Guest Blog Post: Sketchnoting with Chromebooks and AWW app

I am a  Dynamic Learning Project Coach at Parkhill Junior High in Richardson, TX, a one to one campus, using HP touchscreen Chromebooks. I was introduced to AWW app, along with the idea of sketchnoting at the Dynamic Learning Training at Google headquarters this summer. I couldn’t wait to introduce the idea of sketchnoting, using AWW app on Chromebooks to our teachers!  We introduced this strategy to our 7th grade language arts teacher.  They used AWW app to sketchnote while reading a short story.    

I started to write a long blog about what the teachers and I liked about  sketchnoting with AWW app, but then realized we weren’t the voices you needed to hear! Instead, we asked our students, your primary audience, to give their feedback…so here it is what they had to say!

“In class, we have been using AWW App a lot! We used it to take notes on a book we were reading in class, and really enjoyed using it! I personally liked how you could type, draw, and insert pictures too!”

“I like that the program is a full control creative software that allows you to put exactly what your mind creates into something you can see with your bare eyes. It’s an ingenious idea that could revolutionize digital note taking forever!”

“The benefits of the application are that you can customize your screen and draw freely with the push of a button, which separates it from stereotypical document creators such as Microsoft Word. You can take notes more creatively and freely.”

“ Your website is wonderful, I love every little thing at you can do. I’m an artistic person, so I love the draw feature. It’s not ‘chunky’ like some drawing websites, and I’m really happy with it.. I also love how you can change the colors of the text, as well as the size.”

sketchnoting in class with AWW app

We also used AWW app in Orchestra class. We had students draw a musical symbol, and then download the picture to post this padlet.  We would have loved to draw directly onto awwapp, but this teacher was using the free version of AWW app.  After downloading, students decided how their symbol affected music (style, volume, etc), and posted in the correct column.  Our students LOVED being able to create and draw via AWW app, and said that these were their favorite aspects of the app:

  • It was very intuitive
  • I liked that you could download your drawing.
  • I love drawing in awwapp because it has changing color and and eraser.
  • they way you get to express yourself

We also asked our students what they thought could be improved on AWW app.  They said:

“First, when using the eraser i have no idea of what I am erasing until it is gone. I think it would be a good idea if you highlighted the outline of the eraser  of the entire eraser it self.”

“As an experienced beta tester for indie/small devs (as well as an amateur dev myself) I can see the problems my peeve is the hairballs in the script.The panning tool feels redundant, as well as the disappearing text boxes with clicking the outline, overall I believe they are small but very annoying.”

“I think it would be cool if you were able to select your drawing and move it/ shrink it.”

“I was having trouble finding the spell check. You could try to make it its own tab.”

“Sometimes, when I have written a paragraph, I accidentally click somewhere else, making the ‘type here’ thing pop up. I then press the undo button on instinct, to get rid of the ‘type here’, but it deletes my paragraph I wrote instead. So it would be helpful if you added a button that undid your undo. I think it would also be cool if you could change the font of the text, even to some other simple one like comic sans or Verdana or Raleway (from google docs)”

sketchnoting in class with AWW app

We introduced AWW app to our students before version 3, but had them check it out!  Here’s what they enjoyed about the update:

“I enjoy the fact that you can now save the awwapp that does help a great deal more than you may know.”

“the post-it note”

Our teachers were able to use AWW app to enhance lessons that have been done the same way for awhile.  By integrating  your app  students are now able learn and contribute in the way that makes sense to them, either by drawing, typing, writing, or inserting pictures.  Being able to change a task that was previously disengaging to interactive and enjoyable is a huge win for us.  Thank you for creating this app, we can’t wait to use it in more of our classes!

Guest Blog Post: Creating Instructional Math Videos With AWW & Screencastify

Fourth-grade students in Ms. Doroodchi’s math class at Beck Elementary were recently given the challenge of creating instructional videos for their peers and future fourth graders. With their recent studies on division and understanding remainders, the problem-solving block transformed into a time of creating and explaining their thinking. To say they were excited about the task would be an understatement.

Visualizing Math Problems With AWW

Initially, students worked in groups and were tasked with writing and solving original word problems that would require the use of their division skills. The group captain was responsible for composing the word problem, while other group members solved the problem and analyzed the remainder.

In preparation for making the instructional video, students were introduced to Aww App. The digital whiteboard allowed students the opportunity to practice solving problems on their Chromebook. The first day students spent time simply exploring Aww App and the available tools.

