Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stuck on Stick Around

On December 13, 2013 +Tony Vincent came out with a new app called +Stick Around

I love it and I think it has tremendous potential!  Essentially the app allows you to create "puzzles" to share out to your students.  These puzzles can be anything you can think of and can tie to any curriculum there is within our schools, from foreign language in high school to Dr. Suess in grade school.  Math, Science, Social Studies, Grammar, Health, Reading, and Words their Way in my district are areas of curriculum that we are tieing puzzles to which are all easily created, shared, and learned.

+Tony Vincent of course is amazing and has wonderful resources available for you to learn up on his new app Stick Around.  I would start with his website from there you can click on the Stick Around icon and go to this page loaded with video tutorials, blog, user guide, and other great resources.

Watch this great 1:39 trailer via Vimeo on Stick Around!

In my district we have our #ipadacademy which is comprised of 38 teachers and classrooms using 1:1 ipads with their students!

We have many of those 38 classrooms using the Stick Around App and they love it!  The possibilities are truly endless with what a teacher could create for his or her classroom to drive home a concept the students need to learn, to review concepts, to challenge them, quiz them, or to just plain have FUN!  These puzzles can easily be considered formative assessments.

Teachers in our #ipadacademy are creating all sorts of puzzles on a variety of things and here is perhaps where the greatest beauty of Stick Around occurs in my opinion.
As you can see above and to the right, we created a Shared Google Drive Folder and broke it down by grade level and then within the grade level broke it down by subject or content area.  The greatness then occurs because the folder is shared to everyone and that means everyone can access everyone else's puzzles whenever they want.  They can also look through other grade levels to get ideas!  So in our case within the #ipadacademy we have teachers sprinkled all over the district.  Let's take 4th grade for example, there are four 4th grade teachers at three different buildings.  One of those teachers could create a puzzle one morning for Math because they were inspired to do so and the moment they drop the .stickaround file / puzzle into the Math shared Google Drive folder the others would immediately have access to it and be able to copy it and drop it to their students in a matter of a few taps or clicks.

Student created Math puzzle
So let's discuss the student aspect of this.  I have coached our teachers to use shared folders in Google Drive with their students as well.  Most of the teachers I work with have used gClassFolders for this process.  gClassFolders does an amazing job of creating View and Edit folders for all of your students really quickly with limited work.  Watch this great tutorial by my #nebedu friend Mickie Mueller to see what it can do!  It is seriously amazing and worth learning if you are a heavy Google Drive user with students like we are.

Student created Science puzzle
Once students have those folders shared with them in Google Drive they need to add those folders to their Drive by selecting them and choosing "add to my drive" so they can easily access the puzzles that are shared with them from the teachers.  Also, more importantly, we have found this to be the easiest way to have kids share the puzzles they have proudly created to their classmates.  Trust me when I say the kids will love creating puzzles and the cool thing is some of your students may come up with ideas / puzzles you did not even think of and then it very well may become the featured puzzle to drive home a concept within your curriculum.

Student created Math puzzle
There is so much pride taken by students in creating their puzzles and the other interesting part of this is the fact that kids are taking the time to create these puzzles is in its own way them learning the concepts.  The fact that they have to think about the right and wrong answers of a puzzle they are creating really helps them retain the concepts.  Once they start sharing their puzzles on a given concept to the shared Google Drive folders their classmates have even more practice happens on concepts as they "play" each others puzzles.  It's a WIN WIN!  or perhaps an #eduwin!!  You can't go wrong with this app!!

Our #ipadacademy Google Hangout with Tony!

Another amazing thing about Stick Around is Tony Vincent!  Tony and his team are approachable and willing to listen to the suggestions of educators and our students.  App improvements are continuing to come out and Tony and Stick Around are approachable on Twitter and Google Plus.  Read up here on how our #ipadacademy connected with Tony via Google Hangout!

Another great resource to check out is this wikispace where teachers can share and steal other puzzle ideas to and from:
Stick Around is on Pinterest too!
Like them on Facebook!

Quite simply I am STUCK ON STICK AROUND because of its capabilities, its ease of use, and its versatility with Google Drive.  I highly recommend you check it out in the APP Store near you!