App Ed Review Roundup: Multicultural Apps and a Website
by Todd & Alex from AppEdReview (reprint from EmergingEdTech)
Open Your Students up to a new Perspective With These Multicultural App Experiences
Multicultural EdTech may not get as much attention as some other topics in the field, but developers have created some really innovative apps and websites to engage students in this topic. In our communities, we have so much diversity and recognizing it in our classroom can be a powerful learning experience for our students. The challenge, however, can be that teachers may need support regarding how to use EdTech for those purposes. With that in mind, we sorted through our review database and identified three apps and a website that directly engage this topic and that teachers can use easily!
HiNative – Language Culture Q&A Platform is an app that serves as a resource for students to ask questions to members of different cultures around the world. After registering with the app, students can post their questions to it. In response, the app translates the question into the language used by people of the culture for whom the question was directed. The exciting part of this app is that it’s functionality allows for person-to-person interaction to take place. With its high scores for engagement, this app will be a sure bet for students to learn about cultures from around the world! To learn more about HiNative, click here.
Multiculturalism isn’t just about nationalities, race, and ethnicities. It can include people of the similar demographics but have different ability levels with their body. Switch Fan and Elevator Up are two apps that tell the story of everyday experiences of people in wheelchairs. Both of these apps developed by Inclusive Technology LTD use images and sounds, not words, to tell the narratives embedded within them. With memorable images and a strong design, teachers have the opportunity to leverage these apps and use them to engage students in challenging conversations. With both these apps scoring high for engagement and design, they provide teachers with a powerful tool to bring these topics into the classroom. Click here to learn more about Switch Fan and here to learn about Elevator Up.
Facing History and Ourselves is a collection of resources for teachers and students to learn about issues in diversity, multiculturalism, and unity. With it, teachers can access ready-made lesson plans, instructional strategies, and a library of resources. Though other websites may include some of these materials, few have such a comprehensive collection of them that can be used immediately in the classroom. Furthermore, teachers can easily craft this website’s content into powerful learning opportunities for students. For example, the “Our Collection” option in the “Resource” section connects to external resources that reflect the mission of this website. With such valuable content, the Facing History and Ourselves website is a needed resource when teaching about multiculturalism. To learn more about it, click here.
The Equality & Diversity Foundation app contains five different modules related to understanding its focus topics. Though the modules are traditional in that there is low interaction, some mini-activities are integrated into them. The value in this app is it explains key terms that are related to multiculturalism. One way for teachers to really harness this app is to have students use it to learn these key terms. Next, after critiquing the app, teachers can assign students a creative project where they themselves recreate the modules to form their own, customized modules about multiculturalism. Students can use a variety of technologies to create, edit, and share their modules. When finished, teachers can post the modules to a class website. If teachers implement this assignment annually, they will grow quite a collection of student-made modules that promote multiculturalism. Though it scored low for engagement, it may serve as a non-example that will grow the classroom collection, and teachers can learn more about this app by clicking here!
As a reminder, every piece of EdTech listed on the App Ed Review database includes an original description, 3-5 ideas for using it with students, and a comprehensive evaluation of its strengths and shortcomings. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy this edition of the Roundup.
And remember, multiculturalism is a topic that can be taught across the content areas, so let’s get creative with it!