Being a second year trainee teacher from the University of Worcester has given Taylor, our education blogger, an unparalleled insight into the latest methods of teaching.
In this wonderful and timely blog entry Taylor discusses which 3 Apps she has been introduced to on her course and how they can be incorporated into the classroom.
Welcome to the Technology Age!
Whether you regard yourself as ‘tech-savvy’ or not, there is no denying that we are experiencing the technology movement, and living in the technology age. We are surrounded by TVs, computers, phones and tablets, and so are most children, so it would be a shame to neglect such devices in the classroom and stick to a textbook way of teaching rather than exploring the many uses that technology can offer us as professionals.
I have been in many schools either on work experience or placement, and I have observed the range of technological devices dispersed throughout the school, so the worst case scenario I could think of would be for them to not be used! In this post I am going to share with you some of my favourite apps that I was introduced to in my Computing module, what they do, and how I think they can engage pupils. The three apps I am going to discuss are available on the AppStore on Apple devices, and I have used them on my iPad.
Book creator is an app that pretty much does what it says on the tin. It allows children to create their own stories, and be as creative as they wish. The interface is very user-friendly, and there are tutorials to help new users of the app. Children are able to change the colour of the background, input text with a font of their choice, and even add photos and videos to bring the book to life! I think that this app has so much potential within the classroom, and the opportunities for assessment are not only computing-based, but heavily focused around literacy and a child’s understanding of whatever task you set them.
Inspiration is an interactive mind-mapping app. The interface is again, very friendly, and the children can select from a range of templates and then input their own information. I feel that this app would be very useful for collating information and ideas quickly as the children do not have to spend a long period of time drawing the mind-map and the extensions coming off it – this is easily achieved by a click of a button. It is useful across curriculums as the templates are for different subjects, and the designs are catered for different topics within that subject.
Showbie is a slightly different app in that it is a quick and efficient way for teachers to collect any work created on a device like an iPad or computer digitally. This is particularly useful if you teach at an eco-school where unnecessarily printing is frowned upon, and for assessment purposes, this app is great at minimising pointless bits of paper that stay on a pile on your desk for weeks before being moved to the recycle bin. You can set up your classes or groups, and by the click of a button the children can upload the work that they have done into the folder – it’s as simple as that!