Skip to main content

Three Great Tools for App Smashing

If you are a teacher or student in a 1:1 classroom, then you already realize, particularly if you are using iPads, that there are frequently times when a single application doesn't complete all of the desired tasks. App smashing, a concept recently coined, explained, and popularized by the amazing Greg Kulowiec, is the process of using two or more compatible applications to complete a task, or create a digital product. According to innovative educator, Miguel Guhlin, these are the recommended steps in creating a product through app smashing:

  1. End Result - Begin with the end in mind. What does the final product look like? What purpose does it serve? What message does it convey? A storyboard or graphic organizer helps with the planning of the project. I recommend a Google Doc using the Lucid Chart add on.
  2. Apps Smashed - Create a list of apps that will be included in the project. Research and practice with the chosen apps to assess their compatibility, but leave the work details for a later time. Edshelf is a helpful educational website that provides descriptions and reviews of websites, mobile apps, desktop programs, and electronic products for teaching and learning.
  3. Digital Workflow - This is when the step-by-step processes of app smashing are spelled out in greater detail. The organizer mentioned earlier now comes into play as specific details and processes are added to the project plan.
  4. Create product - Much like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, it is now time to complete the tasks necessary to create the final digital product.
  5. Share product - The "share to" button is one of my favorite features of digital learning. Assuming the product is worthy of sharing, where will the resulting digital artifact reside? Blogs, wikis, websites provide platforms for evidence of student learning as digital portfolios. Interestingly, embedding projects into web pages or blogs is also a simple, but effective, example of app smashing.
Here are three apps that lend themselves ideally to app smashing projects. These apps support multiple platforms (iOS, Android, or web), offer numerous input options, and provide flexible sharing options for the user.

  • Thinglink - (iOS, AND, web) allows the creation of interactive, digitally enriched images. Images may be uploaded from the computer, imported from a website, Flickr, or Facebook. Tagging and linking features turns the image into an interactive resource or story. Enhanced images are shareable and embeddable. Create a Thinglink channel for subscribers to follow and comment on completed visual projects.



  • Explain Everything - (iOS, AND) is an app smashing workhorse! Virtually any digital media, including files from Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive, can be imported and modified with annotations, narrations, and animations. Commonly used as a whiteboard app, Explain Everything has recently been updated with video editing features. Projects can be shared to YouTube, or exported locally as MP4 movies, PDF documents, or PNG images.



  • TouchCast - (iOS, web) does for video what Explain Everything does for presentations. TouchCast allows the creation and sharing of videos containing interactive web content, images, and widgets. Like Thinglink, TouchCast videos feature interactive touch points that viewers can activate, enlarge, and manipulate. Templates are provided to provide newscast style overlays. Projects can be uploaded to YouTube or embedded in webpages.




App smashing gives teachers and students the creative freedom to build and share uniquely interactive, interesting digital projects. App smashing is practically a necessity in a 1:1 learning environment because no single app meets every learner's nor every project's needs. Thinglink, Explain Everything, and TouchCast are three shining examples of apps that offer import and export flexibility, which is beneficial to creating personalized artifacts of digital learning.

How can these three apps be smashed to create a final, digital project? 

What are your favorite app smashing combinations?  

Credits & References


Unleashing Creativity with App Smashing - EdTechTeacher, Kate Wilson & Greg Kulowiec

App Smashing; Unleashing Creativity (presentation) - Greg Kulowiec

How to Use App Smashing in Education - Edudemic, Nikolaos Chatzopoulos

Teachers, Meet App Flows - Graphite, Darri Stephens


photo credit: Sigalakos via photopin cc

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Self-Directed vs. Self-Determined Learning; What's the Difference?

"We need to move beyond the idea that an education is something that is provided for us, and toward the idea that an education is something that we create for ourselves." - Stephen Downes In this age of abundance of information, shifting classroom pedagogy isn't nearly enough to make learning in school more relevant and authentic for the learner. Self-directed learning ( andragogy ), and self-determined learning ( heutagogy ) are the ideals necessary in making students " future ready " to live and learn in a web-connected world. While original research applied these concepts to mature learners, it has become apparent that even young children have an abundant capacity for recognizing and directing their learning. Anyone who has observed toddlers learning how to walk and talk understand the motivation and skill development that quickly develops during these processes. Considered by some to be on a learning continuum, self-directed learning, and self-determined

Board Games in the School Library: 3 Reasons Why It's a Winning Play

"Play is the highest form of research."  - Albert Einstein “Play is the work of the child.”  – Maria Montessori In our recently remodeled school media center, we have a space dedicated to active engagement in fun learning activities. Part maker space, part literacy lounge, board games are being incorporated to promote a culture of joyful learning. Whether it's a game of Rummy , Yahtzee , or Scrabble , family game night serves as a communication elixir and solidifies our domestic climate of togetherness. Shouldn't similar opportunities for interaction, challenge, and fun exist somewhere in our schools? Broken families, cultural fragmentation, and poverty are impacting opportunities for children to play. As we unpacked and tagged our new media center games, I was more disappointed than shocked by the number of students who had never played Monopoly , Boggle , or Sorry . One skeptical teacher commented, "Oh great, now we're letting students pl

Grammarly Writing Hacks for Better Blogging

Writing is learning. It's taken me about thirty years to realize the metacognitive power of written expression, the same amount of time it took for me to recognize that my writing skills suck. Apparently, time in composition class was spent daydreaming and making silly faces at girls. Today, each post is an exercise of will power, unlearning and relearning prepositional phrases, comma usage, and when to use the ever-popular semicolon. Two hundred posts into my blogging adventure I've picked up a few tricks that add efficiency to my writing, things that make me appear smarter than I really am. Freelance writer, Jennie Cromie , writing for ProBlogger.net , identifies five ways blogging can make you a better writer . Discover your voice Build social connections Acquire valuable feedback Become self-disciplined Write faster and more efficiently Writing with intent to learn is the mindset to lead with. Using the right tools permits scatterbrains like me to focu