01 Jun 2011
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HOT APPS for production: Raise the Curtain and Raise the Bar

Just experienced a presentation with Marco Torres (check out his alaslearns site) and felt inspired all over again. He shared some great apps for research, mind-mapping, and note-taking. Given some time to explore apps, I found some additional resources for producing & directing productions from the iPad. Let the show begin! (all apps listed are free unless otherwise stated)

I have been toying for some time on creating a lesson around modern day Shakespearean references found in music. I came across Sock Puppets today and absolutely fell in love. I decided to use it as the media for this project. (Notes about Sock Puppets: I love the sock puppets and backgrounds and the app is extremely easy to use. The only downside(s) are you can only record a 30 second show, if you talk too fast without pauses puppets will not open and close their mouths normally, and the upload to YouTube sometimes takes awhile. With in-app purchase, you have the ability to import your own photos as backgrounds, extend your recording time, and choose from more socks & props.) Found Sock Tube Presents in iTunes: these are vodcast parodies of feature films. Great inspiration and some fabulous ideas for how to handle props and staging if students choose to videotape their own socks vs. using the app – please view prior to showing to students to ensure content is appropriate as some tubes contain adult & mature content.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A76t_vvQ-tE&w=425&h=349]

As mentioned in Puppet Pals lesson, there is a process to creating a final product. Below I have highlighted apps for each stage of the process. Also, consider the reason for the production: are you a teacher creating content for students or are you looking for a students centered project based on challenges, big ideas, and essential questions?

Research: While not all projects will necessitate research, some will require at least some background information. Check out some of these fantastic resources:

Qwiki Shakespeare

View William Shakespeare and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Mind-Mapping & Note-taking: The first thing a student will want to do before creating a show is to get their thoughts on paper. Here are some great apps for mind-mapping:

SimpleMind+ Shakespeare planning
Ophelia Character Trait Popplet (Image created w/ Qvik Sketch)
Storyboarding & Scripts: Now you will want to make sure you have a solid script and a storyboard:
Romeo & Juliet: WordFoto
  • Storyboard Composer (paid but great ratings – for more professional works)
  • Writer’s Studio (actually creates a book – paid)
  • Qvik Sketch: Consider drawing your own characters using Qvik Sketch or Quik Sketch Pro (paid) or Fountain Pen Pro (free) and adding character traits using Word Foto.
  • Acting & Practice Your Lines: No one wants an actor that hasn’t rehearsed unless you are practicing improv (and even that takes training). Check out some of these apps for learning your lines:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzowz4u7Ksg&w=425&h=349]

    Production: How will you produce and what media will you use?
    Submission: How will students submit their projects? If they are creating a video, these can be uploaded to You Tube and then embedded in a teacher website or blog. If students would like to submit images, scripts, presentations, and videos to one place, consider using an app:
    • Dropbox: You can create a Public Folder and still keep your shared files visible
    • iFiles: You can create documents with voice recordings too (this one is paid)
    • MobileMe iDisk: This will work with Mac accounts

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwhYjXb7f20&w=425&h=349]

    All Shakespeare info compiled from Wikipedia, Blurtit, Brandon Powell, & Yahoo Answers
    Consider extending the Shakespeare activity by asking the question, “How has Shakespeare influenced modern day society?”. Students can extend the web with more topics and descriptions:
    • Add more information about Shakespeare
    • Locate other Movie adaptations (compare & contrast)
    • Identify what play each of the listed movies is an adaptation of
    • Find more songs that have Shakespeare references
    • Identify the line in each of the songs listed that references Shakespeare and what play it originates from
    • Create a playlist for a Shakespeare act (explain why each song is relevant: mood, imagery, character traits, allusion, quotes, etc…)
    • Write a letter as if you were another Shakespearean character inquiring help or answers from Juliet (ala The Juliet Club in Verona). Write back some sage advice from Juliet.


    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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    If you don’t have an iPad, then you don’t have an iPad…. BUT you do have access to some wonderful Web 2.0 tools for production. Consider exploring Web 2.0 tools that utilize cartoons, animation, and/or movie-making.