Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Android apps for the applying level of Bloom's

This is an edited re-posting of a blog post in 2013, which originally appeared on the now-defunct Sony Education Ambassadors site.

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy is a pedagogical model we are all familiar with. This is the third in a series of resources outlining apps, Web sites, and ideas for using Bloom's Revised Taxonomy to support teaching and learning. This resource deals with Android apps for the third of Bloom's levels, applying.
The previous posts in the series were:


Applying is the cognitive skill set in which students use learned material through products like models, presentation, interviews and simulations, to execute or implement a procedure.

Some activities at the applying level include:

Diane Darrow, in her Edutopia series, outlines the questions you should consider when evaluating an app for use at the applying level.


Sharing: Audioboom

One activity at the applying level is sharing. Audioboom is an application for recording and creating a podcast. This free version allows students to create audio up to 3 minutes in length and post that to their own Audioboom page on the web. They can add titles, tags, geolocation info and a photo to the recording before it is uploaded. Here is a great overview of the use of podcasting in the classroom by Tony Vincent.


Teaching: Explain Everything ($2.99)
Explain Everything is a full-featured screencapture/screencaster program. It allows students to share a great idea or explain a tricky concept. They can bring in images and PDF documents and mark them up, take a photo directly, animate objects, or simply draw out the concept while recording voice audio at the same time. Students can demonstrate their learning by creating a tutorial or teaching unit for others.

Explain Everything

Publishing: Tumblr

Activities that involve publishing learned material in the form of a newspaper, article, or story can easily be done with the Tumblr app. With the app, students can post text, images, videos, and much more to showcase the application of their content knowledge. 


Demonstrating: Animation Desk - Sketch & Draw

Demonstrating applied knowledge can be done with a drawing animation program. There are many of these, but I like Animation Desk Lite for hand-drawn animations. It includes all the best features of an animation program-- layers, onion skinning, duplication of previous pages, easy frame management, and the completed animations can be sent out to FB, YouTube, the photo library, emailed, or saved as PDFs. Users can even record their voice as part of the demonstration. KQED offers this article about use of stop-motion animation ideas for the elementary classroom.

Animation Desk

Another stop-motion animation program, StickDraw, might be easier for younger students. Students draw and manipulate simple images.


Performing a skit: Comic and Meme Creator

Students can showcase the application of their acquired knowledge by performing a skit. Create A Comic allows students to add various characters and speech bubbles to impart the information in their comic.

Comic and Meme Creator


These are just some apps to get you started! The Google Play Store offers a ton of other apps that can be used at this level (or sometimes at all the Bloom's levels!) You can find more suggestions on my Bloomin' Apps page-- look for the chart for Android apps!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

HOTS for Bloom's, part 2

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in August 2015 and is re-posted here with permission.

The previous post in this three-part series provided some background in how to recognize and teach critical thinking skills and, using Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy as a guide, embed the higher-order thinking skills into teaching and learning. This time and in part three,  I will provide some activities and the iOS apps and tools to support them!

Susan Brooks-Young, in an article in THE Journal, takes a look at some ideas using technology to encourage higher-order thinking skills. Let’s look at a few of these and a few that I have developed.

Activity 1: One Minute Video Summary
One fun activity is for students to create is a one-minute video summary of a book being studied or a video watched in class. In small groups, students analyze the item, evaluate what important information must be incorporated into the one minute summary, and create a video in one take.
Each student will have access to a Padlet page (figure 1), an online backchannel tool,  to to brainstorm the aspects of the film or book they want to include and then organize the notes after evaluating what is important to include in the final video.
Padlet page
Figure 1: Padlet storyboard

Once the storyboard is finished, students need to develop a script. They can do that with a shared Google Doc or locally on the mobile device with Pages or Word.
The students can use any iOS video app to shoot the video. I am partial to iMovie since students can shoot the video live right in the app (figure 2).
Figure 2: iMovie

You can view a sample of this type of activity, which is a one-minute summary of the movie Forrest Gump, here.
A related summarizing activity might be creating a comic strip from the book or movie’s main points. This can easily be done with a drawing tool app. There are tons of drawing apps available, but one that has easy to use tools is SketchBook Express (figure 3) for the iPad from Autodesk. It has tons of brush tips for students to use, up to three layers, easy-to-move drawn items, a 2500% pinch-to-zoom, and the ability to come back and work on the creation later and save the final product to the camera roll.
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Figure 3: SketchBook Express

Activity 2: Infographics
Infographics are a great way to have students work on the higher order thinking skills.  Anders Ross offers my favorite definition of an infographic.
“Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education.”
The process of creating an infographic has a few components. The first is having students become familiar with visualizations so they have some idea of what is possible when thinking about how they are going to represent data. You can have them analyze scenarios about how they might use the various visualizations. (figure 4)
Data visualizations
Figure 4: Data visualizations

Students need to manipulate any numerical data they have collected and create graphs, which get saved to the camera roll as images. These can be from Numbers or Excel for the iPad. Another app to start students thinking about visualizations is Easy Chart. (figure 5) If the data is already compiled, EasyChart allows the student to create bar, line and pie/sidebar charts and think about which type is the “best” type to represent the information.
Easy Chart
Figure 5: Easy Chart
For the final creation of the infographic, if the student has Keynote or Powerpoint for the iPad, either one can make a serviceable infographic. There are also apps for the iPad that are specifically developed for the creation of infographics including easel.lyGlogsterEDU (figure 6), and Canva.
Figure 5: Sample infographic created with GlogsterEDU

Activity 3: Five Photo Stories
Five photo have students telling a story with five images and no text or audio. There is a group on Flickr for Educators to provide guidelines and showcase examples of these. Here is a sample from Flickr titled “Worm Attack”. The guidelines for students to think about are to:
  • Establish character and setting
  • Create a situation with multiple actions
  • Engage the character in the situation
  • Build toward a likely outcome
  • End with a surprising – but logical – finish
One of the iPad apps that would help create self-running movie of these photo stories is Pixntell. The app allows for 5 images for no cost, although there is a watermark in the free version. You simply bring in the photos or take them within the app, edit or rearrange them, record no audio, and a movie is created (figure 6).
Figure 6: Pixntell

In part three of this series, I will provide you with some app-smashing and literacy ideas to encourage students to think!