“Appy Hour” Proposal

“Appy” Hour Proposal for Moore Elementary


This week, I am going to share an outline for my disruptive innovation idea that I have been creating.  Although my idea seems simple, I am addressing a challenge at my building level which is teacher buy-in to using apps and technology in the classroom.  There is a core of staff who use technology often, but there are also many who use it as little as possible.  I suspect it is because they are uncomfortable using it with the students because they aren’t as experienced using it outside of school.  I’ve always liked the saying, “you can’t break the internet”.  I am hoping by encouraging staff to get in and play with the apps at our meetings, they will get more comfortable with using technology.

What: Have a once a month meeting, that is optional, for the certified staff at Moore to get together and share apps or programs that we are using both in and out of the classroom to guide student achievement and personal organization. This meeting will be held in a very informal fashion with food and drinks. All teachers who attend are encouraged to share apps or programs that we use in our classroom or personal life but it is not a requirement for attendance.

Why: The research says that teachers who are not comfortable using technology in their everyday life, will be less likely to use it in their classrooms to increase student engagement(Renwick 2014). One model to guide helping us get more comfortable with using technology in the classroom is the TPACK model. Koehler states that TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) is using and combining our knowledge of content, pedagogy, and technology to help the learning of our students. By combining the three areas of TPACK, we can evaluate the technology that we share and can find examples that we can use in our classrooms.

How: I will put myself in charge of organizing the date and time for the events and by providing snacks to the faculty that attends. I will also play with apps such as Periscope and Blab to livestream these meetings out to anyone who is unable to attend or interested in what we are doing at Moore.  The apps that will be discussed will be from a variety of sources, such as current research, suggestions from the previous meeting, and apps that are on the devices that they bring to the meeting.  The conversation “like” atmosphere will encourage the faculty to discuss apps that are relevant to the “here and now” of their lives and their classrooms.  I will put out an email asking for any suggestions a week before each meeting.

Incentives: Faculty will get one hour of professional development credit for attending. We will also be collaborating on writing grants for our Education Foundation to award us devices in the specific grade levels.


**We have already had our first meeting and it was fun!  Here are the notes from the first meeting that I shared with our entire facutly.




Moore Elementary Mighty Hawks


Kohler, M. (n.d.). TPACK Explained. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.matt-koehler.com/tpack/tpack-explained/

Rewick, M. (2014, August 13). How Teachers Can Become Fluent in Classroom Technology. Retrieved December 18, 2015, from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2014/08/how-teachers-can-become-fluent-classroom-technology


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Posted in EDLD 5305 Disruptive Innovation in Tech
14 comments on ““Appy Hour” Proposal
  1. Brandi McClary says:

    Peer Review 1 – Hi, Shelby. I think this is actually a great start to addressing the issue at your school with those teachers who are less likely to use technology in their classrooms. I’d actually like to do something like that here at Lamar. There are so many teachers/faculty/instructors out there that are resistant to change and doing things in new ways for whatever reasons.
    I like the idea that this is a more informal meeting. Maybe that will alleviate some of their concerns and make learning new technology and apps more enjoyable. I understand you are planning to make this an optional meeting but have you considered incorporating any kind of incentive for those that attend “appy hour” or use something new they learned from it in their classrooms? Do you plan to archive your sessions (for future use) in addition to streaming them? Thanks for sharing – Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tmwillis80 says:

      We are giving the one hour of credit for professional development. I am also going to try to archive if I can figure all that out. Our second phase goal is to fill out education foundation grants to get the technology in their classrooms. Maybe I should have added that?


      • Brandi McClary says:

        Oh, ok. That’s good. Thanks for sharing your video from your first meeting. Looks like it was a success. The video came out great!


  2. mrjonfarmer says:

    Shelby, I like the idea of having more collaboration in your school. I also like the idea of everyone bringing something to the meeting. The fact that the meetings will be informal also sounds more relaxing, and more comfortable. I understand that the meeting will not be required to attend, but is there some type of incentive to attending the meeting?


