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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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Dan Callahan's picture
Dan Callahan
Professional Learning Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

I prefer the term "workflows" to smashing personally, but yes, you can create quite sophisticated final products on an iPad by taking the best features of each app and using them together. Anything that can import from and export to the photo roll is wide open for major possibilities with making really creative final products. Here's an example of a video I created using Explain Everything and DoInk Green Screen:

Beth Holland's picture
Beth Holland
Johns Hopkins University Doctoral Student & EdTechTeacher Instructor

Hi Keith.

Great ideas and thanks for the shout-out to my colleague, Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec). He did great sessions on App Smashing at the last two iPad Summits.
- November 2013:
- February 2014:

Here is the blog post where he first defined the concept -

You can read more from him both on the EdTechTeacher blog - - as well as his History 2.0 blog -


Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Edcamper, Former @Edutopia, Founder of Social Media Marketing Consultancy aimed at helping educational orgs.

Just came across this podcasting on app-smashing that I thought many of you may enjoy:

Here's a bit about app-smashing from the podcast:

Inspired by the last #1to1iPadChat , I thought it was time to post on the world craze that is App Smashing. The term App Smash was coined by the great Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec) from EdTech Teacher fame. It is a hot topic in EdTech and obviously has its own Hashtag - #AppSmash.

Content created in one app transferred to and enhanced by a second app and sometimes third. Preferably the final product is then published to the web - remember, digital presence is the new resume (CV).

It demands creative thinking
It demands more from the technology (value for money)
It turns the issue of not having a 'wonder app' into a positive
It removes any restrictions to take a topic as far as it can be taken.
It often results in more engaging learning products
It's a fun challenge for...

Beth Holland's picture
Beth Holland
Johns Hopkins University Doctoral Student & EdTechTeacher Instructor


Glad you mention Courtney Pepe. She is now DEVICE smashing! I'm hosting her for a FREE webinar on 5/15 as she discusses how she's using Google Glass in the Class. Registration is open -

It will be recorded if you can't attend live.

Beth Holland's picture
Beth Holland
Johns Hopkins University Doctoral Student & EdTechTeacher Instructor

Thank you, Samer.

I really like this concept. No reason why we can't apply it to ALL devices.

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Wow! I think we've struck a really interesting seam here. For any Australian teachers out there (or international teachers heading to Australia in July), I'm presenting about App-Smashing or Workflows or Synergising (insert preferred term here) at Slide to Learn 2014:

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