08 July 2014

App-Smashing for Impact

Apps can increase the impact of what you create using all levels of SAMR and Bloom's.
The App Smash is a way to set up a lesson to help students accomplish an overarching goal using a variety of apps (iPad, Chrome, what have you). You can set up the progression yourself, or, if they're already familiar with enough apps, you might have them "smash themselves," as Andrew Thomasson would say, and decide which apps suit what they want to do with it. The apps can inform the process from research to reflection to creation, but the ultimate goal is to put something out there, to create something that will impact someone else.

Backward design is key with the App-smash, emphasizing not the apps that students will ultimately tinker with, but rather the overarching content-based purpose of the lesson, e.g. "compare and contrast the early and modern periodic tables" for chemistry or, say, "convince someone who only speaks Spanish to buy your invention."

I'm intrigued by Mrs. Pepe's concept of Bloom's Taxonomy as a fist, completely sans hierarchy. I disagree with the idea that all aspects of the taxonomy are equal: creating is more complex, more important than simple remembering. I do, however, see a need for free flow among all levels throughout any learning experience, and I can get behind the interlocking puzzle analogy.

I don't know about the need for student reflection on SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition), as it seems to me most valuable as a tool for helping teachers design lessons with maximum impact. Frankly, I don't have time in the Spanish class to explore the ins and outs of technological pedagogy, but I could see them explaining which apps they chose and why or reviewing apps chosen for them.

The App-smash model for lesson structuring, though, is one I think could make the Genius Hour progression a little less overwhelming for the young ones, so I do hope to explore it more.

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