  3. jessicabentz says:

    Peer Review #3
    Shelby – great idea! I like the way you divided your plan into a who, what, when, where, why format! I’m an planner so I have a couple questions about the meetings themselves. Will there be specific apps talked about at each meeting? Will you have a “committee” or will you decide what apps and who will talk about them? I love this idea as a whole. Exposure to the apps is the first step! If teachers get a chance to know what’s out there and play with it, they’ll be more comfortable sharing with their students.


  4. Bonnie Cobb says:

    Peer Review 4

    Shelby, This is basically the same as I wrote on the discussion board, but I thought you might like to have it here with the other thoughts, as well.

    I think your Appy Hour is a great idea. Sounds like administration is supporting if you’re giving professional development. I wouldn’t want to have to shoulder all the work, not all the time anyway. Could you get one or two of the other teachers to share your excitement with the others at this point? I know I love showing off new technology to my colleagues. Is there someone like that in your group?

    For incentive for those who’d rather not be tech-y: maybe a surprise or “door prize” app for those who actually attend. Finally, maybe a printed summary of what’s coming next or what they missed at the last Appy Hour for those who still don’t understand the urgency (they might prefer a hard-copy version).

    Wish I could come to Appy Hour!


  5. Bonnie Cobb says:

    Peer Review 4

    Shelby, This is basically what I posted in your discussion board, but I thought you might like to also have it here with the other thoughts.

    I think your Appy Hour is a great idea. Sounds like administration is supporting it if you’re able to give professional development credit. Could you get one or two of the other teachers to share your excitement with the others, especially the non-techies? I know I love showing off new technology to others. Is there someone like that in your group?

    Perhaps a surprise or “door prize” app for those who actually attend would maintain interest.

    Finally, maybe a printed summary of what’s coming next or what they missed at the last Appy Hour for those non-techies who still don’t understand the urgency and might prefer a hard-copy version.

    I want to come to Appy Hour!


    • tmwillis80 says:

      I was thinking about some kind of a door prize drawing for hose that attended last time who bring a friend. Unfortunately this comes out of my pocket.


      • Bonnie Cobb says:

        Yes, I see. Maybe a free “recess” one-on-one training session with the winner. Perhaps to sit down together and discuss what the winner could use in class and Google what’s out there and tailor a solution. Five to ten minutes for a free, personal guru session. (Unless you don’t want to be that “expert” person.)


  6. Vanessa C. says:

    Peer Review #1
    I love this idea! At first, I thought the idea of not making it a requirement for teachers would not benefit the very people who need it. The handful of teachers that use technology will be more apt to be involved and the teachers that do not will fear it simply because they do not understand it. After thinking, the “culture” will develop into a concept that most teachers would enjoy being a part of…. still how do you reach those that do not use technology and think about the students in their rooms? They are just as much digital learners as the students in classroom of technology rich environments. Perhaps you could view technology through their eyes. What makes them resistant? What aspect of technology makes them prefer not to use it? Sometimes, simply telling someone about an app and what it can do is not enough. You could approach it in several ways. Approach each session as a level of learner… say, beginner, intermediate, and novice. You could also approach it as we are suppose to approach digital tools. One session is how to use digital tools for guided reading, math practice, projects, or research. Like you mentioned, you could get certain requests from teachers, but maybe keep each session specific to a learning piece or even a standard to make it approachable… rather than a session that lists a bunch of apps. That might seem overwhelming to someone who already resists it to begin with. I love the idea, though!


    • tmwillis80 says:

      I like those ideas. We have found that if we can reach one person in a pod, then others usually follow. Our school is open concept so it’s hard to miss cool things in another classroom. We also have a fantastic tech teacher that makes sure that all children are getting tech to a degree. My principal looked at it a different way. We are planning on offering door prizes for those who bring a friend when we really get it going.


    • tmwillis80 says:

      Oops I hit enter too fast. My principal believes that forcing technology on people who are already uncomfortable with it just increases resistance. I have been personally inviting people who would benefit from it to come hang out, listen and have some snacks. I’ve gotten a few takers that way.


  7. […] of a plan to implement and create a video to share with my audience.  Those pieces can be viewed here and in the video […]


  8. […] in a very long time.  It was a challenge to keep up with.  I did enjoy coming to my idea for “Appy Hour” during this time.   I was also pretty overwhelmed with the literature review process.  I […]


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