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

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

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

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5 Children’s Apps to Enhance Outdoor Learning

5 Children's Apps to Enhance Outdoor Learning

This is a guest post from Sam Flatman from Pentagon Sport.

Technology is commonplace inside the classroom, but some teachers are still holding back when it comes to taking tech outdoors. There are many debates about the role of technology in outdoor learning and we must ensure that using tablets and other devices enhances learning rather than detracts from it. For teachers who are keen to integrate outdoor learning and technology into their lessons, apps can be used to supplement learning across the curriculum.

5 Children’s Apps to Enhance Outdoor Learning

These five apps are particularly excellent for engaging learners.

Project Noah by Networked Organisms

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Project Noah ScreenshotProject Noah QR Code[/su_column]
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Project Noah is a great app for exploring and documenting wildlife. As you come across animals and insects while outdoors, the app can be used to ‘submit spottings’ and help you to identify the species.

Children can earn patches for their hard work by uploading animal sightings, participating in missions and more.

Project Noah is an excellent app to combine with the science curriculum and learn about local wildlife.
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[su_column size=”1/2″]Price: Free[/su_column]
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Curious Words by Curious Hat

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Curious Words AppCurious Words QR Code[/su_column]
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The aim of this app is to get children thinking about words.

A word will randomly appear on the screen and learners must shoot a one second video to represent this word. For example, if the word “smile” appears, they could video their friend smiling at the camera. The app strings together these words and videos to make a short film.

Curious words is an excellent app for literacy-based classes and can encourage interest in film studies early on.
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Curious Words is available as a paid app from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS7 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 5th Generation and newer.

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Compass by Harpan LLC

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Free Compass AppCompass QR Code[/su_column]
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Many young learners struggle with navigational and map-reading skills.

Compass is a simple app which teaches children how to use a compass and how to follow a trail map.

This is great practise for children and can be used to support the geography curriculum  by helping children to understand how map reading works.
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Free Compass is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS4.2 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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Storyboard That by Clever Prototypes, LLC

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Story Board That ScreenshotStoryboard That QR Code[/su_column]
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Another app for which is great for literacy, Storyboard That allows children to build a storyboard by dragging and dropping images into a sequence.

Children can choose between preloaded images or they can head outside and snap their own photos to tell their tale.

This app is excellent for KS2 and even KS3 as it helps learners to concentrate on ensuring their creative writing has a good structure.
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Photogene by Omer Shoor

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Photogene AppPhotogene QR Code[/su_column]
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Photo apps are always excellent for art class.

Photogene is a really creative and fun app which encourages children to shoot and edit their own photos. A great activity for this app is to head outside and take close ups of flowers and plants outside.

Back in the classroom, the photos can be edited to strengthen colours, then learners can grab their paints and try to replicate the image that they just took outside.
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Photogene is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS6 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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There are an enormous number of apps out there that can be used to support the school curriculum. This isn’t always a straightforward process and it’s important that activities which use apps and well planned. I always recommend that children are split into small groups to share tablets.

This not only means that they have to use their sharing skills, but also ensures that learners aren’t always focused on the screen, but instead are looking around outdoors to spot wildlife, searching landmarks from their map, or finding things to photograph.

What other apps do your class use for outdoor learning?


About the Author: Sam Flatman is an Educational Consultant for Pentagon Sport. Pentagon have worked with over 6,000 settings to create innovative playgrounds and learning environments for young students.

Website: http://www.pentagonsport.co.uk
Pentagon’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PentagonSportUK
Pentagon’s Twitter: @PentagonSportUK

Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for Maths

Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for Maths - Sept 2015

During a recent conversation on Twitter with @MichaelT1979, we were asked to recommend our top free apps for English and Maths for students to download and use over the summer. 

We use these apps every week and they make fantastic free additions to your iPad app portfolio.

We would recommend that you also check out Part 1 of this mini series – Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for English

Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for Maths

Presented in no particular order:

Splash Math by StudyPad, Inc.

