Friday, October 4, 2013

App Test Drive, September 2013

One thing I love to do with my middle school Tools for Tech class is what I call an app test drive.  I read a lot of blogs and I see a lot of apps come across my screen.  Before I recommend them to teachers, I like to see what actual students think of the app.

I will normally set aside three to four days for them to test drive apps.  Now, I generally throw the app at them and let them figure it out on their own.  At the end they have a Google form to fill out to rate the app.

This semester's class only has four students, so this data may not be reliable.  Plus, they tended to rate the apps pretty low.  But, at least you can see what my students thought of these apps.  The raw data is here.

Here is a general review of the apps.

  • Adobe Ideas: This is a drawing app, which obviously would appeal to artistic students. For the most part, they enjoyed the freedom to be creative but were not happy with the lack of color options.
  • Cargo-Bot: I've reviewed this app before, and I really like it.  In fact, I've spent a number of hours playing this one.  It's a pre-coding activity, mainly teaching the logic behind coding, not the language. Students agreed that it was challenging, which caused some frustrations.
  • Skitch: Only one of my students test drove Skitch, so I don't have much data on it. You may have heard of Skitch through other sources. It's another drawing app, which could be very appealing to the artistic crowd.  It wasn't appealing to my one student who rated it a 2. (WHAT?!?!)
  • Tinkerbox: I love Tinkerbox, and I was addicted to it for a while. My students agreed. It was the highest ranked app this week. It's basically physics on your iPad. 
  • Vittle Free: This is another presentation app which could make a suitable replacement for Educreations, should you want another option.  I've used Vittle Free, and I like the format. My students weren't as impressed...but they didn't have specific content to add either.

I hope that helps you as you guide your way through apps in your school.  See below for previous app test drive reviews.

Spring 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment