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StickPick – An individualized learning app for the iPad and iPhone that leverages Bloom’s Taxonomy

by Kelly Walsh on June 15, 2011


Innovative and inexpensive application also has an English As A Second Language mode.

6th grade teacher Buzz Garwood has been a friend of EmergingEdTech almost since it’s inception, and he’s developed an innovative iPad App for education that I wanted to share with my readers. Stick Pick is the first app of its kind to allow teachers to tie leveled question stems to the cognitive or linguistic needs of each individual learner.

How It Works
It starts with a teacher naming an on-screen soup can (i.e. the class) and filling it with popsicle sticks that represent the students. Teachers then choose a category of question stems that they wish to target for each learner: either “higher order thinking”, based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, or “English as a Second Language” skills. The degree of difficulty for each learner can be set individually.

Once a class is set up, teachers draw a student’s stick from the soup can with either a “swipe,” “tap,” or a “shake.” and a customized set of appropriate question stems appear on the screen. Teachers can then scroll through these question stems until they find one they would like to form into a complete question. After a student answers a question, teachers will either mark the student’s stick as “used”, which sends it to a “used” soup can, or reset the stick, which places it back in the “new” can.

This is accomplished by touching the “assess” icon and then tapping the corresponding “correct,” “incorrect,” or “opinion” button. Teachers can then rate each student’s answer by selecting 0-5 on a Critical Thinking rubric (for the higher order thinking question stems) or an Elaboration rubric (for the English as a Second Language question stems). Student data is automatically saved within the app and can be conveniently e-mailed to the student’s parents or the principal by pressing “Send.”

Stick Pick’s features include:

  • Three modes: Bloom’s; Bloom’s Revised; and ESL (English as a Second Language)
  • Question stems match the needs of each learner
  • Over 140 cognitive and linguistic question stems
  • Swipe up, tap, or shake device to call on a student
  • Option to “peek” into a can and deliberately pick a student by name
  • Over 140 cognitive and linguistic question stems
  • Track each student’s answers (correct, incorrect, or opinion)
  • Rate each student’s response on a 0-5 point Critical Thinking or Elaboration rubric
  • Each student’s answer and response is logged and averaged
  • Capability of storing up to 12 classes, with up to 50 students per class
  • Easily “copy” an entire class (with or without scores)
  • Works in both Left and Right Hand mode

Where To Get It
Stick Pick is available here (in the iTune Store) for just $2.99 per license.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
10 Excellent iPad Applications for Teachers
Virtual Labs – Award Winning Virtual Dissection Apps
Someday students will carry a tablet computer instead of books (it’s just a matter of time)


Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded He frequently delivers presentations and training on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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