Take It Beyond "An App for That"!

Sue Fitzgerald and Kelley Valdez - Northwest ISD

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Audio Recording


audioBoom is an easy to use audio recording software with a variety of platform options. Users may sign-up for free accounts or easily upgrade to add more functionality. It can be accessed on your PC, Mac, or SmartPhone. The files can be linked or embedded as a rich media tag. The free accounts include:

  • Unlimited posts for up to 10 minutes per post.
  • Social media components with options to follow others, comment, and send direct messages.
  • Easy sharing ability to share clips with followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Click here for more information on upgrading to a Plus Account.

Click here to view an audioBoom account.

Click here for an example when using audioBoom.

Additional recommended sites:

SoundCloud - Works on iOS, Android, and web application


RecordMP3Online is a simple web-based voice recorder that does not require an account. Simply go to the site, tap the Record button, allow access to your mic, and begin talking. You can playback the file, change the filename, download it to your device, or save it directly to Dropbox.

Chris Van Allsburg 4th Grade Student Sample

Avatars (Interactive)

My Talking Avatar

Create talking or still avatars for your projects. My Talking Avatar lets you personalize a character, select a background, then record and use gestures to tell the story.

This is a great app for storytelling, as well as a great way for students to talk about a work process or a piece of work.

Chatterpix Kids

Bring any picture to life with the use of iOS App Chatterpix Kids. Take a picture (or get one from your camera roll), draw a line for the mouth, and then record.

5th Grade Example: Future Ready

4th Grade Example: Designer Plants


Create animated avatars with Tellagami, the quick and easy to use app (iOS and Android). Students can easily customize characters, change their mood, and select a setting. Then, the magic happens when you record the audio and bring the character to life.

NOTE: If you have not used Tellagami lately, you might be disappointed. Features that were formerly free now require and in-app purchase.

3rd Grade Example: Reflecting on our Work

3rd Grade Example: Narrative Writing Reflection

Kindergarten Favorite Book Example

4th Grade Texas History Example


Coding on the Elementary Level

The Hour of Code was a complete success on our campus. Do you want to see total engagement of students?

Set them free on one of the apps below and see what happens.

* Bee-Bot

* Lightbot

* Scratch Jr.

* Kodable

* The Foos

* Hopscotch

* Tynker

* Cargo Bot


Visit www.code.org for great activities and coding classes.

Elementary Student Example - Hour of Code Smore

Coding on Secondary Level

Our coding experience has occurred exclusively through our student lead Technology Club. Devices included in this program have been limited to PC and Mac devices so the resources and tools will reflect these platforms. We have not used iPads, iPhones, or Android devices. Websites that were used in the Hour of Code and student driven lessons include:

See some of our student driven lessons and projects at the following links:

Our Tech Club is a motivated group of students that work hard at marketing and growing the club. They now meet every Wed. morning in the library and the group continues to grow with many new eager members. This group has also been labeled as our "Geek Squad" and members have been sent out to help other teachers and students with technology issues. This is a 100% student driven campaign.

Collaboration Tools


Voxer is a free App that allows you to send and receive voice messages in real time. You may talk individually or with a group, text, send a text, or post a picture. You can use either iSO or Android devices. The free version allows up to 15 users in a chat while the paid version allows 500 users. This App is being used simutaniously with many popular Twitter chats.

Feedback and Formative Assessment


Flipgrid is a unique platform allowing educators the use video for feedback, collaboration, flipped classrooms and more. Grids are designed with short questions for students to add 90 second video responses. The cost of flipgrid is $65 for an annual subscription but free for students to respond. Students can work individually or collaborate on responses. Devices must have a webcam in order to use. There is a 3 week trial that educators may use before purchasing. Students may use PC, Mac, or an iPad.

An awesome flipgrid by librarian Andy Plemmons


Kahoot is an easy to use tool that allows teachers to create quizzes, discussion questions and surveys. Educators have access to sign-up for a free account and students may use a variety of devices to respond to questions. The formant is similar to a gaming show with instant feedback. Kahoots can be collaborative and easily shared on multiple social media platforms. With an account one can explore the many public Kahoots. This tools can take any boring review worksheet to another level of learning.


Padlet is a free application that can be used on multiple devices to create a virtual board that educators may use for a variety of intuitive programming. The drop and drag features allows easy to use interactive walls that can post comments, add links, and upload a variety of files. Padlet may be used as feedback, brainstorming activities, curation tool, or many other creative tasks. The walls can be easily exported, emailed, embedded, and shared to make them awesome collaboration projects.


Plickers is the a formative assessment tool that does NOT require students to have their own individual devices. In fact, the teacher is the only one that needs a device. Students use cards pre-printed with a QR like code to answer questions. Each side of the card represents a different answer choice. Teachers scan the room in real-time and see the results as they move across the room.

Standard Card Set

Large Card Set


TodaysMeet is a simple online tools that allows a live discussion. Anyone with the URL has access to type 140 characters in a specific chat stream. Participants can either participate in the same location or virtually across the globe. Users do not have to create an account to access but creating a free account allows access to more features.

SeeSaw Class

SeeSaw Class is a game changer for the elementary classroom. Imagine a kid-friendly Dropbox and a project journal/portfolio application all rolled into one. Students, yes, even your kinder babies can upload projects to their journal all on their own. Students can add live photos, videos, drawings, or upload something from the Camera Roll. Additionally, depending on the project, students can then annotate, add voice, and text to their projects. Parents can be invited to view their students work through the SeeSaw Parent App. Parents can give students feedback/comments through the parent app and teachers can provide feedback/comments through the web.

Check out this demo video to see it in action.

