What is an app?  App is an abbreviation for application software. Oxford Dictionary defines an app as “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device. The term app came into prominence with the introduction of the mobile devices and smartphones. Generally an app performs one dedicated task, or presents a discrete amount of format.

It has been suggested that Apps may be a new way to surf the net. Libraries are turning to apps to enable smartphone users to easily access their services.

With the ubiquity of tablets, smartphones and ‘phablets’ and the move towards ‘bring your own device’ in schools, apps are increasingly becoming resources used by students and teachers. GarageBand, Know your skin, iMovie are good examples of apps being used in Education.

Garage Band
Garage Band is an app being used in Schools

Schools are also using dedicated sets of tablets with story making, art creation programs and apps which cover many more curriculum areas.  There are periodic table and anatomy apps, language and math apps and many more. To find out more about educational apps! is a good source of information. Android Apps in Education and Apps for learning are two sites to explore.

More and more schools are buying apps and libraries are looking to catalogue these resources so that students and staff need to search in only one place to find school resources.

Apps is a new subject heading introduced to SCIS this term.

SCIS Subject Heading screenshot
Apps as a SCIS Subject Heading


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