Great Classroom M - Apps

1. Comic Head Android

This app allows students to create diverse comic strips about any topic. This is great for k-12 learning because it allows students to teach themselves and essentially get creative about it. If they are presented with raw information, they can use this app to make that information into a resource that's relevant to them. I really like the idea of taking topics that students may think are benign or useless and allowing them to make the information meaningful to them.

2. Toontastic

This app is similar to the Comic Head Android app in the sense that it allows them to create cartoons to communicate information. I think these sorts of tools are very useful especially for frustrated boys who don't enjoy stationary tasks that don't allow them to express themselves. I was one of those students in school and I am confident that I would have gone far and beyond the expectations of the teacher if I was given this tool to use for a social studies assignment. We as future teachers must rule out the archetypal image of a classroom where students are silently working in their desks with a sheet of paper, a pencil and an assignment that the teacher thinks is phenomenal because she made it. Students now more than ever are itching to express themselves creatively. Teachers are now able to make coursework relevant to students lives. We must utilize these new technologies.

3. Journal Jar

This app rules for English Language Arts. The idea is that students can pick a writing prompt (from random) out of the jar. They then have 5 - 10 minutes to come up with a story on that prompt. The amount of cool things you can do with this is endless. Teachers can create incredibly silly or wacky prompts in order to get students to practice certain areas of their writing including punctuation, structure, and general story writing skills. I like this app because it's very diverse. I'm sure you could use it for a variety of subjects in a variety of situations.

4. Fotobabble App

There's an old phrase that says "Pictures say more than a thousand words". With this app, students can take photos and tell stories or share relevant information about them. This app is flexible and I really like that. Photo taking and explaining can be applied to multiple subject areas. I especially see this app being useful in social studies and L.A. However, I can see applicable uses even in physical education. Super applicable, and extra simple. How all learning tools should be.

5. Shmuppet

I like this app because of it's ties with social media. This app allows students to tell stories with puppets via podcasts, then allows them to send it via a social network of their choice. I strongly believe that the puppet part itself is a deterrant to students. I think the premise of the app is great however puppets are fairly out of style in contemporary society. If MTV isn't cool anymore, puppets are long gone. If I were the developer I would have researched pop culture to find out what kids are most captivated by these days, then made an app surrounding that idea.

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