The initial problems solved were generated by the teacher and students used applicable tools to solve the problem and justify their thinking. Aww App provides students with the ability to add text, images, and their own annotations with drawing and shape tools. Students utilized different tools throughout their exploration depending on need.

Visualizing Math Problems with AWWAPP
Visualizing Math Problems with AWW. Courtesy of Kelli Sanders

Making Instructional Math Videos with Screencastify

Screencastify was used to create the final recording of their instructional video. Used in conjunction with Aww App, students were able to share their word problem and show the steps necessary for solving the problem all while explaining and justifying themselves verbally along the way. Sophia was especially excited about the project saying:

I love how easy it is to record and share. Instead of sharing your work in front of the class with your math journal, you have your work ready to be shown on the big screen”.

Making Instructional Videos with Screencastify. Courtesy of Kelli Sanders

This project provided students with the opportunity to demonstrate several ISTE Standards for Students. The empowered learner “leverages technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals”. Additionally, the creative and global communicator strands were addressed as students published content for an intended audience and collaborated within groups in their classroom.

 

Sketchnoting in the Classroom with AWW

Sketchnoting is really a buzzword these days. You cannot surf a web without stumbling upon a blog post or guide introducing sketchnoting skills, sketchnoting for beginners, sketchnoting resources… And we can’t blame them – sketchnoting is a really great way to enhance your student’s creativity, information retaining and interaction in the classroom. AWW app can help you achieve that.

Why Sketchnoting?

There is a number of reasons why your kids should start making their sketches in the classroom. Sketchnoting is the most creative and individual learning method for kids and is more personal than a classic note taking.

Kids memorize better while taking visual notes. The visual cues in sketchnotes enhance their recall process. When kids are sketching, they are basically organizing information visually and arranging it in a hierarchy. This spatial arrangement of information provides a structural framework for the content.

Kids can arrange information the way that best suits their learning habits and abilities.  Each student has a particular style to portray his or her knowledge of the topic. Sketchnoting allows them to express their style and release their creativity.

Kids are developing listening, organizing and summarizing skills while sketchnoting. Unlike classical note taking, sketchnoting is a higher order process of capturing information. It requires a combination of listening, thinking, visualizing and drawing at the same time.

It’s fun so kids stay focused and engaged with lessons. Try it out in your classroom and watch your kids draw and create their sketches! They will absolutely love it!

4 Components of Sketchnoting

There are four main components of sketchnoting.

  1. Text
  2. Images
  3. Frames/ Containers
  4. Connectors

4 Elements of Sketchnoting

Boost your Sketchnoting with AWW

  • No need for pencil or notebook

With AWW your kids won’t need pencils or notebooks to start making awesome sketches. The only thing they’re going to need is their own mobile phone or a tablet provided by your school.

  • Share your work with the world

There are few things that give so much pleasure like an admiration you get for your work. Motivate your students to master the art of sketchnoting and let them share their sketchnotes with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Include friends

Have your students invite other classmates to join their boards to make a collaborative sketch. Students can use it outside the classroom as a fun and easy learning method for study groups.

  • Drawing options at a glance 

Make your drawing as easy as possible and use AWW advanced tools. Make a circle, rectangle or line with a tap on the board. Type in the text or erase it without hassle. Add files and draw sketches on the top of them. Upload your presentations or images and make your sketches even more visual. Save your sketch and add a missing drawing afterward with AWW templates.

  • Have unlimited canvas

A classic notebook is limited with a size of the page. With AWW you can expand your canvas as much as you need. You can even add additional pages to your board for each lesson or topic and export it as a single pdf file.

 

Guest blog post: AwwApp – A Kindergarten Favorite Collaboration & Creation Tool

To some, technology in the Kindergarten classroom is a very abstract idea; it poses quite a few questions. How are they going to learn to be creative? How are they going to develop their fine motor skills? How are they going to learn to communicate and collaborate? As a Kindergarten teacher, when looking at these questions, it’s a bit overwhelming to figure out how to make all of this possible while implementing technology. AwwApp has given me the opportunity to allow my students to develop each of these VERY necessary skills, while still using technology.

How are they going to learn to be creative?

