Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Touch App Creator: Creating Powerful Web Apps for Teaching and Assessment


Context:  


The power of the iPad as a tool for creating varied high-quality multimedia content is extremely useful in the classroom and  with the app Creative Book Builder  by Tiger Ng it has been possible to easily create instructional and explanation texts with video content. This app allowed pupils to have access to a video instruction manual during a design technology project. The app Touch App Creator also developed by Tiger Ng allows this technique to be taken a step further allowing books to be published online and easily hosted on Google Drive. This blog post explores the potential of this app and the way it can be combined with other powerful apps such as Explain Everything.


Touch App Creator

The app allows various blocks and components to construct pages which will form a web app, a self-contained mini-website which can be shared. Pages are built up step by step and separate features are added according to the user’s requirements.  The available content includes titles, paragraphs, images, videos, audio recordings, you tube video, embedded HTML and more besides. Content can very easily be built up by adults and children according to the needs of the user. The completed web app can then be uploaded to a Google Drive account Drop Box) for hosting, and this allows a web link to be generated. When viewed, the content is clear and easily navigated on the web and is accessible from PCs, Android and IOS devices.

Caring for animals Web App Icon

Caring for Pets

Caring for animals using Touch App Creator

This is an example about Caring for Pets which was made very quickly by children.


The only aspect of this example which required an adult was the embedded assessment form at the end which was created as a form in Google Drive.

Video Content

The power of video and multimedia content is really enhanced when incorporated into content produced using Touch App Creator. Video content can be added directly from the iPad camera roll, enabling the full range and features of video production and editing apps including iMovie to be utilised. In addition, the screencasting output of apps such as Explain Everything, by Reshan Richardscan be added to the content enabling detailed, animated and narrated explanations to be included and hosted within the app’s Google Drive content, without the need for hosting on You Tube (although of course You Tube videos can be added to the content, which only enhances the power and potential of Touch App Creator).

Assessment with Google Forms

One of the most impressive elements of Touch App Creator is the opportunity for embedding HTML code.  In the classroom this enables forms to be included in the web apps, as a means for assessing understanding, receiving feedback or questions. This is easier to do than some people imagine and just requires a Gmail account and a little knowledge of using Google Drive which can be picked up in a short time. In Google Drive a new form can be created and content added; text entry, multi-choice, sliding scale etc. Themes can be added to the form to make the appearance suitable for the particular project. To embed the completed  form in Touch App Creator click send form and embed and then copy the embed code into an HTML component block  in the app. When published ( and previewed) the displayed form will allow users to input responses which are stored in a database which is automatically created in Google Drive. The potential for this element is enormous in terms of assessment, feedback and collaboration. It is quick and easy to produce and share and can meet so many needs in the classroom especially in terms of formative assessment, independent learning and personalised learning.

Examples of the potential use of Touch App Creator

The ways in which the app can be used in the classroom are countless. Any teacher can easily generate their own content and assessment material. Pupils can also use the app as a means for publishing their own content to the web, and quite easily they could learn to embed Google Forms for feedback.

Caine’s Arcade


This example of a web app produced in Touch App Creator is based on a popular You Tube video: Caine’s Arcade Web App.

An embedded you tube video can be watched by pupils and feedback/answers submitted to a teacher. As the content can be viewed on any device there is great potential for homework plus application of some of the ideas surrounding the flipped classroom concept. The potential to use the app in this way is infinite.

Caine's Arcade with embedded videos and assessment 


Personalised Maths Teaching with Assessment


The idea of using mobile devices to enable personalised teaching and learning has worked very well using QR codes linked to You Tube videos and has been already described in this Blog Post. However using Touch App Creator the content can be presented clearly and easily in one place. By including embedded assessment which can be evaluated by the teacher the power of the web content created in the app is huge. In addition, the content of an assessment form can be changed on a weekly basis without the need to change the web app. Because the content of the form is web-based it can be amended as required. This link demonstrates how the web app functions.  Basically, the app allows instructional videos to be shared with pupils on any device and for assessment /feedback to take place as frequently as is required. The implications of this for all teachers and pupils are exciting and possess limitless potential.

Touch App Creator with embedded assessments

Implications

This app has the potential to completely transform, not simply enhance, learning takes places both inside and outside classrooms. Content can be tailored to meet the needs of any subject, age, level and pupil ability. The ability to combine content and quickly produce Google Drive hosted mini-websites is a very powerful feature. The way in which the work produced using a wide range of productivity apps is an excellent way to bring creative content together is effortless and awesome in terms of impact. When this is all combined with assessment forms produced in Google Drive, it could become one of the most powerful app combinations in global education in terms of transforming teaching and learning.

© Mr Andrews Online 2013

2 comments:

  1. Great app that we quickly tried out today to make an app about Historical Sites around school. Simple and easy to use - apart from putting the video on sideways! Many thanks for showing us the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Problem - thanks for getting in touch.

      Delete