Trying Something New — March Appness

We had a LONG stretch of time from Winter Break until Easter vacation.   And I did not want our kids becoming weary and I needed something to kickstart my ho-hum-possibility as well.

Now, in no way am I a sports person.  I like to watch the Olympics, Superbowl, the World Series, Golf, and sometimes Wimbledon.    I used to be a Dodger fan in the 70’s — and now am a Cubs fan (though I could not tell you 1 players name) — I just need to admit, not a sports kinda gal.

But I knew there was this thing with basketball and colleges in March (go ahead and be shocked) — and decided that I would springboard off of that for a idea to try with my students.

And thus began — March Appness.

I built a mockup bracket — no measuring so that’s why it didn’t line up perfectly — but I was creative.

Then came the decisions of what apps.

I put them into categories.
For fun, we had Hoopa City 1 VS Hoopa City 2.
For problem solving, we had Zoombini’s VS Stack the States.
For coding, we had lightbot VS kodable.
For robots, Dash VS Sphero.
For math, we had Monster Math VS MathSeed.
For video, we have Discovery Education VS BrainPop.
For spreadsheets, we had Numbers VS Excel.
For writing, we had Book Creator VS Comic Life 3.

I found all the app icons and created circles for each and placed them on the board and introduced it to the students the first week of March.

Since we had A LOT of other stuff to do as well….participating in March Appness was an extra option.   So one day, you might come into the lab and one group was working on a slide show, someone might be typing, a few might be blogging, some were march apping, and others might be coding or 3D printing.

March was one of the most ECLECTIC months ever in the computer lab.

Not every student participated with every app.  But we had enough participation in each to get a true showing of votes.

I knew from the get-go that Hoopa City would be in the finals — just was not sure if it would be #1 or #2.   (it is a class favorite).   I was suprised how CLOSE the vote was for Stack the States vs Zoombini’s.  (Stack the States lost by only 2 votes.)  Brain Pop and Discovery were also neck and neck.   Younger kids love BP, olders seem to prefer Discovery.   Both like extra options both BP and Discovery bring.  Kodable was the past favorite — but we had some logon issues with it that did not occur with Lightbot — so Lightbot won mostly because of lack of frustration.   (But wow, I love to watch my kids code and watch them help each other code!)

So, on Monday, when the students enter the lab — I will have updated the board and they will see the final winner of March Appness.   There will be no trophy, no huge fanfare, no parade…but I know all the students will enjoy knowing the winner & I know they all learned a lot in creative and unique ways.


Lightbot vs Hoopa City 2 — who do you think won?

Jen

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