Sunday, March 22, 2015

AppSmashing at #ASCD15

I had heard of AppSmashing, but I had never tried it until today at #ASCD15.  This afternoon, Dr. Bruce Ellis kept us captivated with his recipes for smashing, but as we soon found out....pretty much anything goes!  AppSmashing, also known as layering apps, is the process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project (via Greg Kulowiec).

In AppSmashing, you can use pretty much anything.  When searching for apps to use, free is good, but shouldn't drive the train unless it is a true constraint. As with everything in lesson planning, start with the end in mind and then back it up from there.  The big question should always be, "What is the learning outcome?"

It is okay to think of tools beyond the iTunes store (Yikes! Did I really just say that? Disclaimer: I'm only repeating what I heard, because I secretly adore Apple).  But according to some, there are other resources on the web that are open-ended platforms which allow students to be creative.  It's also important when choosing tools to think about students' strengths and what they like...or don't like. For example, if students don't like hearing their voice, give them the option of modifying their voice with an app like Change My Voice.  If they don't like seeing themselves on camera, allow them to use an avatar or simply add audio to images.  Bottom line: be flexible, because

it's about the content and lesson objectives, not the technology tool.

Start with determining what you want your kids to learn, demonstrate, or analyze?  Got an idea? Great, then figure out what app you could use to support your objective... When Dr. Ellis asked session attendees "What apps would you recommend having with you if you were stranded on a deserted island with your students?" here is what we came up with (after getting past the idea of being on an island...with students!!!):

He added to our list:

and then added even more:

Again, it is not about the app, it is about the end goal: students interacting with content in new and innovative ways.

It turns out that AppSmashing is pretty straightforward. First, create content with an app and save to the camera roll. Then, create content with another app and again save to the camera roll. Finally, use a third app to merge the first two products and to the camera roll. Repeat, as needed. That's it! That's AppSmashing! Here is one recipe involving only 2 apps to get you started, Dr. Ellis' presentation with samples on the last several slides, and tons more on Pinterest:

So, what will you smash? Have you already done this? I would love to see what you or your students have done!

No comments: