There are so many apps available to teachers, both child and classroom friendly that it becomes a little intimidating to know where to begin in implementing them in your classroom. Stats already indicate that iPads and online apps are successful in both supporting and improving pupil learning, therefore it really is crucial to keep up to date and informed with new emerging educational apps in a digital world that is constantly advancing, especially with a technology focused curriculum. To keep you in-the-know I have put together a list of useful apps to use in the classroom environment, some new and some classics.
1. See-Saw – The Learning Journal
Seesaw is a digital learning journal that allows students to showcase a portfolio of their work throughout the school year. What is great about Seesaw is that as well as creating an accessible, organised account of the children’s work, it also keeps parents involved in their child’s learning journey and connected with the classroom. The app can be set up to send notifications to parents with updates of their child’s work throughout the day. Primary schools that already use Seesaw in the classroom have seen a very positive response from both parents and children and it is certainly not one to be missed!
Learning a language can be an intimidating prospect for Primary school children and that means it crucial to to involve fun, interactive learning techniques in your lessons. Duolingo is a free gamified language learning app that enables languages to become enjoyable and educational for children. It offers courses in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portugese and many other languages allowing children to earn points and badges as they pass through the levels answering interactive questions.
3. Monster Math
Meet Maxx the monster. The aim of this app is to help Maxx save his friend Dextra through completing various mental maths games. Using a fiction narrative as the basis of the game engages the children and encourages maths learning. The different levels combine a range of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. A great individual factor about Monster Math is that it recognises differentiation and allows the game to be tailored to the child’s learning needs. It is a fantastic way of gamifying mental maths.
4. Stop Motion Studio
Stop Motion Studio is part of the Apple in the Classroom series which aims to motivate teachers to integrate the newest technology into everyday lessons. This is a simple, creative filmmaking app that builds animated sequences and videos, allowing children to develop their story making skills. Students can choose from a wide range of fiction characters including claymation people, with the option to create their own or even record themselves. This app is very versatile and it can be used in the classroom to demonstrate understanding across various subject areas, from english to history. If you are looking for more inspiration on how to use this app, Apple have created an iBook which discusses this in more detail.
5. Garage Band
Garage Band is a great app for introducing children to the fundamental rules of music. It has features which allow students to use sample loops to record their own instruments, and play instruments interactively. The app has proven very useful in familiarising children with the basic structure of a song, it allows them to explore and develop components of music which when explained can seem quite complex. It also familiarises them with the different genres of music and develops their terminology in the field. It is definitely one to trial!
6. Explain Everything
The great thing about Explain Everything is that it can be used in lots of different ways in the classroom. It is an interactive whiteboard which is compatible with iPads, tablets and can also be hooked up to a projector. Which means good examples of students work can be recognised and celebrated by the whole class to encourage high standards of work throughout. Alongside its basic purpose, the app can be used for as a means of communication of parents, presenting, modelling and visualising, assessment, peer to peer teaching, observations, consolidating, guided tasks, drafting, independent learning and analysing. Just the sheer versatility of this app when explored makes its presence worthwhile in the classroom.
7. Zoom Notes
Zoom notes is a fun, easy way of sketching and taking down notes in class to make lessons more engaging and interactive for the children. It allows annotation, visual thinking, sketching and presentation of work and is great for collaborative learning and group activities. Zoomnotes is ideal for testing subject knowledge in a more relaxed classroom manner such as short quizzes.
Showbie is unique in its app by idealising a paperless classroom. It allows a teacher to assign a task to students, collect completed work and give feedback on assignments. The beauty of this app is that work and instructions can be shared in folders between not only teachers and students but also amongst peers using iCloud and Google Drive. Showbie is also compatible with other apps, allowing work to be done across various apps and combined in Showbie.
Cargo-Bot is a coding app that aims to teach children basic programming skills which are incredibly important in the advancing digital world. Although Cargo-Bot can be quite complicated initially, after becoming familiarised with the app it allows students to develop an otherwise complex skill in a fun, gamified environment. The aim of the game is to control a robotic arm and direct it to move crates systematically in as little turns as possible. There are five levels of play and a detailed tutorial to help children understand the rules of coding. It is a non threatening way to bring STEM into the classroom.
Published on 11 March 2016