Written by CUE Member and Guest Blogger Jo-Ann Fox @AppEducationFox
One day after school I sat at my computer feeling a bit overwhelmed by the colossal amount of apps I had to sort through in my iTunes cloud, when I suddenly had my Newton moment. Except it wasn’t an apple that fell onto my head. But a virtual app falling from my over-stuffed iTunes cloud. I realized quite clearly, it is not WHAT app I should use in my classroom, but rather HOW I plan to use that app to promote student learning and engagement.
At the core of the Common Core lies the 4 Cs. While the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) cover the skills our students need to master to be successful readers and mathematicians, the 4 Cs include skills our students need to be successful 21st Century learners. The 4 Cs include: create, collaborate, communicate, and critical thinking. In my humble opinion, if you focus on the 4 Cs with your students when innovating with iPads, your students will not only master CCSS but also have fun doing it!
Before you even download another app onto your students’ devices, you must consider the following:
- Is this app a skill review app?
- Is this app a creative app?
What Is the Difference Between a “Skill Review” App and a “Creative App”?
Skill Review Apps:
- Repetitive learning.
- Focuses on one particular skill.
- Student outcomes are always the same.
- Has an end to the app. A student is able to say, “I’m finished with the app!”
- Mimics a worksheet.
- Promotes project based learning.
- Can be used in more than one way and in all content areas.
- Can have a variety of outcomes.
- Limitless! There is no end to the way the app can be used.
- Foster innovative learning.
- Make learning FUN.
When implemented well, creative apps will bring creativity, improve your students communication skills, promote collaboration, and will enhance your students’ critical thinking skills.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I share with you some of my favorite creative apps and how to inspire your students innovate with their devices.
Jo-Ann Fox is a 4th grade teacher in Escondido, CA who strives to seamlessly innovate with technology in her classroom. She is a Google Certified Teacher and was a semi-finalist for 2012 California Teacher of the Year. Jo-Ann is a co-founder and co-moderator of California Edchat and a co-planner for Edcamp San Diego. You can follower her on Twitter @AppEducationFox or visit her blog at AppEducation.com.