‘An App a Day: Mark 2′ Online Forum – Day 3 – Thinking Toolbox

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Welcome to Day 3 of the ALIA Schools Online Forum An app a day: Mark 2.

Day 3: Thinking Toolbox

Today we are focusing on apps that can be used to encourage students to brainstorm, reflect, etc…

  • Please take some time to consider any thinking related apps that your school uses then reflect on how the app is used, what works well and perhaps what does not work well when using the app
  • You are then invited to comment here to share your experiences with other participants

Our moderator will check in throughout the day to approve comments.

We look forward to hearing from people across Australia and thank you for taking the time to participate and share your knowledge.

Image: CC Fickr by dougbelshaw


12 thoughts on “‘An App a Day: Mark 2′ Online Forum – Day 3 – Thinking Toolbox

  1. I have been using the App ThingLink as a thinking reflection tool both for myself and with my students. I was introduced to this App as part of a research project called ICON with the CEO. The way it works is like this: You take an image and you populate it with hotspots. These hotspots are either text comments or photos/images, film( from YouTube) or films created by you or students. So what I did was take an image of the Design Thinking process and at each stage of the process I added comments on the strategies/skills or activities that I used with students. I also added photos, work samples and resources that I used as evidence. Along the bottom of the image through each stage I added reflective comments and on the top of the image I added links to the AusVELS standards. This gave me a great snap shot of my program including reflection. I have also used with my students as a Book Review. The students uploaded an image of their favourite book and populated it with comments, film of them giving their opinion of the book and links to other related books or film trailers. At the bottom of their image they had their peers write a comment about what they thought about their report/review. When assessing their work all I had to do is go into their products and enjoy reading them while watching a program on TV. I highly recommend it. You can also access it from their website.

  2. Thanks. This is a great app. Have just downloaded and played with it. I have used Skitch – a similar app. As a TL I have used it for promotion and way finding, more than with a class.
    We have been using Inspiration for mind mapping and information organisation. The added advantage is the Outline view which structures the written piece directly from the notes – a step which students find difficult. Unfortunately not an app, not even web version outside US yet! An app which did this would be awesome.

  3. ThingLink is great we have used it for student research about their portrait artist
    Once again the select an image and hotspot the picture with the facts they have learnt about their favourite artist. Students wer able to then attach it to their Weeblypage to show their parents.

    • Yes. Love both of these apps. Have also used them for staff professional development sessions. It helps reluctant staff to see that they are simple, quick and easy to use and provide great feedback immediately.

  4. I like to use Popplet – http://popplet.com/
    It works well with my students as it’s better suited to the K-6 age-bracket that I teach, however according to the terms of service, users must be over 13 years old. Teachers or parents/carers can create accounts that are overseen by them in order to facilitate student use.
    Overall, Popplet is smart, simple and capable of having multiple visuals to help make the mind map more engaging. You can upload text, videos, images, gifs and even draw something to put directly onto the mind map. It can also be used to for group/team work with multiple devices able to access a mind map. Students can save multiple mind maps and can access them from home if they have an iOS device.
    Students enjoy using the highly-visual mind maps and showing them to their peers. As it is a really simple platform, I find my students really engaging with the content and even retaining that information later on (which is a real bonus as a teacher). It allows students to delve deeper into topics and make their own connections, leading to a more Inquiry-based learning model in the classroom.
    It is also a really great tool for students who have memory, organisation or visualisation issues and can really improve how they engage with the topic and how they then go on to express what they have learned.
    Popplet also has the ability to be more complex, with embedded images, videos, files, website or blog links and is even capable of having keywords and categories to make searching easier. As a teacher, I can also model the construction of and use of a Popplet mind map when beginning a unit of work.
    Best of all, it is free.

  5. I haven’t had the opportunity to use many apps with my students yet but at the Creating Future Libraries conference on Monday I attended a workshop presented by Tristan Bancks about his app ‘Story Scrapbook 2.0’. I’ve been having a play with it and it is a great way to visually collage together ideas into a brainstorm page. You can integrate youtube videos, audio, images and text and then embed the brainstorm/idea page into a blog or website. The only issues I can foresee for use in the Education QLD classroom is that it is automatically saved to the cloud which might be blocked (along with youtube). A bonus is that it’s free and very intuitive to figure out.

  6. Like you Cerae, I’ve not had much opportunity to use apps with my students. Our ICT guru loves Padlet http://padlet.com/ which I think may be a little like Popplet (not sure though) I’ve only had a brief look and play, Padlet seems easy enough and as I read somewhere, “it’s like an online sheet of paper”. There’s an education version for greater security but it comes at a cost. At the moment I’m still negotiating the waters of online manners, what’s appopriate and whats not, with my students but having a real context is brilliant.

  7. Not being a fully integrated iPad school yet, I have only limited experience in apps in the school environment. We have 2 class sets of iPads, one set in the Year 5 class and the other set shared around the school. Initially the Popplet app was used as a brainstorming and mind mapping tool but after some experimenting and research of available apps MindMeister has now been installed in preference of Popplet.

  8. I love Padlet and Popplet (they are different). The children love seeing both of them appear on the IWB and the beauty of both is that they can be exported and then printed off. I am using MindMeister with Years 5 and 6 at the moment and they really like it. It is an Addon to Google Apps and converts a Google Doc to a mind map. If they make a mistake or want to add more things they can do so.

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