Getting more creative with iPads using GarageBand and Everyone Can Create

In October last year we previewed Apple’s free resource, Everyone Can Create, designed to help inspire teachers as well as pupils and students to extract maximum creative and educational value from iPads.

Example of an Everyone Can Create resource.

The resources sit alongside Apple’s #EveryoneCanCode campaign, and focus on the impact that the technology and apps can have in supporting every student through music, drawing, photography and video. The teacher guide has 300 ideas from educators on how to integrate projects with maths, literacy, science and computing alongside other core subjects.

We were impressed, especially with the curriculum content. There’s plenty on offer for every school, whether primary or secondary, and, crucially, there is also food for thought even if you have limited or no access to Apple technology.

More pro features

Since then, Apple have released more and more pro features for iPads.  It is definitely worth exploring what is now possible creatively and how creating digital sound and art differs (or not) from using physical instruments and tools.

For example, for teaching principles and exploring and working with sound and composition, technology such as GarageBand opens up new possibilities visually, and the touch screen guitar is an excellent introduction, but doesn’t replace the physicality and achievement of playing a real guitar.

Combining analogue and digital

It’s important to define the creative outputs before choosing the software and make a choice about the best way of achieving that. Sometimes that will combine analogue and digital resources. For example, you may do a drawing on paper then photograph it and add movement in an app, or create a backing track in GarageBand that you would then improvise over using a real instrument. Or use your real voice on a track recorded into GarageBand.

Technology is also good at making the process visible – take Hockney’s use of the brushes app on iPad where you see the finished work but also the process.

A creative springboard

The Everyone Can Create resources can be a great starting point and a way of becoming competent in using the software, with the added inspiration of stars such as Justin Timberlake introducing song structure.

All software has some limitations. It’s important to know when technology is the right thing to use and when another kind of creative approach might work better. Treat Everyone Can Create as a kick-off point, and a springboard for thinking outside the box, and you can’t go far wrong.

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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