Home iOS Tips and Tricks Open-Ended Apps that Make the Cut

Open-Ended Apps that Make the Cut

by Dr. Bruce Ellis
open-ended apps

We’ve curated a few apps that you can use with your students in a variety of ways. These apps are open-ended so you can use them with many different grade levels and subject areas. You are already doing assignments that could be easily transitioned over to integrate one of these apps so that students’ learning could be easily shared with other students.

open-ended appsScreencast on iPad

To record a screencast on your iPad, you’ll need at least iOS 11 or higher. With that version installed, you can record a screencast of whatever is happening on your iPad. The drawback (at least at the moment) is that audio is not recorded. While students can demonstrate understanding, they won’t be able to think aloud and have you listen as they record. Still, the silent screencast may be adequate for what your students are doing. Do the following to allow screencasting on your iPad:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Control Center
  3. Tap the green circle next to Screen Recording to make it available.
  4. To confirm that it is available, it should be in the “INCLUDE” section at the top.

open-ended appsVoice Memos

If you are only interested in audio or you are thinking about having your students record podcasts to share their learning, then Voice Memos might be the best app for you to start with. Besides recording audio, you can record over the audio if needed, trim the ends, or select a portion to delete. When done, you can share it out as you would with any other file on your iPad.

Animate Itopen-ended apps

This easy animation app allows you to create stop motion animation with ease. The LITE version (free) allows you to record up to 100 frames. When done, you can export your movie to the camera roll. The FULL version ($2.99) allows you to record up to 240 frames and adjust the frame rate playback speed. For each version, you will benefit from the onion skill viewing which greatly helps as you “plan your next move” before taking the picture. If you choose not to take the pictures manually, then you can set the auto-timer to take photos on a set schedule (1 per second to up to 24 frames per day…or anywhere in between).

Next time you consider how your students can demonstrate their learning, consider having them create an animation using Animate It.

open-ended appsPhoto Grid

This tool is great when your students have a variety of photos they need to put together as a collage! Photo Grid is for iOS as well as for Android. Think of this as an easy go-to tool when your students need to record a process, a sequence, stages, or steps. Or it could be that students are creating a starter pack for a particular topic that will include several photos. Import photos from the photo gallery or use the camera to add student work or illustrations. Students will also enjoy tweaking the borders, applying filters, and adding backgrounds to take their work to the next level.

open-ended appsAdobe Spark Video

Adobe Spark makes creating a video presentation easy AND fun. You don’t have to be a designer to end up with a slick video that communicates your message well. You can find Adobe Spark Video for iOS or you can use it on your laptop or Chromebook by going to https://spark.adobe.com/make/video-maker/. You will need to log in with a Google, Facebook, or Adobe account. Students will find that their quick tutorial will give them all the information they need to start creating and sharing great work.

What Apps Do You Recommend?

What open-ended apps do you recommend for students that could be used in a variety of content areas and/or grade levels?  Share with us in the comments below. We would love to hear about them.

How Would You Use These?

Because these apps are open-ended, they can be used by many different content areas and grade levels. How might you make use of one of these apps with your students? Share with us your integration idea (be sure to share the grade level and content area).

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