Are you a "one and done" App user? What I mean is do you only integrate one App per class experience? This may work for some of your students, but it will not work for all of your students. Why? Not every student learns and interacts with Apps the same way.
Today I conclude my series on introducing vocabulary terms, while using multiple Apps.
Ingredient # 1: Activate Background Knowledge
In an earlier post, I discussed how to activate background knowledge with a simple App called Fridge Poems.
Ingredient # 2: Dice App + Edmodo = Discussion
In my previous post, I discussed how you can use the Dice and Edmodo Apps to discuss vocabulary terms.
Ingredient # 3 - Demonstrate Understanding with Tellagami
Imagine that there are five minutes to go in class and you want a quick way to measure what students have learned today. Why not turn to Tellegami? I had my students utilize this mobile app to come up with an animated message (called a Gami) to define the topic (or vocabulary word) of the day word.
As soon as my students used the app, you could see the engagement level increasing. It was a fun and challenging way to get students to demonstrate their understanding because they had to either record or type a 30 second response. As soon as students finished, they were able to send me their Gami through email.
There are many other ways you can utilize this free app. In a previous post, I mentioned that you could also use Tellagami as a way for students to provide a 30 second summary of what was learned that day.
Another Option: Pictures Speak a Thousand Words
When I have had more time in other lessons, I have had my students use the Pic Collage App to provide a collage of visual examples to define the concept or term. After students created their collages, I would have students make mini-presentations to share their images of what they learned. This is perfect for your visual learners!
Why should you avoid being a "One and Done"? Brain research has shown us that everyone's brain works and interacts differently with the world around them. What does this mean? Everyone learns differently; therefore, we need to design different learning experiences that address the needs of learners. It's not just about learning styles, we must also take into consideration background experiences, cultural differences, and even what interests students.
This makes it extremely important to structure iPad experiences in ways suitable to address the needs of all learning styles. To effectively design learning experiences for all of my students, I often utilize the Universal Design for Learning framework. This allows me to address learning barriers before they occur by frontloading instruction with tools (or apps) to address the needs of my learners.
If you are not familiar with UDL, it is a framework based on the fact that learner variability (differences) are the rule and not the exception; therefore, every learner needs different ways to represent material, demonstrate their understanding, and engage in learning.
Check out more on UDL at CAST and the National Center on UDL.