According to http://edtechteacher.org/app-smashing-from-greg/ App Smashing can be defined as “The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.”
Whether students realize it or not they are most likely App Smashing to complete and solve problems more than they realize. The screen shot below shows an example of how students used a combination of their Educreations, Teaching Table Lite, and Pic Stitch to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the powers of ten. The students were told what their photo collage should include and the criteria in which they would be assessed. From there they were given the freedom to use the apps and digital resources they needed to get the assignment done.
Besides the fact that it is fun to say, App Smashing has many educational benefits. Students and teachers are both in an environment where learning new apps and finding creative ways to integrate them into the curriculum are part of their daily routine. They often experience a greater sense of pride in their work knowing that it took them multiple tools to create the project.
My students recently created infographics that tied in the five themes of geography with their independent novel. My original plan was to use Info gram - http://infogr.am/ - a free website that can be used to create infographics. I quickly realized that Info gram would not work on iPads. The students were excited about the project and I didn’t feel like hassling with the laptop cart. So after a quick twitter search I found a list of apps that could be used to create info graphics (http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/04/5-handy-ipad-apps-to-create-infographics.html). With this list of apps as a great resource, I decided to give the students the creative freedom to decide on their own which app to use. By the end of the project they ended up blogging to the following prompt: What applications, software, and digital resources did you use to create your infographic? Why did you choose these resources? The project still embedded the disciplinary literacy practices that it originally intended to, but it also incorporated creative problem solving and critical thinking.
See a student example of this project below:
I often have teachers ask me, “How much time do you spend teaching the kids the technology or how to use the apps?” I find it difficult to refrain from laughing and usually just respond with a simple “I don’t, I teach the content they teach the technology.” As I continue to develop problem and project based learning tasks for students to conquer this year, I will continue to use App Smashing as a way to build more student autonomy and I encourage other educators to do the same.
- David Dulberger