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Splash Math Appsplash math qr[/su_column]
[su_column size=”4/5″]Splash Math is a wonderful little Maths app that covers a whole range of topics including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, fractions, time and even money. The app covers a whole range of skill levels and is suitable for ages 4 to 14.

Children are encouraged, once they have completed all the maths challenges that their level, to go beyond and practice the next grade level. If a child is stuck on some of the questions, they can switch to lower grades to revise and reenforce their learning before having another go.

A web version of the app is also available.

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Splash Math is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS7 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 5th Generation and newer.

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My Times Tables by WhoMadeThis

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[su_column size=”1/5″]My Times Tables Appmy times tables qr[/su_column]
[su_column size=”4/5″]My Times Tables is a fun and easy way for your pupils to learn the first 20 times tables. The app has four steps, the first is to review the times tables one by one. The second step is to fill out missing numbers from the times tables.

Step three is where you can compete against the computer or even your friends through the Games Center. The last step of the game is to review the times tables as a whole.

Its a great little app that really injects some fun into learning your times tables!

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My Times Tables is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS6 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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Numbers Game! by Ben Sheehan

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Numbers Game Appnumbers game qr[/su_column]
[su_column size=”4/5″]Numbers Game! is a simple but addictive maths game. The aim of the game is to reach the target number using any of the 6 numbers that have been provided using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Players can work through a variety of levels with increasing difficulty or they can choose to play against the clock in a “time attack” mode.

The game also integrates well with Apple’s Game Centre so you can compete with players all over the world.

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Numbers Game! is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS6 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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Whats in your top apps list for Maths? Are there any interesting apps that we have missed? If so, you can contact us via Facebook, Twitter or a good old fashioned contact form.

 

Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for English

Our top 3 free ipad apps for English - Sept 2015

During a recent conversation on Twitter with @MichaelT1979, we were asked to recommend our top free apps for English and Maths for students to download and use over the summer. 

We use these apps every week and they make fantastic free additions to your iPad app portfolio.

We would recommend that you also check out Part 2 of this mini series – Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for Maths

Our Top 3 Free iPad Apps for English

Presented in no particular order:

SpellFix by Alan Peat Ltd

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[su_column size=”1/5″]SpellFix by Alan Peatspellfix_qr[/su_column]
[su_column size=”4/5″]Spellfix is a great app to encourage children to learn some of the harder words in the English language.

Each level has 8 tricky spellings to find to progress to the next level, progression is made through using the clues and available letters on screen.

Spellfix is a great app as it teaches the meaning of the word at the same time as the spelling, meaning its ideal for contextualised learning.[/su_column]
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Spellfix is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS6 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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Learn English with Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge by British Council

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Learn English Appjohnny_grammer_qr[/su_column]
[su_column size=”4/5″]Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge encourages players to beat the clock and answer as many spelling, vocabulary and grammar questions you can in the 60 second limit.

Players can earn a series of badges by completing levels with the ultimate goal of achieving Johnnys Gold Badge.

You can even compete with players around the world online![/su_column]
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Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS6 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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[su_column size=”1/2″]Price: FREE[/su_column]
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Jumbled Sentences 3 by Innovative Net Learning Limited

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[su_column size=”1/5″]Jumbled Sentences Appjumbled_sentences_qr[/su_column]
[su_column size=”4/5″]Jumbled Sentences is a great app that helps beginners improve their writing skills.

The app offers an engaging and interactive way for beginners to learn and master word order. The app also offers a self checking tool that allows players to check their own progress as they go.

Difficulty can be changed by adding in extra word to the sentences making solving the scrambled works that much harder.[/su_column]
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Jumbled Sentences 3 is available for free from the iTunes store for both iPhone and iPad. The app is compatible with all current iOS devices, requiring a minimum of iOS6 to run. It will work on the following devices: iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and iPod touch 4th Generation and newer.

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[su_column size=”1/2″]Price: FREE[/su_column]
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Whats in your top apps list for English? Are there any interesting apps that we have missed? If so, you can contact us via Facebook, Twitter or a good old fashioned contact form.

Thanks!