Give it a try – our pick of the best apps and tools, part 7

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, part 5 and part 6

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.

Scratch image

Scratch Translate
Have you seen the new translate functionality in Scratch? Get your sprite to teach you French!

Scratch Egypt
Even more Scratch fun! This project contains lots of extra blocks in “My Blocks” and you can use them to write different Egyptian hieroglyphs. Find out how an Egyptian would write your name then see if you can make a script to write it on the wall.

Scribbling Speech
At Jisc’s Digifest event this week the closing keynote was by Liz Sproat, Google’s head of education for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She ran through Google’s education suite and also highlighted some of the Experiments with Google around machine learning. One that particularly caught our eye was Scribbling Speech, which turns real time speech into animation.

Animated poem decomposition
Continuing the poetic theme, why not teach decomposition by animating a poem in Scratch? This 60-minute lesson plan from Barefoot focuses on decomposition –  breaking something down into smaller parts to help solve a problem or undertake a task – using poems that children have written or are learning about.

Book Creator alternatives
At our Maths Forum and Science forum last week teachers used one of our favourite tools, Book Creator, to capture practical activity. This blog post suggests four alternatives and includes a video tutorial for WriteReader.

Embedding Slides
Use Slides? You can now embed MP3 and WAV audio files from Drive. To insert an audio file into Slides simply Insert > Audio and select from your audio files in Drive  Hover over the icon to see playback controls. Once the audio file is inserted, you can find more audio settings by clicking “Format options” in the toolbar. From there, you can set playback options, volume, and looping. You can also hide the audio icon, or replace it with an image of your choice. Find out more.

Teleprompt.me
Making a video and need to use a teleprompter? Teleprompt.me is voice controlled, free and getting rave reviews. Bear in mind it only works on Chrome with desktop. Let us know how you get on with it if you try it.

Classic Minecraft
Did you know you can play Minecraft for free through a browser with up to 10 people in one game? Here’s how.

Hacker Noon Emoji Maker
Hat tip to Cliff Manning and his More Than Robots for this simple tool to design retro icons.

 

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Creative technology projects

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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.

14/06/22,
09:15
- 15:30
EYFS, KS1, KS2
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.

Presentations

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.

24/06/22,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

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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