Additional Feedback and Formative Assessment Tools

Image Collection


Canva is a simple but versatile tool that creates designs for the web or print. Graphics may be created for blog, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, infographics, and more. Many options are available by using the free account with the ability to upgrade on indiviual designs. The designs may be shared through social media, emailed, or accessed via a hyperlink. There is an interactive social media component to follow and comment.

The 12 Days of Technology and Tips Example


Photovisi is a free easy to use collage software introduced to me by my students. The account requires a confirmed email response to activate if you want your projects saved. Otherwise, students can make designs without a login and download for later use. Once activated pick a background and start designing your collage. The collages may be shared through social media or downloaded.


PicCollage is an APP used with either an iOS or Android device. The collages may include photos, stickers, frames, and text to design amazing collages. The App allows users the ability to create, follow, share, and respond visually. Excellent tool for smashing.

Free Technology for Teachers Smashing PicCollage


Recite is an awesome tool to turn a quote into a visually appealing graphic background that can be used to level-up any presentation. The image may be shared through social media or hyperlink, emailed, or downloaded as a graphic.


Google Draw

Google Draw is part of the Google Drive applications. It has the potential to be one of the most versatile tools in Google Drive. This awesome real-time collaboration tool can serve as a drawing tool, infographic tool, concept maps, timelines, feedback tool, and more.

Poster My Wall

Create custom posters and photo collages with the web-based app Poster My Wall. It has a very easy to use editing toolbar that will not overwhelm students. Teachers can create a classroom account and then create projects for their students to complete. This allows students to login to the site using a teacher access code as a result, all projects are housed under the teacher account. This makes checking on progressing and assessing work a snap.

4th Grade Example: Chris Van Allsburg Spanish Books



Organize web resources in one easy to link location using Blendspace or use it to create a flipped lesson for students where you can embed different types of activities, handouts, and even create quizzes.

Examples of Blendspace:


Emaze is a great online presentation tool that can be easily used in place of PowerPoint or Prezi. Jazzy dimensional templates are available with 3D effects, the capability to add music and video, and the ability to share online. You can also import a PowerPoint into emaze making an awesome professional presentation.


Easily combine PDFs to create "interactive flipping books." This is a great tool for creating class books and publishing them on the web or even uploading them in Destiny.

A Unique Ranger Cookbook Example


If you like Blendspace, you will like this very similar iPad app, Popboardz. Students can create a multi media presentation using a tiled board that contains: Text only, Dropbox/Box links, Web links, and Videos/Pics.

Shadow Puppet EDU

ShadowPuppet EDU is a great iPad presentation tool. Not only is it easy to use, but it allows students to make corrections slide by slide. Best of all, it saves the finished product to the iPad's Camera Roll...no links to websites where the product is housed and no additional app for the viewer to install.

Animals Should Definitely Not Check Out a Library Book Example


Tackk is a free online tool that makes designing a single page website easy. It's very similar to smore in functionality. Users can add design, pictures, text, and customize any project. It can also be used as a platform to showcase student work, highlight an event, or add to displays.

Examples of public Tacks:


ThingLink is an interactive online tool that allows users to add multimedia content to the presentation. Users upload and tag images with rich media tags, website links, images and videos with web links, photos, texts, videos, polls, maps, social media and other great content. Thinglink may be used on a variety devices. It's easy use makes this the perfect platform on field trips, scavenger hunts, or other activities by using either iSO or Android devices. ThingLinks can be shared through social media, as a link, or embedded in a website or blog.

Examples of ThingLink projects:

Photos For Class

Photosforclass.com makes locating images and attributing their source a snap! All images are "G" rated and appropriate for the school setting. But the best part...the image citation is part of the image itself. This is one to bookmark on your computers and shortcut on your iPads.

Video Creation (Editing)

Loopster App for iPad

Loopster allows you to edit videos right on your iPhone or iPad. Use the Book icon to access the pictures and videos you have saved in your Camera Roll. You can also record your own audio and video right in the app itself. To edit a clip, you must tap it so it is highlighted in yellow. Position it on the timeline so the red dotted line is at the point in the clip that needs to be edited. Then drag your finger down the red line. Finally, use the yellow grips to resize the clip.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As you add videos to your workspace, they are placed in reverse order, so make sure that you start from the end and work backwards as you add the clips to the timeline.

5th Grade Booktalk


Splice is a great iPad app to use if you just need to simply merge multiple videos or pictures into one presentation. Simple transitions can be added to separate your clips and a title slide can be added as well.

The Most Important Thing About Colleges and Universities 5th Grade Example

Video Toolbox

Video Toolbox is a newly discovered app that really puts a multitude of video editing features all in one place. You can do simple editing, combining of videos, turn a set of pictures into a video, add effects, or even get a little more complex with editing segments and piecing them parts back together. Definitely one to check out!

Just for Fun!

Heads Up!

Heads Up! is an iOS and Android app ($0.99) that would be great to use with students for review purposes - for and additional $0.99 you can "Build Your Own Deck" of cards. This would be a great way to review vocabulary and concepts with your students.

See how it works on The Ellen Show.

Kelley Valdez, Library Media Specialist

I am an elementary Library Media Specialist, Computer Technology Liaison, and lead librarian in Northwest Independent School District. This is my 17th year in education and my 8th year in the library.

Sue Fitzgerald, Library Media Specialist

I am a secondary Library Media Specialist and Computer Technology Liaison (CTL) in the Northwest Independent School District. This is my 34th year as an educator with the past 25 years as a secondary librarian in both Texas and South Carolina. As a passionate educator and co-moderator of #TXLChat, I am always searching for new ideas, resources, and programming through my vast Personal Learning Network.