Take a Spin on the App Wheel

Well, now it is official. Having recently purchased both a tablet and a smartphone, I have, as so many people have gleefully pointed out to me, joined the 21st century. While I still maintain that neither is necessary for functioning in today’s society, I have also understood for some time now how handy smart devices can be for both personal and professional reasons. In honor of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, I give you the the Padagogy Wheel or, as I call it, the App Wheel, which is essentially a collection of apps for educators.

As far as I can tell, the Padagogy Wheel was first posted in 2013 and has undergone several revisions since then with the most recent English version coming out about a year ago. Its name is a mash-up of pedagogy and iPad although presumably most, if not all, of the apps are available for Android devices as well. Available online, it can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed out so that you will always have it nearby.

Based on the revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy for the cognitive domain, the Padagogy Wheel links more than 100 apps, activities, and action verbs to the following five categories:

  1. Remember/understand
  2. Apply
  3. Analyze
  4. Evaluate
  5. Create

While some apps may be familiar (think Google), others, like Shadow Puppet and Showbie, may be new. In the past, I have written about the websites for some resources, Prezi, ScreenChomp, Flashcard Machine, and TED Talks, without ever even touching upon the benefits of the related apps. The Padagogy Wheel is a great starting point for discovering new apps to support the activities you are doing or want to do in your classroom.

Viewing the wheel also gives you the opportunity to examine your use of technology in a visual way. Reflecting on my use of technology in the classroom and my writing, I feel that I have focused too much on resources that promote lower level thinking and ignored some of the great resources that would encourage higher level thinking. With that in mind, I find myself focusing on the Evaluate and Create resources and exploring ways I can use them with my students.

For more information about the Padagogy Wheel, visit the Padagogy Wheelhouse site. There you can also find the Padagogy Wheel in a number of different languages, including French, Norwegian, and Arabic; more information about its creators; and presentations on it and related topics.

Reflect on your practices and let us know where on the wheel most of your tech resources fall, or choose an app that is not on the wheel and associate it with the appropriate category by leaving a comment below.

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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2 Responses to Take a Spin on the App Wheel

  1. Tabby Riley says:

    Tara,

    Thank you for sharing about this program, I am eager to try it out. Can it be used for other areas of teaching besides TESOL?

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for your comment, Tabby. It absolutely could be! I imagine that the vast majority of apps are designed for general use (not even specifically education) and could be used in any classroom.

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