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If infrastructure sabotages your plans, leaves you stressed, and renders your devices useless, stop what you’re doing. Don’t waste one more instructional minute trying to stream video, just to lose connection, spin for too long, or time-out. Submit the problem to IT, and move on.

Dust off the devices. Let’s focus on what can be done to change the way our students demonstrate their understanding of newly learned content and apply their knowledge without the network.

Know these apps? Read through the uses to pick up a new twist on an old favorite.  


Not Just For Storytelling

30Hands-Free-Cropped30 Hands

Ask students to explain their learning in a new way. 30 Hands allows students to import images from the camera roll, annotate those images, create new illustrations within the app, or combine all slide types to demonstrate their understanding of a new concept or apply learning with new connections. Once the images are imported, students will narrate each slide to create a presentation. Narrated presentations save easily to the camera roll.

  • An exit slip explaining what they learned
  • Steps in a procedure, experiment, demonstration, or problem
  • Math worksheet: students narrate certain problems and rotate around listening and checking their work
  • Examining or commenting on photos
  • Sequencing a story
  • Family history
  • Historical recount
  • Using vocabulary or spelling words in a sentence
  • Book report
  • Digital storytelling
  • All About Me Student Bio
  • Create an alphabet book

Screencasting For Teachers AND Students


Turn students’ devices into blank slates for illustrating concepts and explaining their understanding for a quick snapshot of learning.

  • Explanation of learning
  • Describe steps in a procedure, process, cycle
  • Record and deliver a lesson
  • Annotate images with audio explanation
  • Illustrate a concept or upload from the camera roll

More Than A Web

popplet litePopplet Lite

Although popplet is an excellent platform for brainstorming, think beyond a web. Anything in your content area that can be broken down into steps, can then be described, illustrated, applied, and extended using Popplet.

  • Illustrate the steps of a sequence, process, math problem
  • Lab report with procedures and illustrations or images
  • Visual discussions
  • Multiple solutions to a problem
  • Graphic organizer, brainstorming
  • Story board
  • How to
  • Math factors
  • Vocabulary words, definitions, sentences, and illustrations
  • Character maps
  • Timeline with images

Put It All Together

pic collagePic Collage

Collages are an excellent way to combine apps for stronger connections and internalization of learning. Create picture collages with images, text, and stickers. Easily customize colors, fonts, layouts, and backgrounds.
Save it to the camera roll for use in other apps like 30 Hands, Educreations, and Popplet.

  • Visual writing prompt
  • Capture a lab and add captions
  • About Me collage
  • Visual summary of an activity, concept, or book
  • Vocabulary or spelling word collage
  • Add a few words and save to camera roll. Narrate in 30 Hands.

Scan For More! No Connection Needed?

QR Code MakerQR Maker

QR stands for Quick Response and is typically used to link to a website. However, QR codes can also link to text! Think of all the extensions, hints, and answers you can add to your classroom walls, worksheets, and centers without worrying about the network!

  • Directions for center activities
  • Bell work instructions
  • Answer keys on worksheets
  • Differentiate assignments
  • Add to homework to explain directions or provide additional help
  • Link to spelling/vocabulary lists


No network. No stress. No excuses. Use these five apps in powerful ways to assess student learning, demonstrate new knowledge, and present their applied learning to peers.

**Some of these apps offer additional features with a connection, but it’s not required. If your students create something you love, then make arrangements to get connected. Just remember, not everything has to come off the device. What’s the purpose of the activity? If it’s to demonstrate understanding…. that’s done.


About The Author

Tiffaney Lavoie currently serves as the Director of Instructional Media and Design at Edvergent Learning. An educator with a business background, she has served over 60 school districts in Kentucky as an instructional technology consultant where she developed and delivered professional learning opportunities and partnered with school and district technology rollouts. A former middle school teacher, Tiffaney has a passion for effective technology integration and recognizes the importance of accessible digital tools to support teaching and learning. She has presented on a state, regional, and national level, and values immersive digital learning environments that better equip students to compete in a global society.