Give it a try – our pick of the best apps and tools, part 6

Each week in our newsletter we highlight a favourite free or low-cost app/tool/resource/piece of software and give a brief rundown of how you might use it in the classroom. Every month or so we round them up here on the blog.

We’d love to hear what you think about them if you give them a go, and any others you’d like to share – leave a comment in the box below. Catch up with all the tools in Give it a try, part 1 part 2,  part 3, part 4 and part 5.

Don’t want to wait for the roundup? Sign up to our newsletter to get a new ‘give it a try’ in your inbox every Thursday lunchtime.

Dance Mat Typing

A fun way to learn touch typing from BBC Bitesize, with each stage introducing new letters, building on the previous levels.

Remove image background

Remove.bg is a handy little tool that uses AI to separate out people and backgrounds in about five seconds. Works on both desktops and mobiles and doesn’t retain the images. Neat.

Juxtapose

This edtech advent calendar offered up Juxtapose, an easy way to compare two pieces of similar media, including photos, and GIFs. Great for before and after stories.

Puppet Pals

In #nationalstorytellingweek we’ve been looking at how digital can help with storytelling, from world building to writing in role: read the full blog post.

The Puppet Pals app is an old favourite, which makes it very easy to create fun animation shorts using sets of characters (eight in the free version, with the option to customise using real-life photos for characters and backdrops in the paid version). Suitable from early years upwards, the opportunities for creativity are limitless.

Swift Playgrounds for Micro:bit

Swift Playgrounds is an app for the iPad that helps teach people to code in the Swift language using interactive ‘books’. Micro:bit have just created a book so that Swift Playgrounds interacts with and can programme the micro:bit wirelessly. Give it a try here.

Will robots take my job?

Give this predictor a try and find out…

 

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Upcoming CPD

Introduction to Apple Teacher badges and Creativity with iPads
Introduction to Apple Teacher badges and Creativity with iPads
Get started with Apple Teacher badges and discover how Everyone can Create resources can improve engagement and quality of learning

Get started with Apple Teacher badges and discover how Everyone can Create resources can improve engagement and quality of learning in the classroom, whether in school, remote or blended.

30/09/21,
16:00
- 17:00
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...
New to subject leadership in primary computing: Session 1
New to subject leadership in primary computing: Session 1

This programme is designed for primary teachers who have recently taken on responsibilities and leadership for technology and computing. It will cover curriculum planning, tools and resources, methods for supporting colleagues and progression and assessment. Colleagues will be expected to attend all three sessions. The third session will be held in a school and will include classroom visits.

Further details for sessions 2 and 3 to follow:

Session 2: 9.30-11.30am Thursday 27 January (virtual)

Session 3: TBC (in person)

12/10/21,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
25/11/21,
09:30
- 14:25
KS2

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.

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