On Monday evening I went to a hack event at Google Campus by AppShed. Here educators and PHP developers met to see the new changes to AppShed. I found that it was quite difficult for the AppShed team to address the audience as they had both techie and non-techie people, but it definitely lit an AppShed fire in my belly! Some of the information delivered went a bit over my head and there was a lot of jargon, however they did manage to show the basics of building an app, and the things I didn't understand I have confidence that I will understand soon! AppShed provides a lot of resources for using the site, all with easy to understand language and step by step guides here.
I have built an App creation unit into my next term for both grades 8 and 9. Grade 8 are very techie and spend a lot of time coding anyway, so they will have a short four week unit, (followed by a unit I am delivering with the maths teacher) and grade 9 will have an 8 week unit.
I will share the lesson plans once I have them, but at the moment I am still looking for ideas from other educators. Some of the ideas I have already include creating an app for the school, creating an app about the International Baccalaureate, creating an app to assist and welcome new students or an app to promote a charity or to raise awareness of a particular issue. I also thought of getting students to focus on one topic they have learnt in another class and create a revision app for that, with links to videos, websites, worksheets, iBooks, etc. I'd also like to look into themed fun apps, maybe a time travel app or a super hero kit?
Please share your ideas. At the moment I am buzzing with tons of ideas, but nothing stands out to me yet!
AppShed offer a school subscription, which allows students to monitor student work and chooses when the apps are published online. As a very small school I will start off with the free account, as I can easily monitor my students in class and they are a pretty sensible bunch. I'd like to know more about the educational site, but at the moment it doesn't seem necessary for me. AppShed offers tutorials through their YouTube channel and it has a whole range of tutorials and other resources to help you get to grips with it, through their Learn page.
If you'd like to find out more about AppShed you can visit their Twitter, Website or YouTube channel.
If you want to find out more visit them at BETT. I'll be around on the Saturday - if you want to meet up tweet me.
P.S. I got a bit distracted during the talk and knocked this app out.