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12 Apps of Christmas @DIT

‌‌The 12 Apps of Christmas was free, open, short, online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, that was designed, developed and run by the LTTC over the first 12 consecutive weekdays in December 2014, 2015 and 2016. It was aimed at anyone interested in experiencing, exploring and learning more about integrating mobile learning technologies into their teaching, learning and assessment practices. It also gave participants an opportunity to expand their personal learning networks and connect with others online via twitter at #12appsDIT who were also interested in this emerging field. In 2014, 700 participants worldwide registered to take part. This figure rose to almost 2000 in 2015 and to over 3000 in 2016.


Image of award

On September 23rd 2015, The 12 Apps of Christmas 2014 was awarded the International E-Learning Award (Mobile Learning Division) by the International E-Learning Association . Details of the award can be seen here.

On October 30th 2015, The 12 Apps of Christmas 2014 came joint 3rd at the eLearning Excellence Awards run as part of the 14th European Conference on eLearning.



Each year, over the course of the 12 consecutive weekdays, the participants were introduced to 12 different mobile apps with one being released on a daily basis. In 2014, each app was evaluated in turn against the SAMR model of technology integration and explored in terms of its potential to enhance, modify, and redefine teaching, learning and/or assessment practices in the higher education context.  In 2015, the course included students, and explored apps that students could use to help personalise their learning. It also provided resources for staff on the benefits of personalising learning and how to encourage student usage of mobile apps for this purpose. And finally the 2016 course was an international collaborative affair, with a series of twelve case studies of mobile app usage for teaching and learning being shared from practitioners worldwide. The participants represented 26 different countries in 2016 and included participants from as far away as Hong Kong, Guam, Iceland, Australia, and USA, as well as a large number of followers from Ireland.


Once the course finished each year, the accompanying websites were left online as open resources for all to use and licensed with the Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

To view each of these OERs, and to watch the introductory video made each year, please click on the following links:

The 12 Apps of Christmas 2014

The 12 Apps of Christmas 2015

The 12 Apps of Christmas 2016

The LTTC would like to acknowledge the input of Trevor Boland, Assistive Technology Officer at DIT, in the 2015 and 2016 iterations of the course.



Associated Publications and Conference Presentations


Boylan F. (2018) 'Integrating Mobile Technologies for Learning: thoughts from educators who followed The 12 Apps of Christmas @DIT course' in Crompton, H., & Traxler, J. (ed.), Mobile Learning and Higher Education: Challenges in Context. London: Routledge.


Boylan F. (2016) 'The 12 Apps of Christmas: an innovative and effective online student and educator support' Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching: Vol. 9: Iss. 13. Available at:


Boylan F, Boland T. (2016) ‘The 12 Apps of Christmas 2015 - what did we learn?’ 17th Annual Educational Technology Conference of the irish Learning Technology Association, May 2016.


Boylan F, Boland T. (2015) 'The 12 Apps of Christmas: mobile apps and personalised learning' ALT Winter Conference, Online, December 2015.

Boylan F. (2015) 'Building an Online Faculty Development Opportunity: the approach taken and the feedback received on The 12 Apps of Christmas @DIT initiative' in Remenyi, D (ed.), eLearning Excellence Awards 2015: An Anthology of Case Histories. Reading: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, pp.17-27.