ease of building and revising their apps she explains that students are suggesting that she continue to do this type of project because of the benefits they are seeing from having don this assignment.
  7. What would you tell other faculty considering doing this assignment? Mary talks further about the first place you should head when doing this type of project.

Good Practices

  • Functional Tools: The creation of an app that allows you to put extensive data at your fingertips is powerful to assisting teachers in the classroom.
  • Great Experience: Building apps for real classroom settings not only prepares future teachers for the challenges they will face, but also allows them to improve interfaces that they will be using in dynamic settings.

Key Outcomes

  • With a tool that can easily be created, manipulated, and updated students are able to build other apps that will continue to meet their needs in the future as changes occur in their classes.
  • This assignment also promotes collaboration between students so that they can better refine their apps.

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