Why App Smash?

i4S - APPSMASHING.001 Inspired by the last #1to1iPadChat , I thought it was time to post on the world craze that is App Smashing. The term App Smash was coined by the great Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec) from EdTech Teacher fame. It is a hot topic in EdTech and obviously has its own Hashtag – #AppSmash.

What is an App Smash?

Content created in one app transferred to and enhanced by a second app and sometimes third. Preferably the final product is then published to the web – remember, digital presence is the new résumé (CV).

Reasons to App Smash:

  1. It demands creative thinking
  2. It demands more from the technology (value for money)
  3. It turns the issue of not having a ‘wonder app’ into a positive
  4. It removes any restrictions to take a topic as far as it can be taken.
  5. It often results in more engaging learning products
  6. It’s a fun challenge for ‘digital natives’

Key rules for successful App Smashing:

  1. Use the Camera Roll as your main conduit between apps
  2. Leave the app choice to the students
  3. Have a list of apps capable of smashing content together (See below)

Key Apps when App Smashing:


Examples I’ve used:


Comics Head + Explain Everything + Youtube = Thinglink This creates an online interactive poster that launches extra content using hotspots. i4S - APPSMASHING.002


Garageband + Soundcloud + iTunes = Student radio show Give your students a voice and experience great digital citizenship with running a radio show. i4S - APPSMASHING.003


Camera or iMovie or iMotionHD + Pages or Pic Collage = Aurasma Posters Make video creations more accessible to other students using Aurasma posters that come to life on the classroom wall ! i4S - APPSMASHING.004 For more examples check out Greg’s excellent presentation from last year’s EdTechTeacher Summit.

Watch me here chatting about App Smashing

I had the amazing privilege of being the first guest on Courtney Pepe’s show “The App Smashing Chronicles”. It was a great chat full of ideas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIiaCMjXmnE

Final thought

The challenge of app smashing keeps students on their toes and can increase collaboration between them. It adds a layer of creative problem-solving and also can lead to competition around out-smashing each other. The key when encouraging App Smashing is to make very clear the assessment criteria and ensure the students know that the final products will be judged on their effectiveness to prove their level of understanding and not just in their technical wizardry. Keep an eye on Twitter using the Hashtag #AppSmash for other ideas and apps too.

Other links:

http://www.edudemic.com/app-smashing-education/ http://edtechteacher.org/blog/?p=2191

20 thoughts on “Why App Smash?

  1. Liked your first one as I was thinking about how you might be able to do that with Comic Life!! Not as much a craze for me but the whole app environment begs one to think about how they can be integrated together. Love the post and am planning on playing with your examples.!

  2. Reblogged this on Indiana Jen and commented:
    Some more great info from iPad Wells! App Smashing is one of the most important elements not only with iPads, but all technological tools. We can no longer rely on a single app to achieve the final result!

  3. I’ve been ‘Program’ smashing for many, many years, as one program didn’t quite have all the capabilities, for example, Adobe Photoshop, Finale for music notation, Pages. Now, I’m saving myself time by doing photo work in free Apps on my iPad, then exporting to my computer.
    App Smashing is an intensive logic/problem solving routine for all to utilize the best from each app, to work out ways to import/export between apps, then, to pull it all together to share. I recommend to my students to look for key features while trying new apps, and if these key features are not present, pass over the app… so many out there.
    An older App, no longer available to download – but still supported if you have it, AppsFire, gives a percentage rating which also aids in deciding whether to initially download the app. I usually skip over apps that have a 60 – 79% rating, unless it has a specific feature I’m looking for, e.g., pdf creator with OCR capabilities.
    Thank you, Richard and your team for consistently high quality and important topics and visual presentations. I always look forward to your emails on WordPress.
    All the best,

    1. Thanks, Marshall for both your support and ideas. Totally agree it’s been going on for years but some 21c kids and teachers need reminding sometimes. 😀

  4. I just discovered your articles and I want to thank you for helping me to better understand my direction as a teacher and influencer to young people and their parents. I am an App Smasher and did not know it! It is the only way to really create and not have limitations. I looked at your list..Book Creator is super and I recommend the Puppet Pal app to use in conjunction with it. My students love it. I have them import cut outs of their own drawings and photos of themselves to be the puppets, plus their own backgrounds. I will try the others you suggested too.

    I was once a public school Art teacher prior to my 35 year career in IT. My dream was realized this past year starting a business ‘teaching’ Art on the iPad to children ages 5 to 13. I am asking myself now what is Art and is there a line where it becomes technology? Does it matter? I am blending everything currently .. clay, paint, crafts, and photography, illustration, video, etc. using the iPad.


  5. Hi, Trish,
    Wonderful journey you’ve been on throughout your varied career. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Cathy Hunt, but check her website out.
    She is an outstanding teacher, workshop leader, and passionate proponent of iPad technology and the Arts.
    It sounds like we share the same passion for the Arts. All the best in your new (ad)venture!


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