November 17, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

App Smashing: 5 Apps for Student Learning

Image courtesy EdTechTeacher and Greg Kulowiec

Image courtesy EdTechTeacher and Greg Kulowiec

App smashing. What’s that, you ask?

Take a photo with your phone or tablet. Save it to the camera roll. Import it from the camera roll to an app and draw, highlight, and comment on it. Save the marked up image to the camera roll, then import it into another app and use it to create a video. You’ve just app smashed.

Using multiple apps to build and create content, app smashing is a great way for students to use mobile devices to share their learning. The power of app smashing is in leveraging apps for students to draw, write, and speak their thought processes and understanding of a topic.

What are the best apps for app smashing? Here are five user-friendly apps that, when used in collaboration with one another, allow students to creatively express their learning.

Paper 53 (free, iOS) is a notetaking and sketching app. Students can import a photo and comment or draw directly on it. Students can also create an original sketch or drawing using the drawing tools. Paper 53 can be used for demonstrating understanding of math concepts or analyzing primary sources. Creations can be saved to the camera roll of an iPhone or iPad, making it easy to import them into other apps like Book Creator or Explain Everything.

Popplet ($4.99, iOS) is a mindmapping tool students can use to organize their ideas and thoughts. Use a combination of images and text to map a web of understanding, visually showing their learning. Export finished popples to the camera roll for importing into other apps.

Book Creator (price varies by device, iOS, Android, Windows) allows students to individually or collaboratively create books with their mobile devices. Students can import photos or music, link to videos, and write original text. Use apps such as Paper 53 or Popplet to create content, then import into Book Creator. Share final books through iBooks.

Explain Everything ($3.99, iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome) is an interactive whiteboard app. While users can create directly in Explain Everything, it is an ideal tool for app smashing. For example, use Paper 53 to draw pictures or comment on photographs, then import into Explain Everything to create a slideshow and record a screencast.

TouchCast Studio (free, iOS) is a free video creation app with teleprompter, picture-in-picture, and split-screen capabilities. This robust video creation and editing tool is an ideal way for students to verbally and visually demonstrate their learning. Create content in apps like Popplet or Paper 53, then import into TouchCast Studio to record audio and layer content and images using the whiteboard feature.

Greg Kulowiec of EdTech Teacher suggests some must-have app features to consider when app-smashing:

  • Use apps that can save work to the camera roll. As noted with these recommended apps, saving work to the camera roll of devices makes it easy to smash content through importing it into other apps.
  • Can the work be saved off of the device? Make sure final versions of projects can be downloaded or uploaded to other devices or sites like YouTube. For example, TouchCast Studio saves screencasts to the iPad camera roll so that they can then be uploaded elsewhere. AirDrop is also an effective way to share work between devices.

App smashing in the classroom

App smashing provides limitless possibilities for students to collaborate, create, and share their learning. Possible classroom applications include:

  • Analyzing primary sources with Paper 53 and TouchCast Studio
  • Mindmapping the research process with Popplet and Explain Everything
  • Creating illustrated books for a foreign language class using Paper 53 and Book Creator

Examples of app smashing

6 Amazing App Smash Examples to Inspire Creativity

App Smash Examples

Think Outside the App: 3 Outstanding Examples of App Smashing


Jennifer Hanson is director of library services at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts and an educational consultant for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program at Waynesburg (PA) University.

Extra Helping header

This article was featured in our free Extra Helping enewsletter.
Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to you twice a week.

Share

Comments

  1. One of the better pieces i’ve seen in the week.

  2. Cool post. I’ll download some of these apps. I often use JatApp http://jatapp.com/ to searching needed mobile applications, but its really good list of apps.