The best collaboration tools for the classroom

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Collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking are some of the key skills that we need to nurture and encourage in our learners. I am always on the look out for learning opportunities that utilise these skills, and I love discovering tools which can be used in the classroom that can support them.

Here are some of the best tools I’ve found for collaboration in the classroom. Continue reading

The best apps and strategies for a single iPad Classroom

The best apps and strategies to maximise the learning potential for your students, in a single iPad classroom.

There is no doubt that the iPad was designed to be a single user device. iOS 9.3 may change this, but as written about by Fraser Speirs here, they may still spell problems down the line unless schools are willing to invest in large capacity iPads.

1:1 in the classroom opens up many opportunities for spontaneous use from students in order to ensure that technology is not simply an add-on, but a way that a student works. They choose how and when to use their tech in order to organise themselves, dig deeper by accessing research – for technology to have a transformational effect, 1:1 is the way forward. For many schools though, 1:1 is simply not a viable option. Having just one iPad in the classroom often becomes a reward for early finishing students or a glorified digital camera, these obviously are not providing value for money, and in the former, simply counter productive.

Here are some ideas and tools that I’ve learnt from teaching this year with just my iPad that you can use in class in order to make best use of the technology available to you.

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My top 10 apps for a Primary School iPad

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Whenever you speak to teachers about integrating technology into learning experiences, the first question is usually, “Which apps should we be using”. I’m always on the look out for new tools to assess students understanding, support collaboration and provide meaningful feedback, I can usually rely on my toolkit of my top 10 apps  for a primary school iPad.

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Will it Blend? Combining Apps to investigate angles around us

‘AppSmashing’ is a term that has been used for the last few years, first coined by @gregkulowiec. He has done some amazing work investigating with students how different apps can be combined. You can read all about this here, on his website.

I really like the AppSmashing process, I just don’t like the name. I prefer to say AppBlending…it just sounds a little less aggressive to me!

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Blender – by Pieter Willems adapted by @TheTeachGeek

In last week’s #ADEchat there was a lot of discussion about the iPad’s built-in camera, and how the camera app was in fact one of the most useful.

Now, I agree that the camera is a fantastic tool. It makes connections between the digital and the analogue straight forward, I just think teachers need to be creative with its use so it doesn’t become a stale learning activity.

angles blend.png Continue reading