iPad Good practice

Using Aurasma in the Classroom

Aurasma is a free app which uses Augmented Reality technology to bring an extra dimension or overlay to otherwise static images in the form of an “Aura”. Simply use the app to create a “trigger’ which when scanned links with an “Aura” which can be in the form of a photograph, video or work created in another app such as iMovie or Adobe Voice.

St Mary’s have used Aurasma to bring displays to life around the school…

Aurasma and other forms of AR technology have quickly surpassed the QR Code and is increasingly adopted by multinational companies to promote their products. Educators use Aurasma to bring interactivity to traditional 2D displays, embedding its use in learning and teaching. To get started with Aurasma click here, for further support look at Classroom Uses of Aurasma and more Augmented Reality Resources.

Apps for Assessment

board-361516_1280There are some great apps to make assessment and timely feedback easier for teachers- the following are just a few! Baiboard HD is a fantastic, free, collaborative whiteboard tool. You can set up a session with multiple slides, go live and invite pupils to join by simply entering a code (no passwords required). Pupils are then able to respond in real time, allowing you to see very quickly who is or is not understanding the concepts you are trying to teach. Feedback can be typed, written and pictures can be sent instantly. This is a particularly great tool for classrooms with just one iPad per group.

Plickers is a great, free app which can be used in a classroom with just one iPad! It collects real time data which is great for quizzes, voting, evaluation of personal performance and much more. To find out how to use it and some ideas for classroom use click take a quick look at the early years and “Minds in Bloom” blog.

Creative apps can be used by pupils to display their learning. Apps such as ExplainEverything and Showme enable pupils to explain concepts. Book Creator, iMovie, Adobe Voice, Puppet Pals and Piccolage are particularly powerful apps which allow multimedia to be used to display individual and group learning as a culmination of a project or concept.

Below is an example of how Book Creator might be used to collect assessment and examples of work and pupil reflection over the course of a term or year.

Content Creation Apps@Towerbank PS

Teachers at Towerback spent some of their professional learning time investigating creative apps for iPad. The apps included Book Creator, Explain Everything, Adobe Voice and Aurasma. These apps are great for using in any curricular context and the pupils and staff found them very user friendly. Each class were given the opportunity to use the apps in a variety of contexts- take a look at some of the ways the classes used them.

Literacy and Health & Wellbeing using Adobe Voice

As part of Book Week each stage wrote and illustrated a chapter of ‘The Unlikely Friendship’ which will be published and go on sale in Portobello. Linking this to their topic on emotions, P5 evaluated the project and showcased the work for the community using the free presentation app, Adobe Voice.

Maths in P7 using Explain Everything

Pupils in P7 have been learning about fractions. In order to teach their peers they created a video in Explain Everything which helped reinforce learning, demonstrate understanding and build confidence.

Health & Wellbeing and Expressive Arts using Aurasma

Aurasma uses Augmented Reality technology to bring pupils’ work to life. As part of their transition project P7 pupils identified their worries about moving to high school. They created artwork in the style of Roy Lichtenstein to represent these emotions, which they had ‘unpacked’ using Emotion Works cogs.

The art work became a ‘trigger’ for dramas, which the groups filmed to represent their worries. Parents were invited to school and used Aurasma to load the ‘overlay’ and discover what the worries their children experience during this time of transition, and tips for overcoming them!

20150326_164541753_iOSFor tutorials and classroom ideas for these and other content creation apps try these creative app resources.

Augmented Reality in Science: Elements 4D

Daqri have created a a great app which introduces the elements of the periodic table in an engaging way. Using six cubes, which can be printed and assembled for free, and the 20150206_110723000_iOSElements 4D app pupils will see elements come to life like never before. More recently the company have developed a series of lessons suitable for upper primary and high school pupils which demonstrate how the app can be used for curricular purposes. There is an elementary, middle and high school series of lessons available for you to try out in your classroom!

