Exploring App Smashing Workshop – Rae Pufal’s Story

Rae Pufal, M.Ed. Instructional Technology, Florida Atlantic University, OLC Intern, Teacher for Broward County School District, Florida 

Tell us about you – your roll, career focus and goals.  

I am a 20-year veteran elementary school teacher finishing up my Master’s degree at Florida Atlantic University. My internship with OLC is my last step before earning my Instructional Technology degree. I am looking for a new career path in Instructional Design, and my goal is to use my experience as a teacher to design and instruct content for adults.  

How did you hear about the workshop? 

I heard about the workshop through my OLC internship, as well as one of my professors at Florida Atlantic University.

Why the need/interest in this workshop? 

Although participation for this workshop was initiated through my internship, I am always looking for new ways to incorporate technology into my daily lessons with my students.  Using multiple apps to create or present content is another way for my students to think critically and become more engaged in the lessons. 

How did the workshop help you in your career? 

The Exploring App Smashing workshop has helped me both in my career and with my future career path because it has allowed me to design and instruct in a more engaging way.  The workshop also allowed me to evaluate apps to determine their instructional purpose and value.

What are the top 5 benefits you got from the workshop?

  1. The opportunity to share ideas with others was very helpful in this workshop. Since there were so many different levels of expertise, it was great to see a variety of ideas using multiple apps. 
  1. The exploration of apps on different operating systems was useful since working on a PC is not in my comfort zone, but through the workshop I have a better understanding of what “recipes” can be used on a PC operating system.
  1. Although the workshop is only seven days, the scaffolding incorporated in this workshop was helpful because I never felt overwhelmed. The opportunity to build other apps into an already existing app smash made exploring with apps that I had never used before easy and intriguing. 
  1. Turning the old into new is another added bonus of this workshop. I was able to take content that I have taught for years, and create an app smash that gives students more ownership of their learning. 
  1. After completing this workshop and several app smashes that I could use for training, the professional dialogue that I was able to engage in with my colleagues was refreshing. Since many of us are looking for new ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms, the idea of app smashing was well received by many of my colleagues therefore leading to future discussions and training on app smashing.

To whom and why you would recommend this workshop? 

I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is in an instructional role.  The content and strategies can be applied to any educational level, and the hands on approach in this workshop allows participants to explore their creative side.

App smashing provides students with the opportunity to increase their critical thinking skills while becoming more engaged in their learning, which are both important skills to have for 21st century learning.

The next Exploring App Smashing workshop starts July 25th, register today!