secondary

Apps for Good – a novel way to deliver computational thinking and foster creativity

News

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

For further information about Apps for Good or to sign up, please download their flyer here or view their website here.

OneNote Class Notebook at Tynecastle High School

(Please click on the images to see in more detail)

From Skitch blur cMartyn Call, acting PT Maths at Tynecastle High, has been using Class Notebook with his Nat 5 Class this year.

Each pupil accesses OneNote via the App on their iPad.

Each pupil has their own area within class notebook for their classwork making it a virtual jotter.

 

 

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When teaching the whole class Martyn uses the smartboard and anything he does automatically appears in the ’Content Library’.

This means that the pupils are not required to copy anything down.

He can also easily add the Success criteria and he has personalised the ‘tags’ to distinguish the type of task that they are allocated.

 

 

 

The Notebook can also be used for tracking.

 

From Skitch 2From Skitch 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tasks carried out in a jotter can easily be captured and embedded in Class Notebook.

 

From Skitch 1

The pupils in the class said:-

“It’s better for revising and note taking and you can do your homework in one area and it allows you to draw directly on to the app.”

“I like it because it tracks what I do well and what I need to work on.”

“The benefits are it’s better for revising and no paper. Learning is easy – you don’t need to use your jotter.”

Martyn commented that:-

“OneNote allows me to interact with students in real time. Teaching with OneNote (which syncs with student iPads) has been great in building up class notes. The content library and personal spaces allow me to give out homework and feedback easily.”

OneNote is also being used in these other areas of the school:-

Physics – use as textbook

PSE – use as portfolio

PE – textbook and peer feedback

For more information on OneNote Click here:-

http://onenoteforteachers.com/

 

 

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.

Using QR Codes – Tollcross Primary School

What is a QR code?

A QR (Quick ReQR Codesponse) Code is a two-dimensional barcode which stores information, this can be basic text, pictures, video files or a link to a website. When scanned by a mobile device, with a QR reader, this data becomes available on the device. Many QR readers are available in the App Store. Also, Kaywa.com, mobile-barcodes.com and beetagg.com allow you to generate your own QR codes for free.

Tollcross Primary School QR Code and Outdoor PE Project

Using funding provided by Education Scotland Tollcross Primary School has developed a technologies project focused on enhancing core skills in PE. Children worked collaboratively to plan a route of activity stations with three levels of difficulty at each. The groups created QR codes which, when scanned, provide instructions on the movements which should be carried out. This project has been a great learning experience for the children involved. They have been motivated by the use of iPads and iPod Touches as part of their learning, worked collaboratively with one another and received, and acted upon, feedback from other local primary school children.

The project was highly commended at the Edinburgh Education Awards and is a finalist for the Scottish Education Awards for creativity. Visit the school blog to find out more. For lots more ideas about using QR codes in the classroom click here.

From Concrete 2 Cookers

fromconcrete2cookersfromconcrete2cookers is an exciting and timely game which encourages children to explore their school environment and spot ways of reducing the school’s carbon emissions. The players will make decisions based on knowledge gained in the course of the game and their available budget, which increases as they answer questions correctly.

The game is aimed at CfE levels 2 and 3, helps address experiences and outcomes in Science, Technologies and Social Studies, and was developed in conjunction with Heriot Watt University and Edinburgh schools.

You can find out more here: http://c2c.junction-18.com

Big History Project

big historyTake your students on a 13.7 billion year journey! Ask the big questions about our Universe, our planet, life and humanity. Explore where we are going in the future and challenge your students to develop the skills and knowledge they need to get there.

The Big History Project is a free, online social studies course designed for secondary schools. It’s a joint effort between a group of dedicated teachers, schools, and supporters, committed to helping students develop vital skills, knowledge, and a deep, enduring passion for learning.

Find out more at this website: https://course.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive

Infographics – what are they and how to make your own!

Information graphics, or infographics, are everywhere. They are used to communicate information, often stats and other data, clearly and quickly. Infographics are effective because of their high visual element – they appeal to the large proportion of visual learners.

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One example of a famous infographic is the London Underground map, but infographics can be found in journalism, on TV, for marketing products and services, for sharing information on social media sites and in education.

You can find fabulous examples of infographics at http://visual.ly/ (we particularly like the ones about the Titanic, Twitter, the telephone and Joey Barton).

“They’re amazing, but I’m not a graphic designer…” Don’t worry – even the most graphically challenged of us can come up with an eye-catching result using one of a number of online infographic creation sites such as: easel.lyinfogr.ampiktochart

How could you and your students use infographics to enhance learning? What could be represented in this way? Let us know what you come up with and we will post some infographics that you and/or your students have made here.