20150206_110741000_iOSA particularly powerful feature of the app occurs when two elements are allowed to react e.g. when Sodium and Chlorine triggers are placed next to each other they display the new compound, Sodium Chloride (salt). If you find this app useful in the classroom you may also like to try Anatomy 4D which brings some of the systems of the human body to life.

Digital Leaders

Digital Leaders are a group of pupils who support the use and development of ICT in school. The group can vary in size and be made up of children of any age (usually upper pupils in primary schools). The roles of the members may include the following:

  • Contribute to the school website
  • Blog on behalf of the school, individual classes or clubs
  • Share their ICT skills with classes, pupils and teachers
  • Heighten the profile of digital safety running whole school competitions etc
  • Lead lunchtime ICT clubs
  • Share up to date resources with staff i.e. app of the week, websites and creative apps
  • Share troubleshooting tips for iPad users
  • Carry out iPad house keeping duties i.e. clearing camera rolls at the end of term

phontoWith a growing number of iPads, pupils at Clermiston Primary have formed a Digital Leaders team. They applied and interviewed for the job and are supported by a teacher who helps them with the organisation of tasks, ensures members have relevant skills and meets regularly with the team. Suzanne Gilhooley, PT at Clermiston, used resources created by the National Grid for Learning Wales to help get the team up and running.

Download the Digital Leaders Pack to help your school set up a team. It includes information about the roles of Digital Leaders, how to get started, application forms and links to further resources. This is an excellent way to involve pupils in the whole school ICT strategy, develop pupil voice and skills for life and work.

Augmented Reality in the Early Years

Augmented Reality (AR) is technology which superimposes digitally generated information on to the user’s view of reality, this may take the form of a video, 2D or 3D image etc. AR works well with the iPad and a number of apps have been created which can be used creatively in teaching and learning, here are just a few examples.

AR Flashcards 

IMG_0274The award-winning company, AR Flashcards, has created free flashcards which can be downloaded from the website. Once downloaded the app is used to scan the cards or ‘triggers’ to reveal a 3D image. There are two sets of free cards including the alphabet and dinosaurs. Once scanned, touching the image on-screen causes the letter/dinosaur’s name to be read out. Multiple cards can be viewed simultaneously allowing the alphabet to be used for letter recognition, ordering and the spelling of short words such as CVC/CVVC and sight words.



IMG_0265Chromville is a great, free AR app. There are five worlds on Planet Chromville, each with different themes. Currently there is one chapter (picture) for each world which, once coloured in, could act as a stimulus for both storytelling and creative writing. There are also customisable characters, which once personalised, could stimulate individual or collaborative digital storytelling.




Phonic Tricksters

IMG_0261Phonic Tricksters is a great app for consolidating and assessing knowledge of phonics in a fun and interactive way. Children will love chasing the Tricksters, who have stolen phonemes, around the room. In order to progress to the next stage they must identify the phoneme with a matching word. This app is free to trial and requires an in app purchase of 69p to unlock all the Tricksters.

Other interesting AR apps created by PBS Kids include Fetch! Lunch Rush, which practices addition to 20 and Cyberchase 3D Builder which, designed for 6-9 year olds, practices problem solving with 2D and 3D shape.

‘Movie in a Day’ @ D’Mains Primary

Primary 6B at Davidson’s Mains Primary School worked with retired Drama specialist Marjory Sweeney and film maker Brian English of “Movie in a Day” to make a movie in a day. The class experienced the entire process of film making including pre-production, production and post-production.

Prior to the day of filming the class received a script for which they had to audition and screen test actors, create sets, costumes and posters to publicise the event. On the day of filming the children were in teams and supported in filming, directing and editing the movie. They were taught how to get the best shot, how to film a picture and how to direct their actors. Using iMovie the editing team inserted music and cut scenes to create the final one minute film.

The day culminated in the premiere of the movie where pupils were able to celebrate success and receive feedback for future projects. ‘Movie in a Day’ is ideal for P6 pupils who can then develop and share their skills with younger pupils. Take a look at the final product produced entirely by the children!