Ok so this wasn't planned.
I always intended The Chemistry of Combos to be a two part article but the response has been so overwhelmingly positive that I felt inspired to add a little more.This is not going to be a full Part 3 mind you, hence the 'Bonus Round' moniker. In terms of my Streetfighter backstory, this is going to be like one of those odd little bonus rounds you used to get, where in between matches you'd get to beat up a car for some reason. I guess you were applying your skills in a slightly different capacity. So that's where I'm going with this.
Minus the car.
What I've actually got for you is a small set of discrete concepts that aren't covered in the main articles...
We talk about Nearpod a lot on the site and I even contributed to their Nearpod Stories page. Yet when I was writing the combos article, Nearpod somehow eluded me. It's probably because, like most educators, I use Nearpod as a presentation tool rather than let students use it directly. I have experimented with this however and though students need initial guidance, it is definitely capable of working.. It also sets you up for some nice combos as Nearpod has such a wealth of interactives. Here are some ideas for using it::
Question/Quiz - since images can be added for each question so work could be created in another app and used as a prompt. This could mean a screen grab from an absorption app or a diagram made in a creation app for example.
Slideshow - a viable option in terms of presentation apps.
Draw it - again, the inclusion of imported images means that a picture created in a different app can be used for a labelling activity.
Another idea would be to use a Nearpod combo for peer assessment. - have students ask for feedback on a piece of work from their class mates via the activities. The poll feature could be used well in this respect.
Reflector is the computer-based app that allows you to mirror multiple iPads to your PC screen (and thus a connected whiteboard.) We've discussed it in the past as an alternative to Apple TV but there's another element to it that can be incorporated into a combo.
In the main articles, I often referred to the need to screen grab an image from an absorption or creation app that didn't include export functionality. That works for an image but using Reflector you can obtain a video since when Reflector is running, you can click record and capture a video screencast of everything that's happening on your iPad. I used it recently for our ebook Redefining The Task Again to allow me to capture a video of 3D gallery in action.
This is how Reflector could become part of an app combo. By using Dropbox as the go-between, the mp4 video can be brought onto the iPad and into something like iMovie for narration to be added. Or into Book Creator or Keynote. The possibilities here are vast, though the file management aspect may require some careful planning and time management - perhaps across multiple sessions.
REAL WORLD COMBOS
Last year when I spearheaded the renovation of a whole topic at our school (habitats and adaptations) into a term-long ebook project using Book Creator, several of the core lessons from the year before were still incorporated. The work was marked and then fed through the school's scanner (into jpg format rather than PDF) then pushed to the Dropbox for the students to access. They inserted the work into their ebooks and often used the audio functions within Book Creator to add an extra multimedia layer to their work.
Thinking of this made me realise that a 'real world' element can effectively be incorporated into a combo. For example, teachers who are concerned about students' handwriting could produce a piece of digital work in an app then print it for physical annotation rather than use an app like Skitch, to allow them to practise their cursive writing. From here the work could be scanned (or simply snapped with the camera) and brought back onto the iPad for integration in another app. There are even some decent scanner apps available now such as Scanner Pro which means that students can take responsibility for this step themselves if need be.
Whilst reflecting on the whole Streetfighter framing that I gave to the combos articles, I remembered the tag team element that they added in later incarnations of the series. In these matches you had two interchangeable characters and could switch in and out to alter the flow of the match. You could also produce some uniquely ridiculous combos as a pair.It made me think about collaborative combos with apps. Here's the concept:
Imagine a group task where each member of the group is assigned a specific role. Perhaps one has to research information, another to annotate it and the third to present it. Using email or cloud based storage, files could be passed along the chain and if the starting points are staggered, the tasks can actually be carried out simultaneously.
Naturally one issue with this model would be that each student is only developing one skill rather than all three. On the other hand, that student is fully focused on their one task and could potentially refine that one skill far more during the session. Students could be assigned based on assessment of their needs and or strengths. Peer and self assessment after the task could harness a range of metacognition principles as they reflect on their success as an individual and as a team.
Think about it - if you worked at a newspaper, you wouldn't report, design layouts and edit all in one job would you? You'd have one role within a team. A role that you would need to specialise in.
Alternatively, it could be that students combo different apps into one collaborative presentation app. Molasync comes to mind here as a collaborative workspace but It could just as easily be Book Creator using the merge books function.
Ok folks, that's me done with the Chemistry of Combos for now. I may return to the concept some day but I've got some other ideas brewing that need their day in court first.
Go forth and combo!