Once in a while an app I come across an app that just blows me away. These apps are usually the sort of apps that allow students to create content in a unique way – things like Book Creator, Thinglink, Shadow Puppet.
Answer Garden is one of those apps. It’s an app that I’ve already begun sharing with colleagues and I know I’ll end up sharing at conferences and events throughout the year.
So what is it?
Answer Garden is a brainstorming tool that creates word clouds. The hook is that you can do this collaboratively across any platform (it started life as a web app before the iOS version was launched.) This means that students can populate a document together in real time.
Creating an Answer Garden is as simple as writing a question and you are given a few options to tweak access and responses ie how many times one person can respond and how many times the same answer can be provided. The best thing though is that whilst there are a wealth of sharing options, any Answer Garden can be accessed directly from the app by other devices on the same wifi network! This is such a neat idea as it means that no time is wasted at all allowing students to get into the platform.
The potential and scope for this app is huge. Brainstorming prior knowledge as part of a KWL exercise, character analysis, grammar and punctuation warm-ups, MfL work – honestly I could go on and on. The fact that in true word cloud style, the most common answers are displayed larger than the rest, means that it can even be used for polls and surveys.
Oh and did I mention that it's completely free?
It’s an app that any teacher can use and every teacher should have. Go get it!