This research has been made possible by the Ontario Research Fund, funding research excellence.
EduApps is a suite of apps housed in an online environment that focuses on the health, well-being and development of one’s mind, body and community. Our research project titled, “There’s an App for That” is investigating the design process, development, implementation and evaluation of this suite of educational apps. Specifically, we are interested in helping students build confidence and competence in the cognitive, socio-emotional and physical domains. We are also interested in the impact a learning portal can have on students’ learning, teachers and the surrounding community. We hope that our research can build capacity for investigating and affecting innovation in formal and informal education settings in the use of digital technology. We have partnered with school boards and community organizations to develop and research the apps. More about each of the domains — their purpose, apps and related research can be found by clicking on the links below.
The Mind Zone focuses primarily on the creation of mathematics apps and resources. Inequitable access to mathematics education has been acknowledged both to restrict student opportunities for broader academic success, and to limit civic participation which depends on critical interpretation of statistics, numerical trends, and their societal implications (e.g., Anderson & Tate, 2008; Skovsmose & Valero, 2008). The convergence of numeracy and literacy skills required for 21st century demands, as well as generational and economic gaps in technological accessibility and competency, positions this kind of digital innovation as a particularly high-needs area. The Mind area will focus on apps to address: a.) the incorporation of storytelling in mathematics teaching and learning b.) multimodal modeling of mathematics concepts and relationships.
The Body Zone focuses primarily on the creation of health and nutrition apps and resources. Poor dietary patterns affect academic performance and put children at an increased risk of weight gain and obesity (MacLellan D 2008, Neumark-Sztainer 1997, Neumark-Sztainer 1996). A lack of physical literacy, and as a result, activity also plays a role in student success and achievement, in addition to overall weight maintenance and general health. This area will create apps to address a.) healthy eating b.) physical literacy c.) physical activity.
The Community Zone focuses primarily on the creation of socio-emotional apps and resources, so students can develop the capacity to be healthy and caring community citizens. This area will contain three apps designed to address: a) emotional intelligence/ self-regulation; b) healthy relationships (i.e. bullying, conflict management, decision making, cultural competence); and, c) mental health (i.e. coping skills, problem solving, self-esteem).
OUR Research objectives:
- To design, develop, implement, evaluate, and make available through a learning portal (EDUZONE) a suite of educational apps that focus on helping students build confidence and competencies in three domains: 1) Cognitive (Mind Zone); 2) Social-Emotional (Community Zone); and, 3) Physical (Body Zone);
- To explore the impact of the learning portal (EDUZONE) on the learning of students, their teachers, and the community; and
- To build capacity for investigating and affecting innovation in formal and informal education settings in the use of the digital innovation.
Once the EduApps suite and online environment has been fully developed and finalized, we will link to it here.