Tables, charts, or infographics showing how mobile educational apps fit into the Bloom’s Taxonomy are now popular in the Internet thanks to technology educational thinkers and advocates. In these graphic organizers, certains apps are fitted into the 6 levels of thinking according to the education expert Benjamin Bloom. As a 1:1 iPad teacher, these have helped me to plan well my lessons and learning activities, even my assessments in class. When speaking or sharing to other educators, I would often include a table or two to give them an idea of these pedagogical charts or wheels. As a matter of fact, I even discussed these along side lesson planning. Furthermore, I also titled my sessions “Bloom’s 2.0 or 3.0 or Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm 2.0.
However, as I progress in my teaching career, I noticed that these graphic organizers might sometimes not necessarily be true. I have noticed that some highly advance and highly functional educational apps may be fitted in more than one or two levels of thinkings. Sometimes, a once simple app, after updates from the developers, may offer more features to support learning in class.
What is the key idea? The nature of the learning activity, the questions or exercises used in assessments may indicate the place of an app in a Bloom’s 2.0 chart. For example, the fantastic and popular app, Book Creator (Free and Paid) may just be on the level of remembering or understanding if the learning activity that employs the app only requires for information gathering or comprehension test. On the other hand, teachers can also level up Book Creator if it is used as a medium for creating original ebooks that would give the students opportunity to showcase new learning or knowledge that they gained from the lesson.
Other apps such as NearPod or Socrative (Teacher & Student) app are more flexible in nature because they can be used to engage students using teacher-made questions or guided learning activities. For example, I often use Socrative up for check up exercises on important concepts learned in class. After a few updates, teachers were able to add images and other special characters in making questions in Socrative. This opened the app for more higher order questions such as application of Math formula or picture or graph analysis.
In the end, I believe that teachers should, first, be clear of their learning objectives. This will decide on what iPad app will be used in class. Never structure your learning activities solely on the app, unless, the app is your lesson. Your learning objective should guide how the app will be used in class. Second, try to play with the app to explore its features. Have the kids play with the app also. This will help the teacher and the students in familiarizing themselves with its features. Last, always check for updates. Most of the time, educational app developers add new features to improve their apps.