Year: 2021

The Easiest No-coding Way to Build an Education App

What could be more organic during Hour of Code than creating your own app? There are a lot of ways to do that, often expensive, time-consuming, and coding-intensive. There’s a new online option available that’s none of those. In fact, it’s intuitive, uses tools you already know, and–dare I say?–fun. Check out Jotform Apps:

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You may know Jotform as one of the most popular tools in the form builder category, recognized for its versatility, ease-of-use, and sophistication in what could otherwise be the complicated process of collecting and analyzing data. Jotform works on all platforms (including tablets, desktop computers, and smartphones) and can be shared via a link, QR Code, and embed (as well as other options).

Over the past several years, JotForm has released many apps designed to simplify and automate teaching’s more mundane tasks (Smart PDF Forms, a PDF Editor, Cards, Tables, Approvals, and Reports–click for my reviews).  I’m excited to partner with them for their latest release, Jotform Apps.

Jotform Apps is a web-based tool that enables you to create a professional-looking cross-platform app quickly and with no knowledge of coding. It can include forms, links, widgets, text, images, videos, a photo gallery, PDFs, calendars, maps, interactive pieces, and more. Thanks to drag-and-drop modality, it can be customized to your needs and branded to fit your class or school. Once you’ve completed the app, it can be downloaded onto any smartphone, tablet, or computer, shared to your social media, or pushed out via a link or QR code.

Best of all, Jotform Apps is free with any JotForm account.

If you already have a Jotform account, you will find Jotform Apps in the grid on the upper left corner where you find your other Jotform tools–My Forms, My Tables, My Reports, My Approvals. It has been automatically added for you–no need to do anything. If you don’t have an account, click here and sign up for free.

Creating an app is as simple as three easy steps:

You can start from scratch or pick from over 200 thematic templates organized by category and topic. Here are some of the education selections:

Once you select your layout, the app can be personalized with a massive number of elements including forms, links, buttons, maps, reports, and image sliders. Most allow for additional tweaking such as these below:

Education templates include a parent portal, request forms for tutoring, classroom management, class sign-up forms, a reading log, teacher observations, homework management, and more. Here’s a Classroom Management app I created in about ten minutes (well, maybe a few minutes more because I checked out most of the widgets):

When done, you can share the link or publish a QR code for easy access:

QR Code for Classroom Management App

The web offers a wide variety of app builders so why choose this one from Jotform? Most teachers say it is the multitude of options and features. Here are the most popular ones:

  1. It’s drag-and-drop, a process you’re familiar with that means no coding required.
  2. Over 200 Jotform Apps templates are available–all you do is replace the placesavers with your pieces.
  3. It includes popular elements that supply most of what you want in an education app.
  4. Besides the elements, there are over seventy additional widgets that provide more flexibility to meet your needs–options like videos, social media links, PDFs, tables, reports, and QR codes.
  5. Templates are customizable which makes building an app for your specific purpose easy.
  6. You can create an app with a form you’ve already created in Jotform.
  7. Multiple pages are easy to add.
  8. You can receive payments from any device. This is great for class registrations, summer programs, afterschool classes, tutoring, and much more.

There are so many ways Jotform Apps can streamline school activities. Here are some favorites, many of them easily created with the free templates on the Jotform Apps website:

To stay in touch with parents–provide them with an easy place to find all of the important information, forms, links, resources they’ll require during the school year

To sign parents up for conferences–schedule yearly parent-teacher or individual meetings

For tutoring–track students involved in afterschool tutoring, their schedules, requests, and more

For school scheduling–create a personalized schedule of classes, sports, group meetings, and more; great for students

For classroom management–track classroom attendance, report incidents, monitor student progress, and more

For a reading Log–track student reading during the school year either in-class or for fun; monitor and review assigned reading, take questions; it even includes a digital signature form for parent sign off 

For teacher observations–make it easy to evaluate teachers, mentor, and provide feedback 

To manage homework–submit homework, upload documents, and see which assignments may be missing

Respond to student help requests–request help, schedule time, explain what is needed, and more

Place QR codes outside the classroom when class may be in session, completed for the day, or the teacher isn’t available–a quick way for parents to sign up for conferences, students for tutoring, helpers for class events, and more

Curious? Here’s an under-five-minute video:

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Hard to believe? Check out Jotform Apps to create a customized app that requires no coding or prior experience. Find out what everyone is talking about.

–JotForm is an AATT partner but the opinions are my own.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Coding Websites/Webtools by Grade

 

Over the next week, I’ll share ideas that will get you ready for your Hour of Code. This includes (links won’t work until the articles are posted):

  1. Hour of Code? Here’s why you should participate
  2. Long list of websites by grade
  3. 15 Unusual Projects
  4. The Easiest No-coding Way to Build an Education App

This is a long list of online activities related to coding and programming. It is updated once a year so I apologize in advance for any dead links. At any time during the year, click to take you to the master list.

