Well i’m happy to report that I survived the first week back intact and its been great to see the experiences (both positive and negative) of the twitter teaching community being shared.
Twitter is a great CPD resource for teachers and I would recommend to any teacher both NQT and experienced to get online and join the conversation. You can also check out our twitter feed to see what we are up to – @teacherrocksuk
A class set of iPads – Now what?
At the beginning of the summer I was told that I would be receiving a dedicated set of iPad for the whole year as a proof of concept trial. We had had iPads in school as a bookable resource for the last two years but this is the first year of my teaching career where I have access to a dedicated set of 10 iPads for my class full time.
With the set of iPads at my disposal I have had to really think about how to get the best out of them and make the maximum impact on the kids learning. The school has has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scheme in place for children that have their own iPads for the last year so many of my children will be bringing their own kit in to use which will only increase the number available in class over time.
As I trawled through all my purchased Apps from over the years and hit the App Store for high impact free Apps I managed to find a few gems. I’ve made a point of doing as much as possible with freely available apps so to reduce the barriers to entry for children and parents wishing to use their own devices. Every iPad regardless of who owns it now has the same apps installed from the start, which really simplifies things.
This lead me to a new problem.. how do I actually implement this? Well, sitting with each child’s device and installing all these apps sounded like a nightmare. So I decided a great way for the pupils and parents to do this themselves would be via QR codes. All they need to begin is QR code reader and the rest is can be done either in class or at home with a printout app list.
Why these apps?
Showbie, Nearpod and Socrative
These apps are great aids for a teacher in the class. Showbie is a great way of storing children’s work paperlessly. It has some great ways to prove progress and feedback with instant access to video, text or voice note files.
Nearpod is a wonderful way to present lessons and let children move at their own pace. This also has great systems for feedback built in with various question types that children answer live.
Socrative is a wonderful voting and questioning app that we use so that children can give answers and votes directly to the teacher.
Epic is a new find for me, I stumbled across it on the App Store and investigated. It has revolutionised my reading sessions and has motivated my little readers more than I have ever seen before.
Children input their interests and a library is created for them. The back end that you have access to provides key information such as how many books have they read, are they just flicking through the pages, when are they reading? All answered at your finger tips.
One good use is to use the app to take a picture for your display, you can then add in an explainer video describing the display for example. As soon as someone scans the picture using the app, you video will be overlaid. Is a great way of building an element of interactivity into your (normally static) display boards.
Everyday Apps – A Printable Resource
We have made our list of everyday apps available to download, modify and print out. Feel free to modify the document to your hearts content, take some apps out and add your own!