Over the past decade, educational technology has become an indispensible tool in many classrooms, especially for secondary language learning. Most of the original language learning applications were built for desktop PCs. However, as smartphones and tablets have become more powerful and ubiquitous, an increasing number of learning applications are available for mobile. I worked on a project with professor Katrin Völkner, focusing on mobile educational technology.

I developed an interest for this area from my work on Präpp, an app that teaches German verb-preposition combinations, a difficult subject for many German language learners, which needs to be learned through memorization. We thought it would be a great opportunity to teach these combinations through gamification in an iPhone app. Präpp teaches this material, which is typically very dry, in what we hope is a fun and exciting application. Users of Präpp can learn verb-preposition combinations through a variety of games, such as a shooter game or Flappy Bird. Präpp is written in Javascript and uses HTML5 canvases for games. We used Cordova to create the iOS version of the app.

As part of my project I did an independent study where I looked into the effectiveness of mobile apps for education. I studied different features in mobile applications and looked at academic literature to determine how Präpp could be improved.

Blog about research project
App website
Presentation about project

Blizzard game:

Flappy game:

Shooter game:

Shooter gameplay: