New devices, like the Apple Watch, bring even more apps into the picture!

On their phones, tablets, and other devices, students today have access to some pretty amazing apps! In schools, many students are using Chrome apps and extensions on their Chromebooks and iOS and Android apps on tablets. All of these apps make it possible for students to consume, curate, and create digital information in new and exciting ways.

As various apps find their way into more and more classrooms and are used by students and teachers for longer periods of time, we are noticing that the apps are often developed with certain functions in mind, and students and teachers need to use more than one app to accomplish the types of complex learning and problem-solving tasks that we want to do. Many students and teachers, therefore, are engaging in a practice known as “app smashing.”

App smashing, using more than one app in order to complete a desired task, is explained by Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec) in this blog post from 2013 when he first used the term:  http://kulowiectech.blogspot.com/2013/02/app-smashing-part-i.html. Recently, Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) interviewed Kulowiec for her radio program, Every Classroom Matters, and in the interview they discuss the origin of the term and examples of app smashing, and how more and more teachers are exploring the options of using multiple apps together: http://goo.gl/gZyogc.

I like to think that the practice of app smashing is a lot like building a house. We don’t just use a hammer to build a house. We don’t just use a saw. We don’t just use one nail. Many different tools are evaluated so that the best ones are selected and then used in conjunction with one another in order to build a house. This is absolutely true in education as well. We can never rely entirely on just one resource, one application, or one piece of equipment. Instead, we plan instruction around using the most appropriate tools we have available to us, in the right combinations, in order to complete the tasks we set out to do. Just like building a house.

Seeing examples of content that others have created is a great way to learn about new apps, get inspired, and try new things, and students and teachers who have already combined multiple apps are happy to share out their work. Sunny Richardson (@SunnyJune77), Mccright (@mccright), and Dan Gallagher (@Gallagher_Tech) largehave collaborated on a special challenge to get other educators app smashing and to share out their creations called “You’ve Been AppSmashed!”

“This challenge is designed around 5 weeks. Each week you will be creating a final product, sometimes you will be able to choose the apps, other times the apps will be chosen by chance. At the end of the challenge, each successful finisher will receive a badge.”

Information about each of the individual challenges and how to submit the final creations is available here: https://tackk.com/audsuu. More information and examples of final products can be found by following the Twitter hashtag: #YOUVEBEENAPPSMASHED.

Consider yourself officially app smashed!

~What did YOU do in school today?

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