Creating Fluent App Smashers

Creating Fluent App Smashers

Along the same lines as my last post, Appy Iteration, I wanted to share the process that I use to “teach” app smashing.

I mainly work with my first graders, but on occasion I get the privilege of collaborating with other teachers on technology instruction. I use this same model with any grade that I’m working with. While I find that my little group needs more scaffolding and buddy projects to be fluent, the upper grade elementary students that I work with don’t seem to need quite as much – they have more years of practice and seem to have a more honed intuition about app use.

Here is the graphic I created using to illustrate how I teach apps and app smashing.

Keeping the best teaching practices in mind, I try to take students through an “Appy” Zone of Proximal Development. To teach a basic foundation of creation apps, I use the same type of teaching pyramid – whole group collaborative lessons, small group work, then independent use. After we have a good understanding of  a few creation tools for our iPads, I begin leading our group to create projects that will use more than one app.

Getting students inspired to do their own creative app smashing is the most important piece of this process. You can “teach” app smashing all day long, telling students what apps to use and giving them a specific work flow, but your goal should be to get their creative juices flowing.  I find that statements like “We just wrote this great poem, what can we do to share it? I’d like to illustrate it. What apps would you use?” gets students thinking and involved in the collaborative process. These kinds of questions help teach them what to think when they are working independently.

Check out this ThingLink that I created to further explain each step in the process.

What are your thoughts on implementing App Smashing in your classroom? I’d love to hear them!

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