I don’t like textbooks very much, I must admit it.
And the moments I like them the least is when they present some passages about topics which seem to come out from nowhere and with words or references to topics that students cannot possibly know. So I have to invent some activities that have to motivate students to read and have therefore to be engaging, but that have also to give them the knowledge they need to fully understand the text.
A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a Twitter hashtag which led me to learn about appsmashing – #appsmash – and since I was trying to find out a way to introduce a passage about Scotland, I used it at once.
Appsmashing is the combination of more apps in order to obtain a single product.
I thought it was the right solution for my problems and so I started using it on my iPad.
As I said, the passage we will read is about some aspects of Scotland. It mentions haggis, porridge and tartan without explaining what they exactly are and I am sure my students don’t know any of them.
So I thought of preparing a video for the students to use in a flipped classroom activity.
First I prepared a word cloud, using the first app of the process: Word Clouds
Then I used Google and Google Earth for images and next I started thinking about how to organize the video. I didn’t want just a video. I wanted a special one 🙂
I therefore used Tellagami in order to create a speaking avatar on a green background. The avatar had the task to explain the difficult terms. Next I used iMovie in order to create a video with all the images I had previously downloaded. Finally I used DoInk Green Screen to edit the video and put the avatar in the right background.
And here is the result! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-_94mjKfJM
I know, I know, it is not perfect but I think it will be helpful anyway. And what’s more I think of the incredible potentialities of appsmashing above all when I ask the students to create their own presentations or videos! Can’t wait to see them!