In the last post we discussed about 10 popular types of Microlearning. Mobile Apps are perfect delivery packages for microlearning. But, to begin with what is a mobile app.

According to techopedia, “A mobile application, most commonly referred to as an app, is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer. Mobile applications frequently serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on PCs. Apps are generally small, individual software units with limited function. This use of app software was originally popularized by Apple Inc. and its App Store, which offers thousands of applications for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.”

Mobile Apps are of different types:

Web app, that can be run directly on the browser. Usually HTML5, JavaScript or CSS based, these apps redirect the user to URL. These apps require minimum device memory as it browser dependent but can be affected by connectivity issues. Also, web apps utilize only few of the affordances of the device, geolocation for instance.

Native App is usually operating system specific and is utilizes the device storage. As it is developed for single OS, i.e. iOS, Android, Windows phone, Symbian, Blackberry apps can only run on the respective platforms. Native apps are known for performance and great UI. Also, it makes use of many in-built features of the mobile device. However, the cost of development is usually on the higher side.

Hybrid App as the name suggests are mainly website applications cloaked in a native wrapper. It is built using multi-platform web technologies i.e. HTML5, CSS and Javascript etc. Hybrid apps are fast and comparatively easy to develop. Having a Single code base for all platforms reduces the cost of maintenance and updates. It also uses APIs, like gyroscope, accelerometer, geolocation etc. However, the performance, speed and overall optimization may be reduced in comparison to native apps.

Now that the general idea about apps is sorted. Let’s look at some mobile apps that are popularly used for microlearning.

As discussed in the last post, videos make good microlearning. Create and account and upload the learning content, 1-2-minute videos are perfect as microlearning and load well on mobile devices. The YouTube app makes it all easier.

Pinterest is an interesting app that allows you to locate learning of choice. Basically, images, infographics etc. of choice can be pinned and looked into later and even shared.

Though not entirely a learning app, it is gaining popularity for sharing videos and infographics. Learning content is often tagged as #learning, #microlearning etc. making the content easier to locate. Creating a knowledge sharing group could work too.

TED-Ed isn’t just about spreading good ideas but has now become an award-winning education platform that is used by teachers and students. The app basically makes the videos more accessible. And now the videos made by educators usually is short and concise and can be used directly within the instructional strategy or as microlearning.

While the above mentioned are generic apps that can work for any subject matter, there are some noteworthy subject specific apps too.

Word of the day
Looking for apps to enhance vocabulary, then word of the day might just be what you are looking for. The app picks one word for you each day, definition, connotation and sentence usage all included. So, what word have you learned today?

One language, or multiple languages (about 21) Duolingo delivers microlearning in a gamified environment. And its not just about learning words, but grammatic usage and assessment too.

Apart from these there are many learning apps available today. Coursera, Khan Academy, Lynda etc. are popular names in the list. But these are more extensive when it comes to content and hence, consuming it as microlearning would depend entirely on the learners. Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure Mobile Learning and Microlearning go hand-in-hand.

Which are your favorite learning apps? Leave a comment below.

If you need assistance in creating mobile apps, just get in touch.