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!
Have you seen the great free apps made by Adobe? They have been around a while but have recently been relaunched. They include Adobe Spark Video, Spark Post and Spark Page. The apps are really simple to use, include built in copyright-free icons and images and easy to follow instructions on how to use the apps.
These apps allow pupils and teachers to create beautiful content and are a great way to share learning and teaching. Spark in the Classroom provides inspiration, teacher and pupil created content and lesson plans to get you started. Please feel free to add comments about how you have/might use these in the classroom.
P4/5 at St Margarets have been learning about how to stay safe online. They completed a series of lessons, researched safety tips for different age groups and used creative apps to display their learning for others.
The class started off by answering key questions about digital safety to assess prior knowledge. They answered the questions on Post-its and the answers were collected and organised using the Post-it Plus iPad app. The app is free and great for collecting all the assessment information lurking on your desk!
Once this activity was complete the class were organised in to mixed ability groups. They decided what age group they would research, broadly organised to Early, First and Second Level. Using appropriate websites found in our digital safety planners (sent using the Chirp app) the class researched key information for staying safe online, whilst applying skills in note-taking they had recently been learning. When doing any research it is a good opportunity to test the reliability of a website and discuss its appropriateness. Resources for teaching critical awareness can be found here.
Each group used the easy to use, free app ChatterPix Kids to create animated video messages to share their learning. They then used Book Creator to add text, images and sound clips to host all their content.
The pupils were able to share their learning with their parents at a recent open morning which proved to be a great success! Take a look at one of their books below.
iTunes U is an iPad app where you can create a course and deliver it to your pupils. Pupils are able to submit homework and staff can use a built in gradebook to store marks. Staff can access all the resources on the iTunes store and the materials on iTunes U.
iTunes U works best when every pupil in the class has an Apple device.
Click on the icon or here to see the step-by-step guide.
By using Guided Access, you can ‘lock’ your iPad to one app. This is useful if you want students to stay within an app or not to exit an app by accident. Many teachers find this particularly useful when setting up younger children to work independently with an iPad.
Click on the icon or here to see the step-by-step guide.
Apps for Good is a charitable organisation aiming to allow students the opportunity to prepare for the real world by taking part in an app-designing challenge. They have created structured programmes where young people are challenged to come up with an app which provides a solution to a real-life problem. They then take their idea through the design process, working together as part of a team.
Apps for Good provide online training for teachers, teaching materials as well as course guidelines matched with CfE outcomes. The course structure is flexible, with a short and long versions, and is free for all non-fee-paying schools. Based in London, the company currently works with over 450 educational establishments and over 22,000 students from all parts of the UK. Some of their most successful app developing teams so far have come from a school in Wick.
The scheme is suitable to use all year round, although the deadline for competition entries is normally around Easter. This isn’t obligatory – schools can choose whether or not they’d like to take part in the competition, which is really a celebration of the hard work that has been happening throughout the year. The main aim of Apps for Good is to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in young people, allowing them access to a huge variety of industry experts who are giving back to the community by taking part in the scheme.
Several Edinburgh schools are already using Apps for good, including Boroughmuir and Craigmount High Schools. Here are some thoughts from teachers who have been delivering the programme:
“The materials are good and you can easily adapt them for your class. My pupils particularly enjoyed feedback from the Expert sessions. The Apps for Good team have been extremely supportive too.”
– Ms L. Dighton, Boroughmuir HS
“For anyone looking for a course that covers programming, app design, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and marketing you should really look into it.
The course has so many benefits:
Allows students to work together to create an app to solve an existing problem
Forces students to think about solutions to problems that they encounter
Forces students to work together from generation of ideas right through to implementation and marketing.” – Mr D. Sansom, Craigmount HS
Last Monday evening saw the first of our ‘iPad in the Classroom’ sessions for this year, with over 30 teachers coming along looking for inspiration and practical tips on using iPads effectively in their teaching and learning.
Some of the apps that teachers tried out were Padlet, Lego Movie Maker, Popplet, Chatterpix Kids, Decide Now!, Book Creator, Pic Collage and Adobe Voice. It was a very hands-on session with participants working in groups to complete activities using their iPads. Teachers were also encouraged to discuss how they could modify these tasks so that they could be used across different stages and curricular areas.
From the course, here is an example of a simple animation made with Lego Movie Maker exploring the concept of division: