Tag Archives: technology enthusiasts

Fifth Wall: an App With a Myriad of Applications

Name of the application: Fifth Wall

About the app:
Fifth Wall is an app designed specifically for iPads that explores possible connections between choreography and technology. The app is a platform in which four to five squares, that feature a “trapped dancer,” can be mixed. There are three basic ways to combine the screens from which users then can rearrange new compositions. Fifth Wall was produced by 2wice Arts Foundation in 2012, and costs $0.99 .

Possible classroom applications:
I used Fifth Wall during a unit that focus on Laban concepts of space. Many students found the app fun! That said, Fifth Wall will hopefully draw the class into the academically drier concepts of Laban Movement Analysis. The app can also be applied to introduce movement devising. I have used this app, asking students to create a movement phrase on the floor based on the dance offered in the app. The assignment was successful, but feel this mainly happened because students were proficient in devising movement.

Pros:
The app fun to use, and will easily pull in your students. It’s a great way to trick your class into devising movement, even when they’re new to this.

Cons:
Fifth Wall is hard to use on smaller devices, and in order for assignments to stay student-centered, you need a few devices to make it work. Since the app is $0.99, it’s difficult to ask students to download the app, and spend their money. Not to mention, if they have smart phones, their parents or caretakers will most likely will have to pay. Moreover, creating compositions is extremely difficult on smaller devices, since you have to tap outside of the boxes to see the menu bar. This also has proven to be problematic on the iPad for elementary school students with small motor skill challenges.

Rating:
2.5 out of 5

Easy-To-Use Common Core State Standards App!

As public school educators we all have to adhere to the Common Core State Standards, and matching your lesson plan to a corresponding standard can sometimes feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

I have looked at a myriad of Common Core State Standard apps, and found that CommonCore   designed for iPad and iPhone platforms, is the most user-friendly of them all. Not only does the (free) app include the traditional and integrated Mathematics and Language Arts, but it also contains the newer History/ Social Studies and Science & Technical Subjects standards. No other app does so!

The application designers, MasteryConnect, have done a great job here, and the most impressive element is the search engine that allows you to type in any key words that might help align your unit with the standard. Also, the additional resources for Math, ELA, as well as ELL and SPED application are unparalleled. There is no easier way to link to the CCSS, since it’s free and usable while offline.

I must note that the iPad version of the app is more user-friendly than the iPhone version. When looking at the Standards on the iPhone you don’t have a good overview on the iPhone. Also, the resources are not available online, which can be a challenge when you’re on the go and wish to look at these materials.

Whenever I create my lesson plans, I always have this app at hand. It has helped me save time and energy though using the nifty search engine. Download it now, and use the time saved by using this A+ (5 out of 5 stars) app to sharpen your pencils or ponder over color-coordinating your classroom materials!

Spotlight on ArtsEdTech & Jessica Wilt

On this #TechTuesday, we celebrate Jessica Wilt, an innovator in the arts, technology, and community building!

Jessica.Wilt

Jessica is a dancer, arts education advocate, and the founder of ArtsEdTechNYC, “a group for artists and performing artists, educators in K-12 and higher ed, teaching artists, arts & culture or recreational organizations, technology enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in the intersection of the arts with education and technology.”

Through monthly #ArtsEdTech Tuesday gatherings (the first Tuesday of each month at the Centre for Social Innovation) and #ArtsEdTech Thursdays (a moderated panel series at Apple SoHo), ArtsEdTechNYC has been cultivating a community of forward-thinking arts educators to spark conversation, share ideas, and help nurture the growing connections between the arts and technology.

In her recent feature in the New Learning Times, Jessica discussed her vision for the group: “I launched ArtsEdTechNYC a year ago as a platform for people to network, exchange ideas and learn from others who are using technology in successful, meaningful ways with arts education being the anchor. I continue to be inspired by the connections that are being made, the stories that are being shared, and hope the future of ArtsEdTech becomes a virtual platform for those in the arts, education, and tech fields to collaborate and learn from each other, especially teaching best practices and professional development modeling.”

We applaud Jessica for her work within the New York City arts community and encourage all of you to join the ArtsEdTech Meetup Group for up-to-date information on their latest events.

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Jessica Wilt can be found on the web at www.jessicawilt.com and @JessicaLWilt

ArtsEdTech NYC can be found at www.artsedtechnyc.com,  @ArtsEdTechNYCFacebook, and their Meetup Group