Monday, February 18, 2013

App Smashing: Part I

After working with iPads for any amount of time in the classroom, one will quickly realize that most processes can't be completed with just one app.  While many apps slightly overlap in terms of functionality, there tends to be a few black holes in each app that require the use of another app to complete the process.  This leads us to "App Smashing".

App Smashing Defined: The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.

I hope to make this a series of posts that outline my favorite "app smashes" and I am going to start with my favorite smash.

End Result: Students can create a web based timeline to capture their learning, to share a digital portfolio or to capture an event, era or topic of study.  This process could be used as an ongoing, year long assignment.  With the ability to update the google doc from an iPad, the timeline can be updated whenever a student has a new piece of content to add to their final product.

App's Smashed:
Google Drive
Explain Everything

1. Download the Google Doc template from the TimelineJS site.
2. Make a copy & rename the template.
3. Publish the Google Doc & create the web based timeline from the TimelineJS site.
(Complete the steps outlined in a previous post to complete this process.)
4. Update the Google Doc spreadsheet to share an event.

5. Paste the URL of an image from an Instagram photo to include an image on the timeline.

6. Paste the URL of a video hosted on vimeo to include video on the timeline.
(Create the video using Explain Everything, export the video to the camera roll & upload to Vimeo using the Vimeo app)

The End Result:  Here is my timeline that I have started to create with this process.  My plan is to update the timeline over the next few weeks using the four tools outlined above.  Once the timeline is published via the TimelineJS site, it will automatically update when any new additions are added to the Google Doc template.

What apps do you smash?


  1. Thanks for posting this. I have never heard it called smashing before, but I do it all the time! I think I'll blog about this next week!


  2. Why didn't I think of this phrase! My students App smash regularly, especially since venturing out to do a research paper entirely on the iPads. They "smashed" with Doc Scanner to Edmodo and Drive, Edmodo to Drive and vice versa, Doc Scanner to NoodleTools, Side by Side to Doc Scanner, and Pages to Drive and Edmodo. In the past two months we've finally hit the tipping point in class where students seamlessly transition from app to app and understand the collaboration needed between apps to give the iPads the functionality they need. It is a beautiful thing to witness. Thanks for sharing, Sarah McGuire