Program on computers, iPads, laptops–whatever works, whatever age. I’ll start this list with web-based options, by grade level and then continue with a mash-up:

Kindergarten

1st grade

2nd grade

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade

MS

HS

Build an App

  1. Apps Geyser
  2. App Inventor–build Android apps on a smartphones; from MIT
  3. Game Salad
  4. Glide–create an app from a spreadsheet
  5. Jotform App Builder
  6. Metaverse–create apps using Metaverse’s AR platform
  7. Thunkable

Coding Curriculum

  1. C-STEM Studio–download to teach computers, science, technology, engineering and math with robotics
  2. Code Academy
  3. Coursera
  4. Everyone Can Code–from Apple
  5. Free Code Camp
  6. Google Computer Science for High School–free workshops (with application) for K-12 teachers
  7. Learn to Code (for free)
  8. PluralSight
  9. Ted-ED Think Like A Coder–a 10-episode cartoon-based series to teach kids about coding in a game format
  10. Tree House

Hour of Code

Miscellaneous

  1. Animatron–design and publish animated and interactive content that plays everywhere, from desktop computers to mobile devices.
  2. Basics of Coding–from AT&T
  3. BeeBop–based on the Beebop floor robot–free
  4. BotLogic–great for Kindergarten and youngers
  5. BrainPop coding games
  6. Build a website–a guide
  7. Cargo-Bot—logic iPad gamecoding
  8. Cato’s Hike (K+)
  9. Chrome Experiments–geeky experimentation with programming
  10. Codea (Perfect for Intermediate+)
  11. Code.org–learn to code; with teacher accounts, no student emails required (join with Join code)
  12. Codespace–coding curriculum
  13. Daisy the Dinosaur—intro to programming
  14. Edabit–learn to code with interactive challenges
  15. Foos–app or desktop; K-1
  16. Grasshopper–coding app for beginners with lesson tutorials; intuitive
  17. Hopscotch (for up to intermediate–more complicated that Kodable)
  18. Hummingbird Robotics
  19. I like programming video
  20. Kodable-great for K-2–learn to code before you can read
  21. Kodu—game programming
  22. KOOV–by Sony Education
  23. Learn to code
  24. LightBot Jr.–programming for six-year olds
  25. Lightbot–solving puzzles with programming; MS
  26. Minecraft coding mod
  27. Move the Turtle–programming via iPad for middle school
  28. Osmo Coding--a purchased game system to teach coding
  29. Pencil Code
  30. Pyonkee–free, a little glitchy
  31. Robby Leonardi–programmer–a game played about programming in the style of Mario
  32. Roboblockly–to teach coding and math, from UCDavis
  33. ScratchJr--for ages 5-7
  34. Stencyl–build games without coding with downloaded software
  35. Stickman–draw a stick figure and the site animates it
  36. Swift Playground–from Apple, includes lessons and challenges designed to teach kids to code
  37. Symbaloo collection for coding
  38. TED Talk on young programmers
  39. Which Language Should You Learn to Code–an infographic of options

Robotics

  1. C-STEM Studio
  2. Cue–from Wonder Workshop
  3. Dash and Dot — from Wonder Workshop–younger thinkers
  4. Drones
  5. Mebo
  6. Robot Don
  7. Sphero

Scratch

Click for an Hour of Code lesson plan bundle (K-8).

Click for Robotics 101 lesson plan.

Windows apps

  1. CodeWriter 
  2. HTML Programs

More on Hour of Code

6 Unplugged Activities for Hour of Code

Build Your Own Apps

Build Websites

Hour of Code–Is it the right choice?

Kid-created Games That Teach

Looking for a Class Robot? Try Robo Wunderkind

Minecraft Review

PrimoToys–unplugged programming for youngers

Root Robotics–Great Way to Extend Hour of Code

Scratch Jr.

Should Coding be a Part of the Modern School’s Curriculum?

Websites and Apps to Support Hour of Code

Why Should Students Learn Computer Science? A Teacher’s Perspective

Wonder Workshop’s Amazing Dash

@CSEdWeek #hourofcode #hoc #edtech


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

#1 Skill to Teach–Protect Student Privacy

I’ve written a lot about the importance of teaching students to protect their online privacy. Yes, we must do what we can on the campus but the real impact will come from students taking care of themselves. District Administration has a great article on this topic. See what you think:

9 ways school leaders can protect privacy while protecting kids online

Matt Zalaznick

Monitoring is not quite the right word to describe the responsibility educators have when thinking about students’ online activity outside of school hours, a cyberbullying expert says.

Read on…

Ask a Tech Teacher has several articles you will enjoy on this same topic:

6 Ways Teacher-authors Protect Their Online Privacy

Tech Tip #44: Computer Safety

5 (free) Security Posters for Tech Ed

(more…)

Happy Thanksgiving Week to All!

I’m taking next week off. I’ll be preparing for my daughter’s holiday visit from her home in DC and my son who’s visiting virtually from Okinawa Japan. I am so excited to see both of them!

I’ll be back November 29th. Any emergencies–drop me a line at askatechteacher@gmail.com.

http://eepurl.com/chNlYb


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

16 Sites, 3 Apps, 2 Projects for Thanksgiving

Need a few websites and apps to fill in sponge time? Here are Thanksgiving websites that will keep students busy and still teach them:

  1. Berenstein Bears Give Thanks (app)
  2. Canadian Thanksgiving
  3. Online/Offline Thanksgiving activities
  4. Plimoth Plantation–a field trip of a Pilgrim’s life. Included on this real-life site is a video of the Pilgrim’s crossing to the New World.
  5. Thanksgiving edu-websites–CybraryMan
  6. Thanksgiving Games
  7. Thanksgiving games and puzzles
  8. Thanksgiving games–Quia
  9. Thanksgiving information–history, more
  10. Thanksgiving Jigsaw
  11. Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
  12. Thanksgiving video–Brainpop
  13. Thanksgiving Wordsearch
  14. The First Thanksgiving
  15. Turkey Templates — activities in Google Slides

If you’re an iPad school, try one of these:

  1. Berenstein Bears Give Thanks
  2. Primary Games–games, coloring books, more
  3. Thanksgiving coloring book

If you’re looking for projects, you’ll find two on Ask a Tech Teacher:

  1. A Holiday Card
  2. A Holiday Flier

For more, click here:

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