Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stick Around app

Check out the app "Stick Around" from Tony Vincent and MorrisCooke. Tony's been collaborating with app developers for years, so my first thought was that this app would be beneficial for student learning, easy for teachers to learn, and create a product that's easy to share. As it turns out, I was right. It fits all those categories. If you are a fan of SMART Notebook but want a better price and functionality, then you should give Stick Around a try. 

There's a ton of features to Stick Around. To keep it simple, Stick Around lets students and teachers create projects that are similar to a SMART Notebook file. When you create a new project, you have the option to choose a blank screen or a variety of templates: Venn Diagrams, columns, timelines, sequencing, or vocabulary cards. If you choose to start with a blank project, you have complete flexibility in the background to add just a color, picture, or an image designed in another app. Stick Around also offers complete flexibility to crop, rotate, and resize your background images. And you can add multiple images or draw your own from inside the app.

Lots of templates to get your started.
Once you have designed or chosen your background, you can then add stickers to the project. The stickers serve as the main content interaction piece. Once you have chosen "Stickers" from the menu bar, you'll see a tool pane appear on the right side. Just drag and drop the appropriate sticker on the workspace. Each sticker can include text, image, hyperlink, or even a voice recording. Think of the possibilities with those options. You could include a science vocabulary word complete with a link to content websites. Or students could record pronunciations for their world languages classes.

Another powerful feature of Stick Around is the ability to turn your projects into interactive puzzles. Choose "Answer Key" from the menu bar. If you've chosen a template, the areas will automatically be highlighted as answer areas. Just move your stickers in the area to assign them to that area. If you started with a blank canvas, you can draw your own answer areas to assign the stickers. When completed, touch the export button in the upper right to save your puzzle. If you've made a mistake, you'll get a friendly reminder to help you get it straightened out. 

Easily add images to your background.
Now your puzzle is saved to your iPad. But how do you share it? Easy. There are a number of sharing options you can use: email, DropBox, Google Drive, Explain Everything, or WebDav. Simply select the projects or puzzles and link them up to your account. Then other users of Stick Around can import them and start working. A great tip that Tony offers is to share your "projects" with teachers so they can modify them before sending to students. Then share your completed "puzzles" with students to complete. 

And wait. There's more. If you've shared your projects or puzzles with DropBox or Google Drive, you can distribute them via a link. Include it in your website or create a QR code to send users to your work. Very slick. They will need the Stick Around app in order to use your projects or puzzles. 

Solar System Puzzle. I got Venus wrong.
As you can see, it's a great app. We've all enjoyed apps but still had the "I wish it had this feature" moment. I think Tony's instructional background has helped to eliminate those moments. Several times I thought I found something that I wanted the app to do. Then I found out I could. And to make things very easy for teachers, there's a "help" overlay in the app and extensive tutorials that are accessible from inside the app. 

Currently, Stick Around is $2.99 in the App Store. It's also available in the Volume Purchasing Portal for half price when you buy more than 20 licenses at a time. For those of you who are willing to give up a Starbucks coffee, I think it's worth the investment. For more information, visit the Stick Around website or Stick Around Blog.

1 comment:

  1. Want to try it out? Instructional Technology is giving 20 CPS teachers a license to Stick Around or Explain Everything. Simply submit a post letting us know how you used it in your classroom. Sign up here! http://goo.gl/NvBYJf