Monday, August 22, 2011

Apps and Communication

In a previous post I came to my own conclusion regarding why technology is more important to education today than it has been in previous decades. That reason for me is that current technology can promote communication and collaboration.

This morning I came across an article about iPad apps that help students explain their thinking and/or summarize their understanding. This is the type of technology I think should be used to its fullest in our classrooms.

In addition to making recommendations, the author of the article, Diane Darrow, provides a list of criteria you can use when reviewing apps to find those to help students articulate understanding.

Imagine what students could write about the Berlin Wall.
I don't agree with Darrow on all her app recommendations. I think the math apps in particular do not meet her criteria. But others she recommends are wonderful.

My personal favorite is Lifecards -- Postcards for the iPhone. With this app, students can create a postcard with an image, graph, diagram, etc. on one side and a short explanation on the other side. This looks like a quick and easy way to capture student understanding and gives students the opportunity to express their understanding in a different way. It could be a very engaging form of assessment that students will see as a fun activity in which they can create something to share.

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