Teacher Review for Adobe Slate

Easy app for making thinking visible and "pretty"

Rachelle W.
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
I was working with an 8th grade science class on Newton's Laws and we used Adobe Slate to publish a short presentation where they analyzed an amusement park ride (i.e. Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, etc.) and they had to explain how Newton's Laws of Motion applied in the operation, design, etc of that ride. I gave students a brief overview of the app and showed how to change the layout, theme, and add content. After that, the students were able to create a very polished and visually appealing presentation. The students enjoyed their products. We liked them so much that we are going to add them into a Nearpod presentation to share with other students when reviewing Newton's Laws. The students had no difficulty creating or sharing their presentation and they were able to complete their task within one class period. We had a limited number of apps and a cart full of laptops (as students were working in groups using different apps to demonstrate what they learned). Because Adobe Slate is available on the web and the iPad students were able to work on the laptops and leave the iPads for groups that didn't have that option. I did notice that while the students were talking together to make sure they each had input, it would have been great if they could have collaborated on the document/app at the same time. Since they were in groups, only one student entered the information for everyone so only one student used the application during this project.
My Take
I think Adobe Slate is very easy to create and share visual stories. They come with built-in layouts and designs that rival those of professional designers. The students had the ability to use Creative Commons images or upload their own and this saved them a lot of time. I love how the content is credited within the document if they choose from the CC library in the app as that's one less worry for students to think about. They could choose their theme and add links to web content or text. Since our project, they have updated the app by making it possible for you to embed videos into Slate stories. With the requirement of an Adobe ID, it will be imperative to have a class ID or account created for students if your district does not allow students to create accounts or for students under 13. As I mentioned above, this app could be better if it was collaborative giving all students the opportunity to participate. Otherwise it will mean all students will have to create their own. It's very easy to share student's finished stories with a link and it can be viewed on any device.