Wednesday, April 9, 2014

App Smashing and Using iPads in the Classroom (Quick Guide)

Many schools that have adopted one-one tablet technology struggle with the pre-requisite skills associated with moving files from app to app.  This process is now called App Smashing, and when you learn how to use it to your advantage, it really does make things nice and simple.  Workflow is king and the easier it is to distribute content, create solutions, and then store that information for feedback, the more success you will have in the digital classroom.

In the following example, I will be demonstrating how to utilize iTunes U, Various Apps, and Google Drive together for a smooth classroom workflow.  iTunes U will be our method of distribution, Apps will provide the ability to complete work, and Google Drive will be our method of collection. (These training videos take into account that you already know how to set up courses in iTunes University.  If you do not, please refer to the iTunes U training for more information.

Getting Started:

First you will need to set up your Google Drive folders.  We will be using Google Drive as our method of collection.  We want to make the process simple by first having the students create a folder that they will share with their teacher, and then by organizing those folders from the teacher account.  The key takeaway from this is that you will want a common naming system.  The following videos explain this process:

Next Steps:

Now that we have created our folders on Google Drive, we are ready to complete our work and turn it into our file for a grade.  In our examples we are going to take a PDF worksheet, annotate that document and submit it into our Google Drive folder that we established in the earlier videos.  The next example uses a software application that creates an image that we then will submit to our Google Drive for grading.  And our final example demonstrates using a quiz from iBooks as a way to get feedback from a student.  This final example also demonstrates creative ways to utilize the built in features of the tablet to create content for distribution.

First example:  Taking a PDF assignment from iTunes U, opening it up using the requested application, completing the worksheet, and turning it in using Google Drive.

Second example: Using iTunes U to request that the students create a drawing, using an app to complete the drawing process, and then turning in the drawing using Google Drive.  The key to this video is that the drawing application requires that the file be first turned into an image before it can be uploaded to Google Drive.

Third example:  iTunes U is used to request that a test is taken in an iBooks epub book.  This book is opened and the test is completed.  The test results need to be submitted to the teacher using Google Drive, but there is no clear cut way to accomplish this.  Using the screen capture option on the iPad an image is created and then submitted for a grade on Google Drive.

All of these training videos and more are part of an iTunes U course that can be found by going to the following address on your iPad device.  In this course you will find other materials on creating iTunes U content, and more ways to App Smash your way to a successful classroom.

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