Brophy Technology In-Service        |        29 January 2014        |                @MrJohnDamaso                |        App Finding and Gamification

App Finding and Gamification



How to find an app related to your content area or course/lesson outcomes?

  1. Attend an EdTechTeacher conference or any conference where people share ideas
  1. NCTE Conference → (for my dystopia unit) → Vision Machine (graphic novel) → author visit (contacted via Twitter)
  1. Read (scan) Educational Technology blogs
  1. Edudemic Ed Tech Blogs
  2. Edmodo Blog
  3. Watch Greg perform an iPad challenge per day from a teacher’s perspective
  4. Emerging Ed Tech
  5. EdTechTeacher’s app-finding by student activity
  1. Peruse the Education section of the AppStore and use narrow searches when entering keywords. (bad: religious studies | good: book of genesis)
  2. Download the AppsGoneFree app to see a list of 5-10 apps each day that are free for one day as a promotion
  3. Follow trendsetters on Twitter. (@edudemic | @rubenrp | @gregkulowiec) Search hashtags that interest you or relate to a course concept, lesson, reading, notable figure. (#ipaded | #edtech | #edchat | #sschat  |  #engsschat  |  #engchat )
  4. Search YouTube for app tutorials or trailers once you have an app in mind (example: Type:rider trailer)
  5. Create and bookmark good Google searches for iPad apps in your discipline (physics | calculus | biology | ethics | health/PE )
  6. Read general audience publications that mention education (This Atlantic article led me to Device 6)
  7. Eavesdrop at creative places. (I heard some photographers discussing the Sticky Albums app at a coffee shop and sent it to Mica.)
  8. Tell Blair what you’re looking for -- vague or specific, based on a lesson or even a single concept/skill -- and he’ll keep his eyes peeled for you. Jim, too.
  9. Observe a teacher. That’s how I learned about Decide Now -- randomizer app from Jim Bopp.  Richard Cordova uses so many types of technology simulataneously that your head will spin.
  10. Send an app idea to a colleague. I sent this My Life as a Refugee app to Megan McDonald for her Ethics class. She sent me a Shakespeare Pro app
  11. Tell students you are interested in apps related to the course, and they will send you links.  Often from Reddit or StumbleUpon.
  12. Case studies: Membean (Google search) |  NoRedInk (received cold-call email) | Layar (2008 technology used by Yelp) | (Twitter)


"At USC, the majority of a first semester film student's education comes from a game. From our first day on campus, we began finding puzzles and clues around campus that eventually brought us to a game office where instructions and starter cards awaited. For the next four months, my friends and I had to find prompt cards, combine them in interesting ways, and create various kinds of media to meet the prompts that resulted. The points and merit prizes awarded enabled the most prolific and successful students to meet people from the industry, attend screenings, and test new technology. Because everything was self-motivated, students were cranking out content far beyond what any individual class required and for some, they produced more media content in that one semester than they had in their whole life up until then. That was definitely the case for me. I learned a lot, met tons of new people, had to collaborate more than ever before, and even if I hadn't won the game, I would never have regretted playing." USC Reality Committee Manual