David Andrews formed Mr Andrews Online back in 2012 with a vision to deliver better learning experiences for children using mobile technology. Since 2012, he has worked alongside hundreds of schools and teachers, delivering classroom experience days for Primary school children up and down the country. He has recently written a ‘Creative Computing Curriculum’ for a leading Academy, as their previous scheme had become stale and didn’t allow the teachers to exploit cross curricular opportunities. They wanted the scheme to ‘wow the children and be aspirational’.
Digital leaders can be a great way to raise the profile for the effective, creative and safe use of technology in schools. It can be a great way to equip children with the enterprising and life skills needed in the future. Not only could the role of being a digital leader build their confidence and self-esteem - it would also be of benefit to teachers across the school.
Recently we've had the privilege to be invited to work alongside Hull Children's University and St James Primary School, sharing our methods on how the application of mobile technology can have a real impact on [education] standards. Over the next year we will be working with all the schools which are supported by the charity to share a simple, effective, accessible approach to raising standards across the curriculum.
Working alongside Hull Children's University, we helped to design a Digital Arts project based on the module 'I'm Proud of My City' - Hull's successful bid to become the City of Culture for 2017 and using the free Feren's Art Gallery for inspiration for the children's ideas.
Hull Children's University was started by Dr John Buttrick to give 'young people the opportunity for invaluable learning experiences aimed at raising their future aspirations and ambitions.' We first became inspired by John and his ethos at an event at Hull University, 'We Will Be Champions', in May 2012, which was set up inspire the primary children in Hull to perform to their maximum potential and to be the best that they can be. The event attracted around 500 children and some fabulous speakers, which included Kevin Keegan, Graham Taylor, John Godber, Mike Tomlinson, Alan Johnson and Sam Whittaker.
The opportunities for learning through the use of digital gaming are diverse and massive. The speed and ease in which basic game development can be achieved using apps such as Sketch Nation can provide a platform for outstanding cross-curricular projects and really make an impact on progress, standards and pupil independence.
This blog post describes one project (upper KS2) which could easily be adapted to suit Key Stage 1 or expanded to meet the needs of Key Stage 3 pupils, and to support almost any topic/subject. 1:1 use of iPods enabled maximum pupil engagement but fewer devices could have been used if pupils collaborated in groups.
Pupils at South Cave CE Primary School have been collaborating on descriptive writing activities with teacher Mr Tatton. The classroom has no wi-fi connectivity. Each pupil had an iPad mini and used the new Airdrop feature in iOS 7 to share work with each other and to send finished content to the teacher's iPad for display.
The teacher shared a Pages document with each pupil's iPad using Airdrop. The pupils were able to open the document and followed the prompt, which was to select an image and begin to imagine and describe what it might like to be there. The pupils then shared their work with an agreed partner who provided feedback and improvements before the work was presented to the class in the form of a Tellagami animation.
This article originally appeared in the September 2012 Innovate My School magazine.
The iPad is perhaps the most talked-about piece of technology in teaching. Enthralled by tales of educational potential and egged-on by technophile staff, head teachers might be forgiven for investing in the trendy tablets without fully considering how they should be used.
Google Earth is certainly good for familiarising children with foreign geography. Socrative provides a quick way to gauge a class’s progress. The Numbers app enables pupils to produce spreadsheets and graphs, and the Math Bingo game can help them learn arithmetic.
But these programs (or very similar ones) are available on any computer with internet access.
The point is that for many tasks - including essay writing and accessing information - iPads are probably no better than desktops or laptops. Lacking a keyboard, they may even be considered inferior for some purposes. And are the mathematical benefits of Math Bingo really best realised when every pupil in the class is playing the game on a separate device?
As part of the proposed new draft primary curriculum for ICT, there is a significant emphasis on computer science. Below I've included a selection of apps which can be used in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The apps included range from basic skills in coding a Beebot to more advanced skills in coding games and simulations in apps such as Hopscotch and Codea.
I've also included some other useful 'ICT' apps, which can be used to develop a pupil's typing skills and spreadsheet skills.
Since I began teaching over seven ago, I have always taught the Topic of World War 2. It's a subject I thoroughly enjoy teaching and always an area that the pupils show a real interest. The topic has developed from a stand alone 'History' topic loosely based on a scheme of work, to a topic which encompasses all areas of the curriculum - a creative curriculum.
