As we enter the month of December, we are so excited to launch the annual #AppventCalendar event. Sharing a daily dose of edtech inspiration and ideas throughout the month of December, the calendar is an event that has grown immeasurably since it was first started in 2018.
Originally something which I did in isolation, it is so great that I’m now able to collaborate with other educators to share the tools that they are using with efficacy in their settings.
It is therefore with great delight that alongside the apps, tools, ideas and reviews that I will share, that I will be joined by some of our magnificent author team at Global Edtech. Expect inspiration and ideas from Ronan Mc Nicholl, Olly Lewis, Bukky Yusuf, Kristin Harrington, Marie-Claire Kelly, Paul Watkins, Laura George, Coby Reynolds, Karen Caswell, and Gustavo Calderón De Anda.
So… what is the app that will be shared today and how can it be used in the classroom? Well… something I regularly share about some of the best edtech for the classroom is those tools that have a low threshold for learning how to use it, which means they can be used by a wide age range of users. Another facet of a great edtech tool is that has multiple uses linked to teaching and learning activities in the classroom.
I often tie it into the idea of the ‘Impact / Effort Prioritisation Matrix’ which shares that a good edtech tool should ideally low effort and high impact. One such tool that has been a staple of my practice both in the classroom and in the work I do sharing and supporting schools, is the humble post-it app.
First used in my classroom in 2014, it can be used on an iPhone, iPad or on Android devices and the app is free with an age rating of 4+, meaning it has a super-wide range of ages that can access it.
At a basic level, it allows you to create your own post-it notes on your device, but more than that it allows you to add lots and lots of them onto the various boards you can create within the app too which makes it suitable for a wide range of teaching and learning activities. It’s also great for collaboration whilst using the brainstorming session function.
Another powerful aspect of the app is that it also allows you to make use of traditional analogue post-it notes.
It does this by allowing you to take a photo of a large group of post-its, whereby the app then digitises them for you and adds them into your collection.
In addition to all of these amazing features, it also incorporates handwriting recognition and can transcribe all of your post-its which makes it great for searching and curation/collation.
The boards can be exported and shared into a wide variety of formats and cloud services such as Miro, Trello, Dropbox, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, iCloud and many more.
With the latest version of the app, you can also add it via their widget to your home screen on iPadOS making it a great tool for jotting down those important notes as and when you want to make them and add them to your collections.
Enough of the functionality though, and believe me, I’m just scratching the surface with some of the things I’ve shared so far.
For me, the best thing about the post-it app is the multitude of teaching and learning activities that we can explore with a post-it.
Another large part of my reasoning for including this tool and for making it the first tool on the calendar this year relates directly to the pandemic.
In a world where we should now be mindful of contact and proximity with others, keeping our distance from things such as post-its, it would be such a shame to lose the opportunity to use them safely in the classroom.
And so, by being able to easily digitise and share physical post-its, being able to collaborate and work on boards with post-its and the potential for their use in the classroom, I thought it the perfect addition to kick start the Appvent Calendar this year.
You can download the app for free on the App Store here and the Google Play store here.