Magazine article District Administration

How "App Smashing" Is Engaging My Students by Unleashing Their Creativity

Magazine article District Administration

How "App Smashing" Is Engaging My Students by Unleashing Their Creativity

Article excerpt

Being a student in a higher-poverty district doesn't mean pupils get a compromised education, just as wealthier students aren't guaranteed success. Engaging students is up to teachers and while lavish budgets are never unwanted, there are many ways we can use ingenuity to give any student a more enriching experience.

I've been teaching for 28 years. Currently, I teach world geography to ninth graders at Palmetto High School, which is located in Williamston, South Carolina near Greenville, South Carolina in the piedmont area of Anderson School District 1. Even though our district is at 49% poverty while Palmetto sits at close to 60% poverty, our district administrators have put us ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.

I've been using "app smashing" with my students. In app smashing, two or more apps are used to create content, delivering several positive results like getting more out of the software, improving the teaching experience, increasing student engagement, encouraging collaboration and, best of all, promoting creative thinking.

Get out of the rut

Effective teaching mandates not being afraid to try something new in the classroom. Many teachers criticize the kids for spending so much of their time on video games and TV, which automatically turns these areas into a negative. This is the wrong attitude because finding a way to reflect student interests prevents boredom in class and can lead to more enlightened learning that will stick with pupils.

Every year that I've taught World Geography, I've given an assignment in which students create a restaurant located in some other part of the world. After some online searching, I found WeVideo and Soundtrap for the Chromebook. One of the added bonuses of both software was the collaborative aspects that allow students to work together in groups on the same assignment. …

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