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.

LearnMaker

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.. 🙂

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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[su_column size=”1/2″]Price: £2.29[/su_column]
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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