Now that summer is almost here many of us start to think about what we can do to bring new things to our classrooms next fall. The summer gives us the time to think and tinker in ways that we can’t during the school year. Developing a good, functioning mobile app is one of those things that takes time to do well and so the summer is a good time to give it a try. (Side note, I’ll be speaking about this topic at a conference later this summer).
Plan and Draw Your App
Just like creating a good video or making a good lesson plan, it’s important to go into the app creation process with a good idea of what you want the final product to look like. Before embarking on programming your app, take some time to draw wireframes or a storyboard of what you would like your app’s functions and flow to be. You can do this on paper, in slides (Canva has nice phone silhouette templates), or on a storyboard program like Storyboard That that offers wireframe templates.
Build an Android App
The MIT App Inventor is the tool to use if you want to create your own fully functional Android app. The MIT App Inventor works in your web browser (Chrome is recommended). The only download that is required for App Inventor 2 is the optional emulator. The emulator allows people who don’t have Android devices to text their apps on their desktops. If you have an Android device then the emulator is not required and you don’t need to worry about installing it. MIT provides excellent support for classroom use for new users of App Inventor. Tutorials are available as videos and as written PDFs.
Build Your Own iPhone/ iPad App
Thunkable is a free platform for designing, testing, and publishing your own Android and iOS apps. Just like MIT App Inventor Thunkable enables you to create your apps even if you don’t know how to write code. That is possible because Thunkable uses a drag-and-drop design framework. That framework shows you jigsaw-like pieces that have commands labeled on them. Your job is to put the pieces together to make your apps work. Thunkable provides users with detailed written tutorials and video tutorials.
These were last week’s most popular posts on FreeTech4Teachers.com:
1. Nine Fun and Challenging Geography Games
2. ClassDojo Introduces a New Digital Portfolio Option
3. Three Free iPad Apps for Creating Animated Movies
4. Animaker Edify – Easily Create Animated Videos In an Online Classroom
5. Math Playground – Hundreds of Math Games & Instructional Videos
6. An Interactive Story Building Lesson
7. Three Ways to Develop Programming Skills This Summer
Google Forms & Sheets for Beginners
Google Forms and Sheets can be powerful tools to help you save time, get things done, and help your students. This Thursday afternoon at 4pm EST I will be hosting a webinar that will show you what you need to know to start getting the most out of the capabilities of Google Forms & Sheets. If you’ve never used Google Forms or Sheets before this webinar is for you. If you’ve used them before, but it has been a while and you need a refresher, this webinar is for you too. Register here to join me on Thursday.
Bring Me to Your School
I have three openings left in my summer schedule for on-site professional development workshops. I can provide professional development workshops on G Suite for Education, Teaching History With Technology, and many other topics. Click here to learn more or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to book me today.