VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a free e-learning application called weLearn for Android tablets. The easy-to-use cloud service is designed to support and enliven learning by expanding the learning environment from textbooks to real-life environments.
Designed for use in schools and for other educational purposes, weLearn combines elements of mobile technology, social media and interactive learning. It facilitates sharing, processing and commenting on new information learned. One of the application's key benefits is its user-friendliness: The application is ready to use just five minutes from downloading.
Teachers and pupils can download the application to their tablets from Google Play. The teacher creates a "virtual classroom" for pupils to join using an access code given by the teacher. The teacher can create a variety of multimedia-based tasks, which pupils can perform by capturing photos, videos or audio clips using their mobile devices. Pupils can also provide additional information about the captured content or answer questions provided by the teacher. The teacher can use the application to monitor what the pupils are doing and determine the visibility of a task in such a way that the whole class can see it, for example.
The application gives the teacher an opportunity to use the multimedia content captured by pupils to support teaching and therefore to increase pupils' motivation. Moreover, combining content that pupils have captured themselves with information learned from textbooks makes learning more meaningful when the content can be processed in a real-life environment instead of reading from textbooks. The learning environment also becomes more personal because pupils can choose themselves what kind of content to capture, in what media and from where.
The application can be used in all subjects, such as biology, geography, history, languages, art and physical education.
The weLearn application currently runs on selected Android devices.
weLearn is an application developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and it is based on solutions developed in VTT's Smart Urban Spaces (SUS) ITEA2 project. weLearn was developed in cooperation with the City of Oulu and Metsokangas School in Oulu.
The latest version of the free application can be downloaded from Google Play at play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.vtt.welearn.tab&hl=en .
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