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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

App Smashing: Combining Apps for Better Results

App Smashing: Combining Apps for Better Results

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So I’ve been playing around with a little bit of App Smashing in my classroom – or App Synergy as it is sometimes called. I just like the smashing part – it must be the cave man in me. Anyway, App Smashing is when you use more than one app to produce a quality final product – it’s when you combine the different capabilities of apps to make something even more impressive than something that is housed entirely within one app. I can’t lay claim to the name, App Smashing – that belongs, as far as I can work out, to fellow ADE Greg Kulowiec, who defined App Smashing as: 'The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project’. Check out Greg’s website for more information about it.

As far as I can make out, the crucial part in App Smashing is that the Apps that you are going to use have got to allow for the exporting of a finished product. The camera roll is probably the easiest example of this – apps like snapseed or tellagami allow you to export your finished product to the camera roll, from where you can import the product into another app.

Let me give you some really simple examples of what I mean:

I like to do mind maps for each topic in my year 7 history class. The iPad App Popplet is great at that – you can add pictures and coloured links and all kinds of different media. But, then you can export this to another app – like Explain Everything – which allows students to record voiceovers and annotate their own diagrams, as they explain it to them – before exporting the final movie to Evernote, which students can use as a digital portfolio or exercise book which they can even share with their peers or teachers. Simple, right?

Or what about this one? I borrowed this smash from a science teacher. The students take photos of the lab equipment using the camera app. They then edit these photos, adding captions and annotations using Halftone 2. They then publish it as a JPEG to Dropbox where other students can get all the other samples, comment on each one and then use iMovie with a recorded voiceover to create a complete Intro to Science Safety video.

Share your own favorite apps to smash in the comments.

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