Give it a try – our pick of the best free apps and tools

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 we’ll be rounding 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.

Introduction to Explorify from Explorify on Vimeo.

Exploring science
Explorify is a new free science resource for primary teachers from the Wellcome Trust that uses high quality content from the Science Museum, BBC and Eden Project.  It’s perfect for screens in the classroom and to use a little or a lot (there are new activities every week).

Busy Shapes 2
This new app from Edoki Academy, who create apps based on Montessori methods, have brought out this mesmerising and engaging app aimed at EYFS for exploring shapes and developing reasoning skills. There has been much talk of the power of computational thinking and approaches, this app will start pupils reasoning and problem solving skills early on. It may be designed for children but be careful, it is very addictive!

Post-its
Padlet
is a free online tool that digitises a wall of post-its. Once you’ve signed up, you can create a page with a shareable link onto which your students can post ideas, favourite facts or links to interesting things. It’s a fantastic tool for collaborative research and the page can be saved and revisited at any time, making it a really useful way of showing progression and evidencing learning. There is also a paid-for, more secure version aimed at schools.

Creating YouTube playlists: why you need them and how to make them
Ever thought of uploading a screencast to YouTube, adding it to a playlist, and then sharing that playlist? This video tutorial walks you through it.

Moving words
Remember magnetic poetry? Now you don’t need magnets…or a fridge. One of our favourites is the
Word Mover app which takes all the fun of fridge magnet poetry and puts it on the iPad. You can also try a similar, but slightly more limited, online version of the original.

Can’t wait for the roundup? Sign up to our newsletter to get a new ‘give it a try’ in your inbox every Thursday. (Sign up via the big box on the home page!)

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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

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Get tailored support from our expert team of teachers and technologists

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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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