Ladies and gentleman, please buckle your seat belts, we are are about to embark on a little flight through my iTunes cloud. There are a whopping 965 apps stuffed inside my cloud that I am certain at any moment apps will come raining out of the sky right onto my head.
One day after school I sat at my computer feeling a bit overwhelmed by the colossal amount of apps I had to sort through, when I suddenly had my Newton moment. Except it wasn’t an apple that fell onto my head. But a virtual app falling from my over-stuffed iTunes cloud. I realized quite clearly, it is not WHAT app I should use in my classroom, but rather HOW I plan to use that app to promote student learning and engagement.
Each week when I sync my student iPods and update the apps I have selected for student learning, I thoroughly consider what apps I will upload and HOW I want my students to learn. My first thought is how will this app meet my students needs and engage learning? My overarching goal for all student learning is to utilize and promote the four C’s: creativity, collaboration, use of critical thinking skills, and communication skills.
So next time you are cruising through your iTunes cloud contemplating WHAT app you should add to your students’ iPods or iPads, consider changing your thought pattern. Do reverse planning and think, HOW do I want my students to use this app to create, collaborate, think critically, and communicate.
I challenge you to even do a little spring cleaning. Start getting rid of those apps that are littering your iTune cloud and student iPods/iPads. Keep your cloud clean and refresh the apps your students access often.
Here is a list of apps which I consider to be quality creative apps. The following apps can be used in a variety of ways and help to promote the 4 C’s:
- Sonic Pics
- Puppet Pals plus Director’s Pass
- Splice or Free Splice
- PS Express – Photoshop
- Comic Touch Lite or Comic Touch
- Voice Memos
If you are interested in how I consider an app to be worthy of my students’ time, please read my previous blog titled “A Letter to Educational App Developers: A Call for Action.”