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.
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 Elements 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!
A 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.
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.
The 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.
Chromville 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 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.
360 Degree Safe is a free, award winning, digital safety review tool designed by SWGfL’s E-Safety Team. It allows schools to review current digital safety provision and, on a five-point scale, provides benchmarks for improvement in the following areas:
- Policy and Leadership (Responsibilities, Policies, Communications and Communication Technologies)
- Infrastructure (Passwords, Services)
- Education (Students, Staff, Parents and Carers)
- Standards (Monitoring)
Key Features of 360 Degree Safe Scotland
- Progress. A summary of the school’s progress in digital safety is readily available and easily accessible.
- Resources. Clear advice and resources are provided to support improvement.
- Engagement. Multiple users can be registered to contribute to this online, working document.
- Benchmarking. Continuous feedback on progress is provided by benchmarking progress compared to other schools.
- Action Planning. Records and reports next steps which can inform the school development plan.
- Reports. Progress Reports can be downloaded immediately in a variety of file formats.
- Celebrates. Once registered a “Commitment to E-Safety” certificate can be printed and displayed.
- Accredits. Once reaching the required standards a school can apply for an external evaluation and, if successful, will be awarded with the E-Safety Mark. (This application incurs a cost)
Find out more
Visit www.360safescotland.org.uk where you can register for free, experiment with the tool and watch short instructional videos.
As the school year comes to a close a great way to keep your class motivated and consolidating maths skills would be to join in the free Sumdog contest. The contest opens at 8am this Friday and runs until Thursday 26th June. Children will compete with their peers across Edinburgh for a chance to win some great prizes. Click here to join the contest, if you have any questions or need help joining contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create mobile apps for free with AppShed, an intuitive and flexible tool that enables anyone to build content based web apps. Now you can have your own app on any smartphone (Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows 7). Step-by step instructions and interactive learning make app creation easy for complete beginners and experienced app developers alike.
No installation required – apps are created in a web browser. Learn how to use AppShed here: http://www.youtube.com/user/AppShed. Edinburgh schools – if you want to go further than the free version, please get in contact with the Digital Learning Team to discuss.