Give it a try – our pick of the best apps and tools, part 4

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, and part 3.

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.

Timelapse
Google Earth Timelapse shows how the planet has changed over the past 35 years. It’s a valuable tool for researchers and conservationists but it can also be used in the classroom to explore the world over time, from deforestation to the growth of cities. Here’s a sample lesson plan from an American teacher.

Twine
Remember ‘choose your own adventure’ books? This free, open source software allows you to create text-based interactive stories with variables and conditional logic.  It can be used in a very simple and visual way or, once you’re familiar with it, can incorporate code such CSS and more. It publishes to HTML so it can be embedded into website designs.

Teacher Tapp
Have you used Teacher Tapp yet? It collects teachers’ views and experiences via three questions each afternoon to build a data bank  to inform policymakers, school leaders and help them make better decisions. This School Leadership podcast with its founders Laura  McInerney and Becky Allen gives more background (it’s in the first half). You can also read each week’s questions, aggregated responses and the daily CPD tip on the Teacher Tapp blog.

Location tracking
Discover how to turn off Google’s location tracking.

VR Tour Creator
Google’s Tour Creator allows anyone to create their own VR tour using imagery from Google’s Street View or your own 360-degree photos. The app is designed to work with Google Cardboard and Google’s existing VR ‘field trips’ app Expeditions. Once you’ve created your tour, you can publish it to Poly, Google’s library of 3D content. To view it, open the link in your browser or view in Google Cardboard. You can also embed it on your school’s website.

Night Zookeeper
With the news this week that Sky Kids has commissioned 10 episodes of Edtech 50-winner Night Zookeeper for 2019, now might be a good time to explore this online writing tool, which inspires children to invent their own magical animals and write stories about them. The tool suggests age appropriate vocabulary to include in the stories along with helpful tips, there are thousands of lesson plans for teachers plus a free class blog to share children’s work with parents.  The upcoming animated series will invite children to participate by creating characters or background designs and suggesting plot points and dialogue for the show.

Enjoyed the roundup? Sign up to our newsletter to get a new ‘give it a try’ in your inbox every Thursday lunchtime.

 

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Upcoming CPD

New to subject leadership in primary school computing session 1, 2 and 3
New to subject leadership in primary school computing session 1, 2 and 3

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)

23/11/21,
15:45
- 17:15
KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Headteachers...
Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools
Computing and Online safety conference for primary schools

Diving deep into all things computing, this conference will consist of two sessions. Participants can choose to join us for the full day, or book for just the morning or afternoon separately.

Online Safety & Data Security (am)
This session is for computing subject leaders, senior leaders, safeguarding leads and other relevant school staff. Falling in the lead up to Safer Internet Day 2022 (Tuesday 8 February), the morning of the conference will have a particular focus on online safety, bringing together a variety of external resources with expertise from within the CLC team to help schools get to grips with the complexities of online safety and data security.

Leading Computing in the Classroom (pm)
This portion of the day is for computing subject leaders and teachers interested in the use of technologies across the curriculum. It will include policy and curriculum updates as well as practical workshops and opportunities to hear from colleagues in other schools.

01/02/22,
09:15
- 15:30
EYFS, KS1, KS2
Business leaders, Computing subject leaders...

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.

The Garden Museum
21/02/22,
-
KS1

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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