There is a lot of talk about the use of Apple’s IPad and IPod touch devices.  Sometimes we overlook the alternatives.  In an article, taken from ISTE’s Connect blog, Katie Stansberry examines an alternative.  The ever popular Andriod platform:

Posted by: Katie Stansberry

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When it comes to using mobile technology in education, the iPhone gets a lot of press. Apple has aggressively marketed their products to education markets and the little glowing Apple is ubiquitous on college campuses.  However, the open nature of the Android operating system is really more in line with the lofty ideals of public education. Here are some great apps for educators that use the Android operating system.



Google Sky Map

This nifty application takes full advantage of the phone’s orientation sensors to show a star map for just about every location on earth at any given time. Are you wondering what that really bright thing is just on the horizon? Find out if it’s a star, a planet, or maybe a low flying plane just by pointing your camera toward the object. Google Sky Map provides detailed maps of over one thousand stars and all of the planets in our solar system.



Formulas Lite

This simple application houses a vast collection of the most important and oft used formulas in math, physics and chemistry. The app also features a scientific calculator and a very basic translator. While Formulas Lite won’t get you through advanced calculus without studying, it is a useful reference guide to keep easily accessible.




The Elements

This highly addictive game uses low-tech, abstract graphics to represent various elements such as fire, sand, water and salt. Want to know what happens when you mix fire and sand? Set up the scenario and press play. Voila! You’ve made glass.


As a company that specializes in visual searches, Plink has created a beautiful application for art scholars. Users can browse art by timeline, movement, or gallery, or hit random and check out a new masterpiece. The coolest feature of this app is the visual search function. Just snap a picture of a work you’re admiring and if the piece is one of the thousands of paintings in their database the system will find it.


Trippo Mondo

With more than 30 different languages supported, Trippo Mondo has you covered. Not sure how to ask how to find the bathroom in Italian? Not sure if your Spanish pronunciation is up to snuff? Use this application to translate any given phrase. Type or speak into the phone and hear it repeated back in the local language.





Yes, this is another smartphone painting program. But 21 different brushes, a three part color palette, simulated brush dynamics, and unparalleled control over design, this feature-heavy app is definitely worth the $.99 price tag. Just check out these sample images created with the program:

Layer Reality Browser

Last but definitely not least is an app that was one of the featured products at Google’s Zeitgeist event in May. The augmented reality program, which by the way is available for iPhone 3G users as well, augments the real world as seen through your phone’s camera lens. Several different layers can be applied over phone images to show aspects of your location. For example, if you wanted to know about crime in your area apply the SpotCrime layer and see a real time recording of crimes that have happened in your area. Although still in it’s early stages, the potential for augmented reality education using mobile devices is astounding.

QU:What’s your favourite Android application for education?

As a part of CEGSA’s affiliation, this article was taken from ISTE’s blog to be shared with out members.
Copyright © 2011 International Society for Technology in Education. Reprinted with permission. ISTE members have special reprint permissions. To support our work, consider joining ISTE as a member. Visit for more information.
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