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Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Positively Smashing: Photo Mapo, Pic Collage & Thinglink


app smashApp smashing: The art of merging content from a variety of apps to generate a unique finished product. Sounds pretty cool, right? That’s because this latest edtech craze is an app-solutley amazing way for students to really unleash their creativity… A way for them to not only demonstrate information about a particular topic but an opportunity for them to show off their tech-knowledge-y skills in a unique manner… To be innovative with mobile devices and digital media!

Still not sure you’ve wrapped your mind around this concept? Then follow along as I explain how I created the embedded example to demonstrate how app smashing can enhance learning while maximizing the potential of digital tools by combining their features and functions to create a pretty sweet final project—one that should be published to the web. After all, digital presence is the new resume!

The learning objective: After a unit on ancient civilizations, students would be asked to complete a culminating activity by selecting an aspect of culture and then highlight what they’ve learned. I chose to focus on architecture/history.

photo mapo 1The process: First, I selected a famous building from each civilization—Egypt, Rome, Greece and China—and located a picture for each. Each image was then imported into the Photo Mapo app to create a postcard that included a map and brief description of the structure.

pic collage iconAfter saving each new image to the camera roll, I imported them into the second app—Pic Collage—to generate a postcard mashup. Again, I saved the finished product to the device (in this case an iPad).

thinglink app iconFinally, I imported the collage into the ThingLink app and created hot spots within each monument image containing links to resources that can be used to explore additional information. Besides super cool interactivity, ThingLink also has multiple options for sharing—as you can see by checking out the collage shown below.

Now is that cool stuff or what? But the learning doesn’t just end with the app smashing. Think about the various ways students could benefit from experimenting with each other’s masterpieces!

BTW—There are really no hard and fast rules when it comes to app smashing, although consider this: In order to be able to merge content, you do needs apps that are capable of both importing and exporting media to and from the camera roll.

Classroom Connection:

App smashing encourages the meaningful use of technology to meet a chosen learning objective. It promotes critical thinking and problem solving in a challenging yet fun and engaging manner as well.

I know it sounds cliche, but the possibilities are pretty much endless because really, there are no restrictions! And that’s because with app smashing—if you can dream it, chances are—you can also bring that vision to life with the number of apps that exist!

Oh, yeah… Did I mention that this hot edtech topic has its own hashtag? Yep, check it out at #AppSmash for lots of great ideas and resources!

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by posted under Cool Tools | 3 Comments »    
3 Comments to

“Positively Smashing: Photo Mapo, Pic Collage & Thinglink”

  1. July 10th, 2014 at 12:01 am       Oliver Rose Says:

    Hi Jamie

    Nice ideas, it’s fun to get creative combining the possibilities of different apps, isn’t it!

    I’ve used the Quizlet API in my embeddable ‘Phrase Maze’ puzzle game app, so that you can use the vocab lists in it. It is especially good for language learning but could just as easily be used to make a quiz (about your Ancient Monuments appsmash, for example). Having kids make quizzes gets them absorbing the content even more.

    Check it out here:

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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