User-Generated Content in Education/App Stores
What Are App Stores?
An App is a term to describe a web-based program. These web-based or mobile applications perform a specific task for the user. An App Store is a website where one can download these small programs for use on mobile devices such as a Smart phone, iPod, or Tablet. The apps can be free or cost a small nominal fee. Apps are designed to expand the functionality of a mobile device. Apps can be used for personal or business related activities.
How Does An App Store Work?
People usually access an App store from their mobile device (phone, iPod, tablet). Apps are usually categorized by the App Store so the user can search for an app more easily. Once the desired App is located in the App Store, the user can download, either for free or by purchasing them, an app onto a mobile device. The App can then be opened and used on the mobile device.
Examples of App Stores
Currently there are five major App Stores:
Apple – The market leader in Apps – http://www.apple.com/mac/app-store/
Android Market - https://market.android.com/?hl=en
Blackberry App World - http://us.blackberry.com/apps-software/appworld/
Palm/HP App Catalog - http://www.hp.com/united-states/webos/us/en/apps.html
Windows Marketplace - http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/marketplace
Comparisons of App Stores
Read online articles that compare the leading App stores:
From PCMag Magazine - http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2382944,00.asp#fbid=q0b3afPlRUX
From PCWOrld Magazine - http://www.pcworld.com/article/217788/smackdown_android_market_vs_iphone_app_store.html
How App Stores Can Be Used in Education
The creation of apps and the App Stores allows educators easy access to complimentary programs that can be used to teach students about specific content areas. Many different Apps exist that provide the ability to create stories, newspapers, simulations, scavenger hunts, and real-life solutions to only name a few. Technology has enabled the use of Apps to be used in the classroom by using devices such as an iPod, iPad, or a Smart Phone. Using this type of technology increases student engagement, participation, and excitement about the material being taught. Using apps purchased through App Stores enhances the learning environment for teachers and students.
Apps can be used in all subject areas, grade levels, and by all of the different levels of students. They can be used for personal organization, collaborative and visual thinking, and to promote creativity. There is a possibility of saving money by using apps instead of spending money on other costs like educational textbooks and software, going on field trips, expensive supplies and research materials, content expert fees, etc.
Apple is the leading App Store and the industry leader for educational apps .
 www.wisegeek.com. What is an App Store? Retrieved October 13, 2011 from: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-app-store.htm
 Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Smartphone. Retrieved October 13, 2011 from: []
 Favel, Andy, (August, 2010). What is a Web-based Mobile Application or Web App?. Retrieved October 13, 2011 from: http://mobithinking.com/blog/what-is-a-Web-app
 Darell, Richard, (April 2011). 6 Major App Store Compared. Retrieved October 13, 2011 from: http://www.bitrebels.com/technology/6-major-app-stores-compared-infographic/