Mobile Apps & Curriculum for Your Class

Interested in having this shared as a presentation or workshop for your organization?

Description: Learn how to create a free mobile application for your class for iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch) as well as Android smartphones/tablets. In this session we will learn how to create both web apps (which run via a web browser and do not require Apple Store / Android Marketplace approval) as well as basic, native mobile apps. Several different, free mobile app development options will be explored and demonstrated. No prior programming experience is required! Become an educational leader in the mobile learning revolution by offering your students opportunities to access your course content via a customized, mobile application YOU create and update!

Creative Commons License

These materials by Wesley A. Fryer are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Contact details for Wesley are available.

An audio podcast recording of this session on February 15, 2013, in Yukon, Oklahoma is available.

An audio podcast recording of this session from July 24, 2012, in Trophy Club, Texas (Northwest ISD's 2012 TechnoPalooza) is available.

Curriculum Delivery Options

Jarrod Robinson (@mrrobbo) is THE guru of educational app development! See his March 2012 post: "Make Your Own Apps In Minutes" His apps are on

Curriculum Distribution Questions to Discuss:

  1. Mobile Site versus App or Ebook?
  2. Openly available or locked up / walled garden?

Mobile-friendly Website

  1. Do you want/need a 'true app' or just a web-app? "A future with fewer mobile apps?" (CNN 27 July 2012)
  2. Mobile Friendly Google Sites:
    1. iPad Media Camp Curriculum
    2. Scratch Camp Curriculum
    3. Pre-AP Biology (Misty Williams, Yukon PS, Oklahoma)
    4. Howto: Optimize a Google Site for Mobile Accessibility and Metrics
  3. Mobile Friendly Blog
    1. Posterous (mobilizes automatically) - Example:
    2. Wordpress (requires special plugin like WPtouch) - Example:
    3. Professionally Mobilize Your WordPress Blog with PluginBuddy Mobile
  4. Other Examples:
    1. High School Chemistry (Jim Askew, Crescent PS, Oklahoma) - not really designed 'mobile friendly' but an incredible example of openly shared high school digital curriculum
    2. Mobile iPad News Example: Evening Edition (via Jon Mitchell's @readwriteweb article)

Learning Management Systems

  1. Moodle
  2. Blackboard
  3. Desire2Learn
  4. List of Learning Management Systems (English WikiPedia)


  1. Subtext
  2. Example: Digital Storytelling for Tribal Cultural Institutions (iBooks & PDF versions)
  3. See "Creating Multimedia eBooks" session resources


  1. iTunesU (Apple Site)
  2. iTunesU for iPad (free)


iReading (web app built with AppShed - Android app built with The App Builder)

Sample Educational App for iPad Media Camp (@ipadmediacamp)

Playing with Media

Built with The App Builder - ports to multiple platforms (@theappbuilder)

Classroom Web App of Dorie Glynn, 3rd Grade Bilingual Teacher in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Texas (iOS & Android)


  1. Free web app link you can use / distribute immediately
  2. Relatively simple / straightforward web-based interface


  1. Simple: Can't create screeens with sub-screens / sub-menus (everything in your app is at one level in the menu at the bottom)
  2. Costs $500 if you want to actually download & submit app to iTunes / Android Market (plus other costs)
  3. Hyperlinks on webpages open externally (in Safari browser on iOS)
  4. Embedded Google Forms work poorly / don't work
  5. Direct links to individual YouTube videos not possible (can only link to a YouTube user channel)
  6. WPtouch pages on Wordpress blogs take over the screen and don't permit 'back' navigation


Another option: BuzzTouch - ports to multiple platforms (@buzzTouchApp)

Learn about how to use BuzzTouch on BuzzTouch U

$500 Udemy course on BuzzTouch


  1. CAN create screens with sub-menus
  2. No extra charges (beyond Apple's / Android Market's) to distribute a native app


  1. No web-app option yet, so you can't immediately distribute the app (must process with X-code for iOS and distribute through iTunes App Store)
  2. More complicated to learn and use than "The App Builder"

Another option: Get your school a mobile app using School Connect (free - ad supported)

Other Development Options:

  1. Red Foundry
  3. (free apps only, you can't submit them directly to the store)
  4. (monthly subscriptions required)
  5. PhoneGap (free / open source)

Helpful Graphic / Photo Editing Software

  1. Mac: SeaShore or Gimp on OS X
  2. Windows: Gimp

Educational Game App Builders

  1. GameSalad - ports to (video tutorials on GameSalad Cookbook)
  2. Stencyl - ports to iOS and flash-based web games
  3. Recommended podcast: "Why Every Teacher Should Become an App Creator" by Chris Thompson

Learn More:

  1. Mastering iPhone programming - Lite: Quick introduction to iPhone programming (free Udemy course)