The Ultimate DIY App!

The Ultimate DIY App!

By Pam Van Fleet
You’ve probably heard the term DIY as it applies to home improvement. Being the weekend warrior when it comes to projects myself, I tend to look for apps that help support this same “Do-It-Yourself” mindset both as a teacher and for use with my students. There are 6 criteria I use to test if an app measures up to this standard. iBrainstorm is one such app that I use on a daily basis because it passes the test with flying colors! The graphic below outlines the 6 categories as an example of the app’s many uses.

Simplistic

The app is user-friendly, and the operation of the app can be self-learned in a short amount of time by teachers/students. The app is open-ended in its versatility of use, allowing the teacher/student to tailor it to whatever they need.

Age Appropriate

Can be used by ALL grade levels, supporting even the most simple tasks/projects, or complex as the case may be.

Layout Modification

There isn’t a “one-size fits all” look. The teacher/student can easily change the format of the charts/webs.

Cross-curricular Integration

Works well in conjunction with any subject area, or thematic approach be it Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Social Skills.

Go green/go paperless

Does away with mundane, cookie-cutter worksheet activities that stifle student creativity. An example of this would be Sketch-noting, a visual form of note taking.

Personalize Learning

Fosters an environment where students can engage in learning that is meaningful to them, thus helping them retain information better whether it’s as an individual, or in a small collaborative group.*Just an FYI, although students can draw with the pencil provided, the only drawback to this app is that you can’t import graphics (other than emojis). What I do to get around this con is simply have students screenshot their work, and then if they want to add pics, they can app smash with an app like Keynote, Explain Everything, or Haiku Deck to add photos.