Product Review of Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center
The Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center is a free suite of tools designed for educator and learner use in grades one through six. It’s designed with collaboration among learners, covering applications for writing, drawing, document markup, numbers, and other purposes. Educators can use it to create lesson Roadmaps for their learners, and learners can follow those Roadmaps or even create new documents, either on their own or synchronously or asynchronously with other learners. The built-in apps are simpler, slower, and less polished than those by Google or Microsoft, but they’re specifically oriented toward classroom use, with an educator dashboard and lesson-building tools, and with a focus on collaboration. Learners can input text, draw, record audio, and even insert Google images from the interface. Files can be shared with others, and documents can be exported to PDF.
The apps are divided into the 1:1 Classroom Roadmap System and the Collaborative Learning Productivity Tool Suite. The 1:1 Classroom apps are directed toward the educator: Dashboard, LessonBuilder, and LessonLauncher. This is where educators can create lessons for their learners, share lessons with others, assign lessons to learners, and monitor learner progress.
The Collaborative Learning apps include Writer, a word processor; Chart, a spreadsheet program; Map, for mind maps, flowcharts, and relationship indication; PDFPal, a PDF markup program; KWL, for keeping track of KWL notes; and Flipbook, a drawing, and animation program learners can use to create digital flip-books. Two or more learners can collaborate on documents within these apps from their own devices; changes made on one device immediately appear on the other.
Educators in 1-to-1 classrooms, or those looking for easy collaboration tools for their learners, can make good use of the tools on the Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center site. They’re all web-based, so there’s nothing to install, and they can be accessed on any device. The Dashboard makes it easy to set up classes and learner rosters by email address, CSV file, or integration with Google Classroom. Educators should note that a scary-seeming permissions window pops up when you sign in with Google: Read the developer’s response to those concerns here.
Once your classes are set up, read through the tutorials, manuals, and getting started guides for each tool; these will show you how to best integrate the tools into your lessons. Then check out some sample Roadmaps and lesson plans for more ideas. The multimedia options help you create more accessible lessons.
When you’re ready to create your own Roadmap in LessonBuilder, use any or all of the tools to design material and activities for learners to do on their own, with a partner, or even with a group. You can then monitor and assess class and learner progress on the Dashboard and share your lessons with other educators. These tools can be used either in the classroom or with remote learning. Assign lessons to individual learners or to pairs or groups. While working together and collaborating can create new ways of discovery and learning, some learners may learn better independently, so consider making room for solitary exploration of these tools.
The lesson possibilities and easy access to the Intergalactic Mobile Learning Center make for a very open-ended learning environment. With it, educators can create, and learners can complete assignments in ELA classrooms and beyond. Collaborative work is this suite’s biggest strength, with learners inspiring each other and building on each other’s work and ideas. They can also do peer editing on papers, export documents to PDF, and then mark them up, all within the suite of tools.
The other unique element is the Roadmap: Creating a series of activities in a mind-map format around a driving question adds a layer to tools that otherwise are simple and exist elsewhere. But bringing all of these elements together in one place gives this platform a utilitarian edge- plus, they’re free. Kids aren’t wowed by the tools, which aren’t slick or fancy, and creating a Roadmap might take some time to do really well. But if you and your learners get into a flow with these tools, they can be a great way to get kids working — and thinking — together.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Learners will love demonstrating their learning in multiple forms, creativity, and collaboration, but they might not be impressed with the tools themselves.
Curriculum and Instruction
Hands-on creation, from scratch or based on assignments from a educator, gets learners thinking for themselves and building on a partner’s ideas with projects both large and small.
Educators can access many tutorials, manuals, templates, and guides on getting started. The dashboard and assignment creation tools empower educators to create learning flows for learners to work on independently or collaboratively.