Thing 38: App-apalooza

After exploring several of the links for App-apalooza, I found three discoveries I’m pretty pumped about:

  • Discovery #1: Digital Dog Pound and their App Task Challenges!
    • I loved that they made their ATC available in one Google Drive folder you can add to your own Google Drive-and of course immediately added it to mine.
    • The setup and format of the ATC pages were beautiful and incredibly well down. I was impressed with how they managed to fit so much information (a picture of the app, a description of the app, ideas for integration, and an app challenge) into 1-2 pages without it ever feeling crowded or overwhelmed.
    • I’m so inspired by their ATC pages, this summer I think I’d like to try to make a few of my own for some of the apps on our iPads!
  • Discovery #2: School Library Journal App Webpage
    • This discovery was one of those that made me feel like a bad librarian-I had no idea that SLJ had a dedicated App Webpage! I loved looking through old postings and exploring their suggestions. I’ve already added them to my favorite websites on my computer and will be adding this into my weekly rotation of must check websites!
    • One of the things I discovered while poking around the website was that there were a ton of SLJ newsletters I wasn’t subscribing to. So, I subscribed to their tech newsletter as well as a few others I had somehow missed along the way.
    • While exploring their old postings on the website I can across a writeup for an intriguing tool which brings me to…
  • Discovery #3:BookWidgets!
    • BookWidgets is a service that lets you create quizzes, exit tickets, worksheets, games and more for the iPad. You can create your own completely from scratch or, use one of their templates.
    • There are couple of things I love about this idea:
      • As I learned in the Things 31 & 32 on Evidence Based Practice, I need to be collecting more pre and post assessment data with my classes and this gives me a tool to create just those
      • Since it’s a digital tool, I don’t have to worry about drowning in a sea of exit tickets and end of unit tests
      • It tracks all the student results for you, less factoring and figuring on my end
      • No more handing out and collecting of papers, instantly makes them available on student iPads
      • I have a class set of iPads just for the library and I have been trying to find more and more ways to work them into our lessons and this will help me make them a part of almost every lesson-even if they aren’t the actual learning tool!
    • The bad news is it’s $49 a year for this tool. Although, that does only come out to $5 a month (which is less than I spend on coffee-three cheers for treat yo’self Fridays) so I think I could justify it, if it worked as well as I hope it would.
    • There’s a 30 day free trial so I’ve signed up for that and I’ve been trying out the different widgets. Unfortunately, our last week of regular library classes is next week already so I wont be able to test out many of the features but, I think some of the game options would be a great way to review what they’ve learned in library this year while still keeping it fun. 
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