With the introduction of 1:1 iPods in year 6 in September, myself and my colleague Mr Williams began to plan a scheme of work for the World War 2 topic, looking in particular at how using technology could enhance an already engaging topic. Initially the aim was to build up the pupils' ICT skills and confidence using the iPods, and in particular the creative apps such as iMovie, Sonic Pics, Pages, Strip Designer, Creative Book Builder, Keynote, etc (examples of pupils work using these apps can be found below). If we felt that using the iPods would enhance the learning process then we planned to use them. Ultimately, we wanted to develop the pupils' skills on a variety of apps, so as the topic progressed the pupils would become as independent as possible. We could then make informed decisions on which apps to use to aid them, and demonstrate their learning for a particular area of study.
Since the beginning of September, we have been trying to maximise the use of 1:1 iPods in year 6 in all areas of the curriculum. The potential of enhancing teaching and learning in mathematics through the use of this technology has been particularly interesting. We have been developing the creative use of a range of apps to support progress, engage childrena and add relevance to maths teaching with positive outcomes. We have also explored a wide range of maths specific apps which have helped pupils mainly in the areas of number fact and tables recall. Recently, we have extended the use of the iPods to allow them to support independent learning, and play a central role in effective formative assessment.
Each week the children complete regular short assessment tasks based on assessment criteria appropriate to the level of maths they are working towards. We have adapted the assessment resources provided by Andrell Education as part of the Big Maths approach developed by Ben Harding. For those unfamiliar with Big Maths, the assessment feature uses a 10-step checklist to identify the specific steps a pupil needs to secure before achieving a level and moving on to the next. As teachers, we have found this element of Big Maths extremely powerful and it is central to our developments with the iPods in terms of formative assessment and independent learning.
This year, all the pupils in year 6 are using their own iPod in lessons, and they all have their own blog space as part of our class blog. In order to make the most of this technology and potential audience, we have introduced several new features to the way we teach. One of these developments is the introduction of a weekly “Guest Marker” project, where their blog is used to share written work with people from varied and specialist backgrounds who have agreed to provide feedback for the pupils. This is based on an idea discussed in Jim Smith’s excellent Lazy Teacher’s Handbook.
The idea of teaching persuasive writing using the App Store was designed to be part of the Guest Marker Project - and the “guest” who had kindly agreed to mark the work was Katie Hart, Head of External Sales at 2Simple Software.
Using Apple TV and an iPad, the App Store was mirrored onto the interactive whiteboard. A screenshot of FIFA 2013 and The Room was opened in Skitch. The pupils were asked to highlight and identify language features of persuasive advertisements as the iPad was passed around the children, who then used the 'highlight tool' in Skitch to identify persuasive words, phrases and rhetorical questions.
The 'iPad Journey' continues at Spring Cottage Primary School with the introduction of 16 iPads in Key Stage 1, 16 iPads in Key Stage 2, both with a syncing/charging trolley, and 63 iPod touches for children in Year 6.
With the iPod touches, iPads for both Key Stages set up, and Apple TV installed in each classroom, it was time for another staff training session, this time focusing on meeting the needs of a 21st century classroom. I began the staff training session by looking at the skills needed to be 21st century learners and the skills they would need to be successful in the future.
This post examines a selection of apps, which can be used creatively in primary schools. These apps can be applied to any subject in the school curriculum, it just requires a bit of imagination and creativity. The apps are categoriesed as follows: drawing, editing photos, creating movies, photo stories, animation, graphic novels and ebooks, composing music, and other useful creative apps.
Many of the apps listed have the option to publish work to larger audiences online, thereby increasing the incentive for the children to produce quality pieces of work. Others can be used with other apps to improve children's work. Here's the list:
Photo credit: http://appsforipads.net
In recent literacy lessons I have been exploring the potential of the iPad to motivate children to write for different purposes. One ongoing target in our school is the emphasis on boys’ writing, so the theme here is going to be how one app has been used to encourage boys to write with confidence, in an appropriate style, and with a strong level of knowledge.
Having collaborated with David Andrews on the controllable vehicle project, it struck me how confident and knowledgable the children were in terms of speaking about their work, and this clarity and depth had a direct and hugely positive impact on the children’s writing. I wanted to see if using a popular gaming app would be able to make an impact on the writing of the children I teach.