App Smashing

Unleash the Power of Your iPad with “AppSmashing”

The purpose of this session is to provide participants with a hands-on session where they can extend the power of their iPad or mobile device to improve student learning. Participants will learn about and explore various iPads apps and learn how “smash” the apps together to form a new product. Workflow solutions will be share as well as suggestions for managing classroom activities.

Essential Questions:
  • How does using mobile devices encourage creativity and collaboration? 
  • How can I encourage problem-solving by “thinking outside the box” and brainstorming solutions? 
  • How can I combine free apps to create a new and unique product? 
  • How can I plan workflow routines that keep students focused on learning and not just on doing? 
  • How can my student showcase their creations for authentic audiences? 
Participants will demonstrate success by documenting their app smashing product and sharing during the public showcase.


  1. Introduction / Goals

  2. App Smashing defined – kudos to Greg Kulowiec for the term.

  3. App Smashing showcase – share real examples gathered from classrooms.

    1. Interactive Posters (Book Report, Science poster, Women’s History Month, Biology comparisons, Art Project)

    2. Digital Storytelling:  Ethics of Digital Manipulation, Library Displays, iPhoneography, History of Communication Timeline

  4. App Smashing workflow tips: Begin with the end in mind, brainstorm apps that will be smashed, decide smashing workflow. storage and transfer, and then create the final product and decide how it can be shared.

  5. Let the Smashing Begin! Workshop members will create project for their subject area.

    1. Step One: Create products from apps that can be “smashed” using: the camera roll, photo editing apps, comic strip apps, simple presentation apps, simple video apps — which then …

    2. Step Two: Can be combined with more sophisticated apps that allow embedding, annotations, narrations or sharing/publishing to a wider audience.

  6. Share final products using a Gallery Showcase.

App Smashing Recipes

1.  Interactive Posters - An interactive poster is more than just a display of images.  These types of posters can contain multiples images, text, embedded self-recorded & YouTube videos, pop-up text, hyperlinks, and more.  The user interacts with the embedded poster by clicking on the various icons to learn or read more.

  • Pic Collage / Canva / Haiku Deck + Thinglink = A creative poster with multiple images and text where the user can interact with the objects through content, video, links or sound.

  • Have students create videos or screencasts using the camera roll, EduCreations, Explain Everything ($), Adobe Voice or iMovie, upload them to YouTube, and then embed them on a Thinglink Poster.

  • Thinglink posters can be shared by link, embedded in website, blog or LMS.  Idea:  Create a simple Google Site & have a ThingLink embedded on each page of the site.

  • Consider having students present to the class from the ThingLink poster instead of a PowerPoint.

  • Have students justify their interactions to show deeper thinking vs. just labeling poster objects. Students should explain why they chose the images they did, how does the video help explain the concept, why they included specific hyperlinks, etc.

  • Editing the images with text, arrows, quotes, etc prevents students from just gathering any image of Google Images.  Students choose images intentionally & edit them to add interest or more information.

  • Other great apps to smash with ThingLink: Phonto, Paper 53 (for hand drawn images), Skitch, Snapseed, Comics (Comic Life, Touch), Keynote/PowerPoint/Google Slides

2. Using Images to Educate / Digital Storytelling - Digital storytelling is the process of combining images, titles, narration and possibly a soundtrack to tell a story, explain an educational concept or give directions.

  • Haiku Deck/Canva/Phonto/Keynote + Adobe Voice/Book Creator/iMovie/Explain Everything =  Opportunities to use real voice or primary source documents to educate others or tell a story

  • Use Essential Questions from an Unit and have small groups use a variety of apps to demonstrate their understanding.

  • The collaboration & communication between team members is critical to their success and learning.  

  • Have a team brainstorm a topic.  ½ of the team creates images using a variety of apps. The other ½ writes and records the narration.  Combine the efforts together and produce a movie or book.

  • Use real primary source images to tell stories of historical people or of the time period.

  • Using an app like Haiku Deck for movie images creates a consistency from image to image.

  • Have students choose platform for publishing.

3.  Publishing to Real Audiences - Having a real authentic audience who will view the final project is essential for quality work.  Students are more engaged and take pride when they know someone else will view their movie, read their book or see their work publicly displayed.  There are so many platforms so why not allow students to self-select their desired platform?

  • Books made as an ePub or iBooks:  Book Creator app ($), Pages, draft in GDocs

  • Embedding HTML code on websites:  Google Sites, Padlet, Wikispaces, blogs

  • LMS:  Schoology (Media Gallery is great for sharing), Canvas by Instructure, Edmodo

  • Presentations:  Haiku Deck, Prezi, Keynote, Google Slides

  • PDF Publishing:  SnapGuide, Issuu, Smore, Tackk, Flipboard

  • Video:  YouTube, iMovie, Adobe Voice, Tellagami, TouchCast, DoInk Green Screen

  • Virtual Reality:  Aurasma, Layar

Supporting research and collected examples:

AppSmashing for Educators : Leveraging Tools to Maximize Communication - Blog post about how to app smash Smore, Kahoot, Remind or Quizlet for effective communication with families

Math App Smashing w/ Nearpod + Desmos 

Colette Cassinelli,
Oct 8, 2015, 6:15 PM
Colette Cassinelli,
Oct 5, 2015, 9:32 PM