Everyday Apps for Teaching & Learning

Everyday Apps for Teaching and Learning - teacherrocks.co.uk

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.

Everyday iPad Apps - teacherrocks.co.uk

Why these apps?

Some were featured in our top 3 free English apps and top 3 free maths apps lists but we’d like to add a few more non-subject specific apps into the mix.

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.


Aurasma is something I have played with for years. If you not seen it before then I recommend that you download it as it can be a lot of fun. Aurasma is a great free augmented reality app.

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!

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Download the PDF

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Download the Word Doc


Follow Friday (#FF) – LearnMaker

Today’s FollowFriday (#FF) – 18th Sept 2015 – is LearnMaker (@LearnMakerUK)

I first met Jay and James (the guys behind LearnMaker) back in Autumn 2013 when they were consulting for a potential iPad rollout when they both worked for a large educational IT supplier. Jay really knows his edtech and James is an excellent trainer.

Since then they have teamed up to form LearnMaker, a consulting company dedicated to getting the best out of technology in the classroom.


Recently i’ve met up with them at a local Apple Tech Day where James was presenting on getting the best out of iPads in the classroom. James is an excellent presenter who was unfazed even when the WiFi dropped mid session (it’s very hard to demonstrate learning with iPads with a flaky internet connection – but he managed it brilliantly).

LearnMaker is a commercial company but they have produced some great teaching resources and ideas in ebook form – you can check out their website at http://learnmaker.co.uk/ and see their free resources at http://learnmaker.co.uk/resources

Welcome Back To School

Welcome back to school 2015 - teacherrocks.co.uk

Happy 1st of September everyone!

We hope that you have had a fantastic break and are looking forward to your new classes! Some will be going straight back into class while others may be on Inset days but either way, we hope you have a great start to the new academic year.

The start of September also marks what would have been the official launch of the TeacherRocks blog. Originally we had decided that we would launch on the 1st of September, but we had so many ideas that we wanted to start work on it seemed silly to keep them to ourselves, so as we finished the posts we got them published.

Here’s some links to the articles that we’ve published over the last couple of weeks:

We have also been very busy on Twitter, clocking up 240 posts and 124 followers. We have started to connect with a fantastic community of educators that we find inspiring – so if you are not yet on Twitter, make that your “New Academic Years Resolution!“. If you’d like to connect with us, then you can find us via @teacherrocksuk.

We have a number of fantastic projects that we are working on at the moment, of particular note is a series on green screening and a teaching resources index/directory that we are very excited about.

Lets get cracking.. 🙂