Lesson Plan

App Flows: A 5-Step Approach for Lesson Planning with Technology

This lesson is designed to introduce educators to the app flow framework by immersing them in an app flow lesson.
Dave G.
Technology coordinator
Blaine County Schools, Hailey, Idaho
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Students will be able to...

  • log onto www.commonsense.org/education and create an account
  • make connections between the value of digital tools and the structure of a traditional lesson plan
  • create an original app flow with a target audience in mind
  • share their app flow with peers
  • view and evaluate others' app flows for potential utility in their own classroom
English Language Arts
Social Studies
World Languages
English Language Learning
Health & Wellness
Grades Pre-K – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Invite learners to think about and prepare to respond to the question, "What is the role of digital tools in teaching and learning?"

Explain that learners will be sharing their thoughts anonymously by submitting them to PollEverywhere. Walk learners through how to submit their responses via weblink, text, or Tweets.

Display PollEverywhere answers for learners to see, and discuss interesting ideas as a group.

Student Instructions

Consider how you might answer the question, "What is the role of digital tools in teaching and learning?"

Once the facilitator prompts you to do so, submit your response anonymously to PollEverywhere in one of three ways:

  1. Online at PollEv.com/daveguymon115
  2. Text 463815 along with your message to 37607
  3. Tweet @poll 463815 and your message

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Conversing

Introduce learners to the concept of an app flow. Explain that you are going to show them a video clip about app flows, which you will then explore, and later have the opportunity to create one of your own to share with fellow participants and peers.

Encourage learners to consider some ways that they might use digital tools in a meaningful and practical manner throughout the five stages of a traditional lesson plan as they view the video clip. Also, have learners consider the advantages and disadvantages of the app flow framework, particularly within the context of the SAMR model of technology integration.

Student Instructions

After viewing the app flow video clip, discuss any perceived advantages or disadvantages to the app flow model with a partner or small group. Consider each others' perspectives, and use them to continue to structure your own understanding of app flows.

3 Guided Practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Show learners Graphite.org. Instruct them to go to this website as well.

Explain that Graphite.org is a free service provided by Common Sense Education to help K-12 educators find the best digital tools and curricula to use with their students. 

Tell learners that App Flows is one of those tools that Graphite.org designed to fulfill their mission.

Instruct learners to sign up for their free Graphite.org account on the App Flow page. Orient learners with various parts of the page.

Together, look at the app flow "How to Write a Thesis Statement." Identify the five parts of the lesson plan along with the digital tools used and their designed instructional applications.

Next, give learners some time to look at additional app flows on their own. Encourage them to identify different digital tools and how they are being used. Invite them to share useful or intriguing apps on a crowdsourced Google Presentation.

Student Instructions

After looking at "How to Write a Thesis Statement together as a group, learners should take some time to view one or more app flows, paying particular attention to the digital tools used along with the objective(s) they are supporting.

Identify at least one app or digital tool, either from your exploration of the app flow library or from personal experience, and create an individual slide about it in a Google Presentation shared with the group. You are encouraged to save this presentation to your Google Drive as well.

Slides should contain:

  • Name of the digital tool
  • URL to the featured tool
  • Short explanation of what it does
  • Suggested classroom application
  • App icon (optional)

4 Independent Practice

Free, Free to try, Paid

Divide learners into small groups of 2-3 (individuals may work alone if they feel confident enough to do so). Instruct groups to collaborate on creating an app flow for a subject of their choosing. Explain that groups are invited to draw ideas for implementing digital tools from the shared Google Presentation that was just created.

Once groups have completed their app flow lesson plan, invite them to share their app flow with the group by posting it on a Padlet wall.

Once groups have posted their app flow to the Padlet wall, encourage them to view others' app flows, looking for relevant applications or inspiration for their own classrooms.

Student Instructions

As a group, work together to create your own app flow. You may design this around any subject or topic of your choosing. Don't worry about including every conceivable objective in this activity. Rather, focus on gaining the experience of creating your first app flow together.

Once your group is finished, post your app flow to the provided Padlet wall by copying and pasting the URL into a new Padlet box.

Take time to view others' app flows on our Padlet wall. Look for applications or inspiration for your own classroom and students.

5 Wrap Up

After learners have had sufficient time to view others' app flows, bring the group back together to wrap up. Instruct them to, once again, respond to a PollEverywhere question. The question is, "What value might the app flow framework have in helping you to lesson plan with technology?"

As the responses appear, discuss them together. 

Share this lesson's app flow with learners, and invite them to use it with their own colleagues in a staff meeting or inservice training.

Student Instructions

Consider the question, "What value might the app flow framework have in helping you to lesson plan with technology?"

Respond anonymously to it on PollEverywhere in one of three ways:

  • Online at PollEv.com/daveguymon115
  • Text 495129 and your message to 37607
  • Tweet @poll 495129 and your message