Give it a try – our pick of the best apps and tools, part 12

Each week in our newsletter we highlight a favourite free or low-cost app/tool/resource/piece of software that we think might be useful or fun in your classroom or school. Every few weeks 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, part 5, part 6part 7part 8,  part 9, part 10 and part 11

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.

Nasa pic of child with VR headset
Credit: Nasa

How to use an LED with Raspberry Pi

“Blinking an LED with the help of Raspberry Pi has become a rite of passage for new digital makers: it’s the physical equivalent of the ‘hello world’ program! It’s the first thing … many young people in physical computing sessions at coding clubs in our networks, learn how to do.” This step-by-step video shows you how to do it in less than two minutes.

Chrome Music Lab

We really rate the Chrome Music Lab website as a great way for children to get creative with music and explore its connections to science, maths, art, dance and more. It’s free, you don’t need to set up an account and it works across all devices. We’ll be highlighting a few of the experiments we like the most in the following weeks and, if you already use it, we’d love to hear what’s worked for you. Chrome has linked to some uses on Twitter.

Book Creator premium

Book Creator is one of our favourite tools and the premium version is now free for 90 days. This version allows users to work together on books in real time, and Book Creator has also collated some ideas for how it can be used for remote learning.

Daily Scratch challenge

This week’s Give it a try comes from our very own Rowan Roberts. For the next two weeks she’s sharing a daily Scratch challenge via @LdnCLC, from creating different sounds to practicing French. Find it at @LdnCLC or #dailyScratchchallenge.

Give it a go

It’s a give it a try bonanza this week as we share Julia Lawrence’s Give it a go padlet, which is packed full of online art, creativity and culture ideas for young people of all ages.

Mouse open projects

Our colleagues at the Dreamyard Center in the Bronx, NYC, work in partnership with Mouse: ‘a youth development nonprofit that believes in technology as a force for good’. We like this collection of technology projects which young people can work on independently, from animation and storyboarding to Scratch-based music projects.

OBS Studio

Suggested by Doug Belshaw in his always interesting and entertaining Thought Shrapnel newsletter, OBS is free, open source video conferencing and video editing software.

Nasa at Home

Got some 3D glasses (or even a VR headset!) at home? Escape lockdown with a virtual tour of the International Space Station, the TRAPPIST-1 star system or the surfaces or other planets with Nasa at Home.

Video Puppet

This week’s suggestion is via Richard Byrne, who suggests an easy way to turn slides into a narrated video using the free tool Video Puppet. The free version is limited to 20 slides but, as Richard points out, “anything longer than that and students will probably tune out anyway. You’re probably better off making two videos that have ten slides than one video that has twenty slides.” He’s made a video showing how you can use Video Puppet to quickly create a video from PowerPoint slides.

Google Meet

Using Zoom for family/friends virtual meetups but need to keep going for longer than 40 minutes? Google Meet is now available to all personal accounts for free. Our IT manager Krzysztof also recommends Jitsi Meet, which is free, open source and doesn’t require any accounts to set up and use.

BBC Together

It’s like Netflix party but for the Beeb – an experimental tool from the BBC “that will let you watch or listen to BBC programming with others over the internet, with everyone seeing the same thing on-screen at the same time”. It makes synchronous BBC bitesize watching possible for schools.

Join our
mailing list

Sign up for the London CLC newsletter and get the best connected learning news and views in your inbox every week.

Does your school need a sustained programme in the use of digital technology to underpin your whole school aims and plans?

Our support package covers the following:

Professional learning

Teacher professional development which puts digital at the heart of teaching and learning

Pupil workshops

Engaging, practical workshops for your class, in your school, at our Clapham centre online

Creative technology projects

Engaging, immersive educational experiences with corporate and cultural partners

Consultancy & advice

Get tailored support from our expert team of teachers and technologists

Technology loans

Kit for every classroom

Book a call
with James

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.

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By visiting, you accept our use of cookies.