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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Tinybop apps to enhance learning in the classroom

I feel technology can enhance and transform learning in lots of different ways. On my training, I focus more on using the technology to create content. There are however, some fantastic consumer apps that are a fantastic way for children to learn and practise and deepen their knowledge and understanding. Some recent apps I have thoroughly enjoyed using in the classroom are the Tinybop collection.

I have previously blogged about using the Robot Factory app, you can read about it here. 

I have been enjoying using the top row of Tinybop apps in the classroom linked with our science topics. The Human Body, Earth, Weather and Space apps are fantastic ways for children to explore and learn through play and discovery. 

The apps have been purposely designed full of interactive activities for children to play and learn about different concepts. My children have been learning all about the human body and so the Tinybop Human Body app has been a great way for children to learn more about the topic. The attention to detail is fantastic. The students can explore every aspect of the body and deepen their understanding through play. There are lots of different activities the children can play to learn about how the body works. The app works well for both KS1 and KS2 and children of all abilities will be able to use the app to help enhance their topic learning about the Human Body. You can see the app in action here:

The whole range of apps work in a very similar way and are a fantastic resource to enhance learning in Science. The team at Tinybop have also created some great guides for teachers which you can read here.

I am very excited to have 5 copies of the Human Body app up for grabs through my Facebook page. Please watch and follow the following instructions:

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Interactive Timeline about the Romans

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of working with our Year 5 as they embark on their Ancient Roman topic. We decided as a class to create our own interactive timeline. Firstly, we discussed which important events we would include and tried to link some of these to the impact Romans had on Britain.

Once we had decided on the events, we put them into a timeline using the app Popplet.

In pairs, the children were then given an event to research and find more information about. They had to then choose an app to create a 30-second presentation about the app where they could demonstrate what they had learned. They could use apps such as Tellagami, Shadow Puppets Edu or ChatterKids

Each video was linked to the timeline using the app Thinglink and saved to our Thinglink account.

The class could then load the thinglink of their devices and watch every other group and learn about that event from each other.

This is an idea that can be easily adapted to any topic and gives the children the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a more creative way.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Learning about the body with the amazing Curiscope Virtuali-tee app!

I love using technology to create moments of awe and wonder with my pupils. Two of the best tools for this are Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Imagine an app which combines both to make learning about the Human Body more fun and interactive than ever before!

I have been following the progress of the Curiscope project for the best part of a year after backing the campaign on Kickstarter. It is fantastic to finally see the app and t-shirt available.

The app is FREE however it needs one of the t-shirts to work. The t-shirts come in a variety of colours and sizes and can be ordered here.

Once you have the t-shirt, one pupil can wear it and the others can use the app on different devices to scan the t-shirt, where they are then able to see inside the body! As you can see with the following gif created with my sons.

The app allows you to investigate different physiological systems such as the circulatory and respiratory systems. You can tap an option to have a voiceover share interesting facts and information about the body. There is also the option to view using virtual reality, meaning if you get the app on an iPhone or similar device you can use a Google cardboard or VR headset and give the children a fully immersive 3D experience.

The app is a superb example of how technology can transform the way in which we learn, in this case, about the body. 

I am very excited to announce that the fantastic team over at Cursiscope have given me TWO t-shirts to give away through my Facebook and Instagram page. To be in with a chance of winning, please like, share and comment on this post on Facebook. You must comment for me to see that you have shared it.

You can also win by liking and commenting on this post on Instagram:

Sunday, 5 February 2017

It's the Weather - Another adventure with Mrs May!

The third installment of the #BeLikeMrsMay takes a look at Mrs May's behaviour management strategies and the SATs monster:

YouTube link:

Some thoughts on #SaferInternetDay

I felt compelled to make the following video with some thoughts and ideas about how we should be teaching Internet Safety.

If you want a YouTube link:

If you want to download a version to use and show in a staff meeting:

Click Here 

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Fantastic Toontastic to Create Animated Films!

In this rich digital world we live in, we are exposed to visuals more than every before. We engage with visuals more than text and children especially seem to engage watching endless Youtube videos, films, TV shows etc. One thing we should be teaching children is that the only way to get decent visual media is to write decent content first.

When children are given the opportunity to transform their writing from lifeless text on the page to a digital story, it motivates them, gives them a purpose and the opportunity to develop a range of other important skills.

This approach underpins a lot of my ideas on the blog and also the READWRITEPERFORM approach.

A new app I have discovered which is a fantastic way for children to make their own animated films is Toontastic 3D.

This FREE app from Google allows children to draw, animate, and narrate their own cartoons. This video made by the guys behind the app gives you an insight into how the app works:

The app is so easy and simple to use.

  • You start by choosing the type of story you want to tell.

  • You are then given a story mountain to help you structure your story.

  • You tap on the beginning and then choose your setting. You are given the option to draw your own.

  • You can then add characters to the scene. Again there is the option to draw your own or use the camera to add yourself to the story.

  • You can click start and the iPad will record anything you say and anything you do on the screen including moving the characters, their limbs, tapping on them to perform a gesture or holding down on the character to make their mouth move.
  • Once the recording has finished, you have a variety of soundtracks to choose from to enhance the scene further.

  • The finished project can be exported to the camera roll to be shared and evidenced through a range of tools.

Some of my Year 6 pupils were tasked with transforming some of their fantastic story writing into an animated film. Here are a couple of their efforts:

The opportunities for use in class is immense, storytelling has never been so much fun! But the opportunities for presentations, explanations and other non-fiction texts.

Entreprenaws - Bringing business and enterprise into the classroom!

 My blog is all about sharing ideas to try and make learning more purposeful through the use of technology. Some of my previous posts about this worth a read are: When learning is real, learning matters! and Traditional Tales with Nando's

I am a massive fan of using technology and apps that provide a real world context for children to apply their knowledge and understanding. A new app, which fits this category perfectly is Entreprenaws. 

The app has been created by the Stepping into Business team, who are on a mission to try and teach and educate younger students about entrepreneurship and business. The app does this by developing a range of skills in a fun and engaging game. 

I have known about this app for a while as some of our pupils were lucky enough to test some early versions of the game. The reaction to it from our pupils was extremely positive: the discussions, explanations and problem solving the children were demonstrating from using the app was really impressive.  

I am very lucky to be given some free codes from the app on both Apple and Android. To be in with a chance of winning head over to my facebook page - and share the following post, which shows you more about the app: