DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: APPS

The Government has said that calculators will be banned in maths tests for 11-year-olds from 2014. Here are five cool apps for Android and IOS that should help pupils to sharpen their mental arithmetic and learn how to do more maths in their minds.

Math Workout

A no-nonsense app with a plain but clean interface, Math Workout helps pupils practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, indices, decimals and more. Its “Brain Cruncher” mode is good for training the mind to hold numbers in memory, and the “Times Table Master” should be particularly useful to primary pupils who are laerning their tables. Players must complete quite a few rounds on the easier levels to unlock the harder ones: this should ensure that pupils master the basics before moving on to harder questions, though it may irritate more accomplished mental mathematicians.

Links to app: Android, Android (Free version)

When it comes to learning, feedback is critical. So when it comes to one's writing, the principle is no different.

I have been teaching English for only six years but have struggled with this feedback process time and time again. I realise it is the most important part, and yet to do it effectively, I must commit literally hours to making sure I do it right. It's the proverbial thorn in my side.

Then when we went 1:1 with iPads in December of 2011, we discovered Notabilty. I played around with it and at first was impressed. I thought it to be a very versatile note-taking app. Then I discovered that it also has the ability to record audio along with the notes. And that's when the lightbulb exploded.

One of the things that really excites me about the iPad is the ability of the students to show their learning. I am not talking about the end product here, I am talking about the act of learning that can be shown by students recording their processes. It is often about the student putting the information they have learnt into a context. It is this contextualisation that helps the students create meaning.

Here are 10 apps that give students the opportunity to showcase, share and then reflect on their learning. Enjoy, some of these double up as my favourite apps too.

It is very easy to find a list of recommended apps for general or subject specific use. However, one of the iPads greatest strengths is its ability to help personalise learning for all. The following ideas are only a snapshot of the potential of the iPad when addressing the needs of each student (soldier).

The Soldier

‘Quiet, obedient and consistent, the Soldier charges into every assignment and stops only once enough damage is done to get the desired grade. Soldiers don’t show off. Soldiers don’t ask questions. Soldiers don’t complain. Soldiers just get the job done.’

Trademark question: “What will we be graded on?”

iPad Tip: Create an audio-note using Soundcloud so they can review instructions. The educator can make suggestions for extension tasks. It also acts as an excellent prompt if the educator can see the soldier doesn’t want to collaborate.

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 December 2008, Hayward School - our school - was at the point of being closed down. Poor attendance and years of underachievement had cemented a culture of low expectations. Failure was often seen as inevitable. In each of the previous four years, the proportion of students getting five A*-C grades including maths and English at GCSE was below 30%.

Students lacked aspiration and staff lacked inspiration. Our use of technology was ineffective and expensive: there was no network connecting the school’s three main sites; printers and printing costs consumed a large portion of the budget; and students were equipped with pricey planners which they hardly used.

From a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programme to a 1:1 iPad initiative, there are a number of options available to schools when embracing new technology in the classroom. Consequently, it is becoming common for school leaders to purchase one device to trial in the classroom before making any real financial commitment.

As the iPad is currently the ‘class leader’ in education, there are many educators who have found themselves with an iPad to ‘see what it can do?’ The challenge is to demonstrate enhanced learning, so here are ten suggestions that may help:

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkarakatsanis

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.

I have yet to find the perfect digital portfolio app that I think I would use exclusively in a visual arts class. Some apps can be used as graphic portfolios or as beautiful sketchbooks, others are great at sharing. Not all of the apps available are great at all of these things. I have spent a heap of time trying to find one and would be more than happy for someone to send me the name of ones they are using successfully. Having said that, the following are apps that I would consider using as eportfolios:

Evernote: FREE 
Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

Like many schools across the world, Shaw Wood Primary in Doncaster is discovering the benefits that mobile technology can bring to its curriculum.

Introducing mobile technologies at Shaw Wood was something of a venture into the unknown. As the school's IT Coordinator, I decided to use the eTwinning collaboration tool to work closely with Anne McMorrough and her primary class at St Martin de Porres National School in Dublin, which was also experimenting with mobile apps. Since September 2011, pupils at the two schools have exchanged reviews and advice about the apps that they have used, communicating via Skype, email and blog posts.

One app that has been used particularly frequently is the free augmented reality application Aurasma.

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