This badge encourages us to look at educational apps that we may or may not use in our own teaching practice.
This app would be used in ICT when encouraging the children to look at coding. It would require the children to enter in different controls in a sequence so that their character does things. For example you could get the character to walk to another one and have a conversation with it.
- One advantage of this is that as iPads are becoming a regular feature of a classroom, it doesn’t mean you need to book out the computer room.
- Another positive is that the app is very easy to navigate yourself around and very child friendly.
- A negative aspect of this app is that it does limit how far children could get with the app, for more advanced coding sequences you would need to get the appropriate software for the computers
This app would be appropriate for Key Stage 2 as it helps children to develop their language skills for other languages. It has gradual steps to build them up to saying a whole sentence. With prompts and different sections such as animal and clothing and food, the children could gain a lot of expertise and help with key words during and in between lessons.
- A positive aspect of this app is as I’ve said before, the difficulty levels is gradual so it builds upon previous knowledge
- Another positive aspect is that once you’ve finished a section on the app then you can have little tests and refresher input so you don’t forget it
- A positive aspect can also be the fact that you can track your progress and your strong sections with the bar along the bottom of the app
- A negative aspect of this app is that there is no way for their to be individual pages on the app so there is no way for a teacher to track individual progress
First Step Country.
This app will help develop children’s knowledge of the outside world including (as you can see in the picture to the right) different flags, currencies, where places are on the map and famous monuments around the world. This will be an invaluable app for teachers in the classroom because it will add extra information to what the children will be learning in the classroom.
- A positive aspect of this app is that it is very easy to navigate yourself around
- Another positive aspect is that the app is based around games within the 4 different sections, so there is no pressure on the child. It is a fun way to gain new information
- A negative aspect is that there are no good alternatives for Key Stage 2 aged children as this amazing app is focussed on Key Stage 1
First News Newspaper.
This is an award winning, weekly British newspaper written for children and young people aged between 7-14. The newspaper covers lots of topics such as; UK and international news, sport reports, stories about animals, facts and puzzles and games.
- A positive side to the newspaper is that it gets children interested in the events that are going on around the world which is something that as teachers we need to encourage
- Another positive aspect is the fact that it has won awards! Obviously people in education and parents recognise the greatness of the app which can’t be ignored
- A negative aspect is that you get to a point where you need to pay to download the different issues, but you can subscribe and the cost for subscribing is cheaper than buying other magazines once a week that don’t have the same educational input
Cooking fun for Kids.
This app offers up healthy recipes that children can easily follow. As many schools are healthy schools and offer dinners to children, its surely a good thing for teachers to offer opportunities to learn key skills for cooking as well as learning about eating healthily.
- A positive aspect to this app is that the recipes are very clear with lots of lovely pictures for the children to look at and understand what they are aiming for in their cooking
- The app also includes videos for the children to watch so that they can learn key skills for cooking
- A negative aspect of this app is that it is very limited on the audience that it is appropriate for
This app offers up a weekly movie for children to watch and then there is an opportunity to look at related quizzes and activities. There are two main characters who go through everything with the children, Annie and Moby.
- One positive view on this app is that the app is engaging and colourful which makes the children interested in the different things that the app offers
- There are different levels of difficulty for the apps so the child has more control over what they are being tested on, as can be seen in the picture below
- A negative aspect of this app is that it is aimed at KS1 and there isn’t a KS2 alternative
This app is simply an app that will help children develop their drawing skills. The lessons take form in careful, simple steps that will help the child to build up a beautiful and complex picture. There are lots of key and helpful features that the child will need such as undo/redo, edit, modify and erase.
- A positive aspect of this app is that because the drawings are on the iPad they can not only be saved but you can directly print from the iPad so that the child has a copy of their work
- Another positive point to the app is jay there are 216 lessons available for the children that focus on different things from transport and robots to animals and dinosaurs
- A negative aspect of this is that it is very time consuming so wouldn’t be something that you would offer in an art lesson or a quick 10 minutes before lunch time
Little Story Creator.
As the title explains, this app allows children to put together an app. It uses pictures and videos and you can add text, borders, audio and drawings to develop and make a story.
- This is a great app as it allows children to be creative in a different way than the opportunities in the classroom perhaps offer
- Its also good because it mixes different subjects together such as English, Art and ICT
- A negative aspect of this is that because of the nature of the app, the stories, if left to be completed at a different point, can be opened and then edited by anyone. But the beauty of this is also that it can be an excellent opportunity to make group work such as writing stories interesting and exciting
Weird but True!
This is a fantastic science app that holds lots, in fact 625, facts that are presented in a fun, colourful and interactive way that will grab children’s attention! It is put together by the National Geographic Society which makes it a more reliable source that teachers can trust.
- A good aspect of this app is that you can bookmark or save the weird and wonderful facts, so if as a teacher you came across an interesting and relevant fact for a lesson you can easily access it and put it up on the interactive whiteboard for all the children to see
- Another good thing about this app is that you can select which topic you want to hear facts on such as animals, weather, space, science
- A negative aspect of this is that the free aspect of the app doesn’t last for long and to access more facts you have to buy the bundles
The beauty of having these apps and others like it on an iPad in a classroom is that the children can not only learn from them at school but also download the apps if they have iPads at home so that the learning can continue outside of the classroom.
Thanks for reading!