31 Jul 2013
Comments: 7

App Synergy: The Art Form of App-Smashing

If you have been trolling the net (pun intended if you read my last post) for more app-smashing antics… you simply must check out this video from Kris Kling, fellow Starbucks junkie and 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator (@misterkling).

The video below smashes the apps Tellagami, Explain Everything, and iMovie to create a narrated treat and includes some ideas for composing your own logo which goes hand in hand with a recent post, A Brand Called Me, which reveals an amazing iTunes U course to support students in discovering their own personal brand.

Intro to App-Smashing from misterkling on Vimeo.
An introduction to the concept of app-smashing, a technique coined and honed by Greg Kulowiec that uses multiple apps to complete a project. http://edtechteacher.org/blog/2013/02/app-smashing-from-greg/ — http://techchef4u.com/tag/app-smashing/

The iPad by design is a personal device that can create a very unique learning perspective if students are allowed to explore and are not inhibited by a one-app-fits-all philosophy. One wouldn’t limit an art student to a monochrome palette and limited media and tools. So why would we hand over a device that offers limitless potential to a student and shackle their creativity to one app?

I venture to kick app-smashing up a notch. What if we assume that app-smashing could indeed be an art form if achieved in a thoughtful manner? The term app synergy appeared in the App Synergy column of App Advice (Apps Gone Free) as early as April 2012.

Lenny Liang said it best:

“A single app can be powerful. Many apps, working together, can be transformative. It is sometimes difficult to perform the task you want using only one app. It’s often necessary to settle for the best an app can give, even if it’s not exactly what you need. App synergy overcomes those limitations by transcending the limits of single apps, creating results that no one app could achieve alone.”

The image below is an app-smash of Wordflex Touch Dictionary, Textagon Word Art Generator, Snapseed, Paint FX, and PhotoToaster.

The Origin of App Synergy
Lenny Liang: The Origin of App Synergy

Since the phrase app synergy app-tly app-lies to our app-lication of apps, I thought I would create a concise definition.

App Synergy: the transformative art form of smashing and assembling apps to form a cohesive creation which ultimately holds more substance and purpose than the sum of its individual app elements.

As Tellagami was showcased here today, I wanted to share a few more examples of how the app can be smashed with other apps to create a detailed and thoughtful learning project.

Technology Tailgate shares a 5th grade assignment that smashes WordFoto, Phoster, and Tellagami to teach findings about scientists.

Karen Ogen shares a 1st grade assignment that smashes the Tellagami and iMovie (Karen compiled the videos using Windows Movie Maker but iMovie could achieve the same result) to teach about the sun and moon. While the backgrounds were clearly hand drawn and then captured using the iPad camera, the same activity could be recreated with students drawings using any sketching app.

Laura Chaffey’s class shares one of my favorite purposeful app-smashing projects. Her  primary students composed a persuasive piece depicting why they would be a good candidate to be recruited for Mars One. The apps smashed were the camera, Google Earth, Tellagami, and iMovie.

Laura even went so far as to create a 3 page PDF to provide lesson ideas for integrating Tellagami and even a tutorial.

Laura Chaffey's 3 Page Download: Resources and Tutorial
Laura Chaffey’s 3 Page Download: Resources and Tutorial

Hungry for more App-Smashing? Inspired to achieve App-Synergy? Check out the Definitive App-Smasher’s Guide by Miguel Guhlin here.


TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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