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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Will You Do After the #HourofCode is Finished? Inspiring Student App Creation #Eddies14

I am a finalist for the 2014 Edublog Awards for Best Ed Tech / Sharing Blog, Best Teacher Blog, and Best Individual Blog. If you like what you see, it would mean so much if you cast a vote for me HERE. Voting takes place until 11:59 pm on Monday, December 15th.

Introduction:

For those of you not familiar with this week, it is the Hour of Code week. Millions of students and teachers across the nation are taking part. What can you do to keep inspiring your students after the Hour of Code is over? Why not have your students create their own App. It's pretty easy!

HHABM and App Creation: 

One of the best parts of being a teacher at the Milton Hershey School is the kids I get to work with. A few months ago, a group of my honors business students and I traveled to the Hershey Company to give presentations to employees and executives.

It was part of our Hershey's Honors Authentic Business Management program, a 34 week course where students learn about every aspect of the Hershey Company. From manufacturing to social media, a new Subject Matter Expert from the company helps me co-teach the class each week. At the end of the 34 weeks, my students create a presentation from one of the topics covered in class; however, there is a twist. They have to offer a new idea (related to their topic) to the company. Many of my students chose to present new product ideas, order management systems, and social media strategies.

One of my groups went above and beyond the standard PowerPoint Presentations that we normally give. They invented their own App to share with the company! The purpose of this App was to help the company sell chocolate in various ways. It provided Google Maps to brick and mortar store locations, product information, social media links, and links to products.

How did they do it? 

My students had an idea and wanted it to come to life, so they started researching free mobile App creators. They really liked Conduit Mobile (now called Como App Maker) because of how easy it was to create. They could easily create the App and preview what it looks like on multiple IOS and Android devices.

3 Ways to Start App Creation Today: 
  • Como (formerly Conduit Mobile) lets you have up to 50 free mobile visits and up to 5 App downloads a month. It's free and easy to use. 
  • Yapp is another free site with a focus on creating Apps for events. You can make your Apps public or private. It is also very easy to use. 
  • AppShed - is a great alternative too.  Although you have to pay for it, they have accounts for education. 

How did they share it? 

Knowing that Como lets you have up to 50 free mobile visits and up to 5 App downloads a month, they wanted a quick and efficient way to share their idea with the over 100 people in the room. They used Screencast-o-Matic to create a screencast of their App and embed it in their PowerPoint.

They still wanted to be able to have a limited number of participants interact with App, so they created a QR code containing the mobile address. They placed this QR code on the back of business cards that they placed on tables around the room. It gave the people who wanted to see the App up-close and personal a chance to do so.

Check out my student's explanation of the App:




Conclusion

Instead of creating a website, why not have students create their own App? Brain research has shown us that students need different ways of representing material to connect with it. Because every student learns differently, they also need different ways of demonstrating their understanding. This is a perfect option for analytical and struggling learners to stay engaged. 

We are seeing evidence that learning is becoming more mobile each day. From BYOD programs to the devices hidden in our students pockets, mobile devices are becoming an essential part of learning. Students are using mobile Apps to study, create projects, communicate, collaborate, and enhance the learning process. With so many mobile devices available, why aren't we give our students the chance to engage in a new way? 

I am a finalist for the 2014 Edublog Awards for Best Ed Tech / Sharing Blog, Best Teacher Blog, and Best Individual Blog. If you like what you see, it would mean so much if you cast a vote for me HERE. Voting takes place until 11:59 pm on Monday, December 15th.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Article sir, Keep Going on... I am really impressed by read this. Thanks for sharing with us.. Happy Independence Day 2015, Latest Government Jobs. Top 10 Website

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