Whether we are using AwwApp to practice our sight words, respond to a writing prompt, or just to have free time, my students are putting their own twist into what they are creating. They are no longer just using a whiteboard with a black marker. Now, they have 8 different colors, and 4 different sizes of markers right in front of them. They can draw, type, or insert pictures into their work. All of these tools are so easy, my Kinders taught themselves how to use them.

AWW is Kindergarten Collaboration tool
Courtesy of Mackenzi Braun

How are they going to develop their fine motor skills?

AwwApp allows my students the opportunity to use a few different methods to complete their assignments. They are either using their finger to draw and write on their touchscreen, or they are using their fingers on the trackpad to draw and write. If they choose to insert a text box to create their answer, they are developing their fine motor skills by typing on the keyboard.

Kindergarten Collaboration tool
Courtesy of Mackenzi Braun

How are they going to learn to communicate and collaborate?

We use AwwApp for free time in my Kindergarten classroom. However, we also use it to practice sight words, write sentences, and respond to given prompts. My students are communicating through the products they are creating, as well as when they share their work with the class or with a friend. AwwApp also offers the opportunity for students to collaborate by inviting them to add to the same board.

AwwApp has been a game changer in our Kindergarten classroom. Although traditional writing, cutting, and pasting is still very important in Kindergarten; AwwApp is a tool that has allowed my Kinders to continue to develop the skills that are very important at 5 and 6 years old through technology. It can be used in so many different ways, you just have to think outside the box.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 5 AWW Tools & Colors

We at AWW are always striving to find who are our customers and how they use AWW. We were curious about what tools you use the most, and what colors you find the most interesting. So, we crunched metrics from the past month. You wanna check them out? Let’s go!

The most popular AWW tools

We have pulled the data from over 150.000 unique drawing sessions. Our goal was to find out what are the most popular free tools. As a criteria, we considered tools that were used at least once in the drawing session. We picked five most used tools out of fourteen tools in total. We didn’t count undo tool in, though. Basic tools are in the first row, and the second one is presented by premium tools.

AWW tools
AWW tools

Not surprisingly, pencil turned out to be the most popular tool with over 33% of total tool usage. It’s an interesting fact that average user uses pencil 5 times per drawing sessions. Second place took eraser with 27%. What came as a surprise, pan tool settled as third most used tool. 11% of drawers used pan tool to move on board and expand drawing space. That is probably the best indicator of the need of multiple pages on a board.

Scissors settled at the lower part of the list with little bit under 11%. Text tool placed at the bottom of the list with only 10% of tool usage. Considering that AWW app is primarily a drawing board, we could assume that results would show something similar. Other tools participate in a total tool usage with 8% combined.

The most popular AWW colors

 

AWW colors
AWW colors

There were slight smaller differences between color usage, than between tool usage. We picked five most used colors out of eight in total. You seemed to like red the most, as it placed as a number one used color. Red is used in almost three out of ten drawing sessions. Blue settled on the second place, with 16% of total color usage. Blue is followed by black, with its share of little bit under 16%. Green and pink settled on the last two places on the list. Surprisingly, yellow didn’t enter the top 5 colors list.

What colors or tools would you like to have in AWW? If you have suggestions, we would like to hear them. Write us at dorotea@awwapp.com

How To Set Up Online School Smart Board With AWW App

With AWW smart board alternative every school and teacher can afford to use advanced edtech. It is an economical smart board alternative that will reduce your costs! Find out how to set up your own AWW smart board in three easy steps!  

Works on every device

AWW app is a web based app. That means AWW can work with any device or browser! AWW works whether your school has BYOD concept or has invested in their own laptops or tablets.

Sharing boards

AWW is a collaborative whiteboard. That means you can invite other participants to collaborate with you on the same board. Inviting is pretty easy to do – just click on the invite button and share generated a link to whomever you want.

Using AWW with a projection screen

The above-mentioned features allow teachers to use AWW as a smart board alternative! Teachers can easily make their low-cost smartboard with this three-step process:

AWW Smart Board Alternative
Using AWW With Projector. Courtesy of Tracey Mikos 
  1. Open AWW app on a tablet or smartphone

  2. Invite students to the board

  3. Share a board link to the PC connected to a projector

Voila! Everything that teacher writes or draws is shown on the projection screen! 

With AWW teachers can walk down the class with tablets in hands and interact with their students, uninhibited with limitations of PC. Students can collaborate and draw at the same time. As opposed to other smart boards, AWW doesn’t have limits on how many students can draw simultaneously.