Apps for Good is a technology education movement with a mission to grow the problem-solvers and digital makers of tomorrow. Their aim is to equip young people with the right digital and entrepreneurial skills to create technology for good, benefiting their communities and transforming their worlds.
Educators are upskilled via online CPD to deliver ‘App Development and Internet of Things’ courses to learners. The course is aimed at children aged 8-18. Students are challenged to come up with any problem or issue they are passionate about within their communities and learn how to solve it, through building a digital product. Through the Apps for Good programme students learn not just vital technical skills but the enterprise and employability skills to design, market, launch and pitch their products solving real-world problems.
Delivering Apps for Good is completely free, with all of CPD and teaching materials available online. Throughout the duration of an Apps for Good course, teachers can also request the support of an industry expert to join their classroom virtually to give the students some feedback, guidance on their ideas and careers advice. Students are also invited to enter the Apps for Good annual competition, with finalists invited to London to pitch their ideas to a panel of dragons. For more information download the Educator Welcome Pack or sign up here.
There are many excellent apps available for iPad that can be used in school. Here are a few that come recommended by the Digital Learning Team:
Cost: Free (Office 365 login required)
Description: OneNote is part of the Office 365 package and you will need to login before you can use it. It is a great organisational tool where you can can keep notes of meetings, to-do lists, lesson plans and many other things. You can alse use the camera to insert photos directly and then use the draw function to annotate the pictures.
Use OneNote Class Notebook if you would like to use OneNote to create a digital jotter system in your classroom, check out the guide here.
Cost: Free (Office 365 login required)
Description: Office Lens is a document scanning app, but it has many more uses than simply scanning. You can use it to take a picture of a whiteboard during a presentation and then fix the view so it looks like you are right in front of the board. Lens also features Optical Character Recognition, this means it can read text from pictures. Take an image of text and then choose Immersive Reader when you export it to have the app read the text out loud to you.
Learning Tools is a great simple app designed to be used in the classroom. It does not require wifi to function once downloaded and installed. Learning tools contains a mini whiteboard, traffic lights, countdown clock, multiple choice answers and stopwatch. It is simple to use and perfect for formative assessment.
Description: This app is perfect if you like brainstorming using post-its or collecting exit tickets from pupils using post-its. Collect all your post-its from students or colleagues and then take a picture of them using the app, it will recognise the post-its. You can now move the post-its around, add new ones or put them into groups. Keep the post-it board on your iPad or export it as an image if you want to use it for something else.
Plickers is great for formative assessment and can store the results your pupils give even if the teacher is the only person in the room with an iPad. Pupils are issued with cards that look like QR codes, dependent on how the code is rotated it gives different answers to a multiple choice question. The teacher puts a question on the board and pupils hold up their cards to be scanned by the teacher iPad. Teachers can create banks of questions to use over and over again and can look back at reports so they can track pupil progress.
Description: The built in Photos app for iPad includes some little known hidden features. The mark-up feature which allows you to draw or type on an image as well as magnify certain areas of the picture is really useful! Find out how to mark up photos here.
The Digital Learning Team will be hosting a series of events in collaboration with Microsoft. Microsoft Teacher Ambassador Natalie Burgess will join the team to run two learning events for staff in Edinburgh Council schools where they can learn about some of the new developments from Microsoft Education. These will run from 1.30-3.30pm on Friday 12th may and Friday 26th May. You can sign up here.
We look forward to seeing you there!
On Friday 21st of April the Digital Learning Team launched the Innovation Centre for Education.
The centre was put together in collaboration with CGI and XMA. It showcases digital technology available to schools through the refresh with CGI, as well as devices that can be purchased through other suppliers. The items on show include apps and accessories for iPad, Virtual Reality headsets, programmable toys, laptops and desktops.
Guests at the launch included representatives from Edinburgh schools, CGI, XMA, Apple and Edinburgh Council. They had the opportunity to find out the aims for the centre and how it was created, they also had a chance to try out all the kit in the room and chat to the Digital Learning Team.
The Innovation Centre will soon be opening for schools in Edinburgh to book a visit. This will provide an opportunity to try out the available technology and work on the digital strategy for schools, with the support from the DLT. Schools will be informed when they are able to book sessions.
We would like to thank CGI, XMA and Edinburgh Council in their support with this project.
Blog post by Secondary Development Officer, Anna Kellner:
I have returned to teaching for two half days a week and am experimenting with the use of Class Notebook. I opted for the use of Class Notebook in an attempt to motivate learners who find maths a challenging subject. In the short time I have been using OneNote Class Notebook I am already aware of a number of advantages. These include pupils being able to access work anytime, anywhere, the efficient and easy monitoring and marking of work, the ability to differentiate material and provide timely feedback to learners.
How it worked…
I put notes into the Content Library so that pupils have something they can refer back to.
I then populated the pupil notebooks with corresponding sections containing questions on all of the topics.
Pupils worked independently on these questions whilst I monitored their work and marked everything they did from my own device.
If there was something that multiple pupils were struggling with then I would stop the class and go over the concept, these notes would go straight into the Content Library.
Whilst the pupil notebooks were populated with questions and tasks, for all of the upcoming topics, pupils did not have access to all of them at once.
To gain access to different sections pupils had to first complete the initial section, with the answers revealing the password to unlock the next stage. This allowed for self-paced learning and made differentiation inherent to the process, whilst ensuring learners’ knowledge was secure in each topic before moving on.
The class have been working well and they are engaged in their learning, they have also shown interest in accessing the notebook from home. The ability to constantly monitor and assess all pupil work has meant that I am aware of misconceptions at an early stage. Therefore I am able to scaffold and support individual learning needs.
For a guide on using OneNote Class Notebook click here.
The Math Learning Center have created some excellent resources for supporting numeracy and maths. Their apps are available for iPad or can be accessed via a web browser on a PC, but even better they are completely free. The web based versions can be used for whole class lessons or to support groups with the interactive features. You’ll no longer have to go searching the maths cupboard for the long lost geoboards and elastic bands, concrete materials for counting and 2D shapes!
Please click on the icon or here to view the courses that are being offered by the Digital Learning Team this term.
Please note that these courses are for staff at the City of Edinburgh Council only.
A separate flyer with CPD specifically for probationary teachers in Edinburgh will be emailed directly.