On Thursday night I headed along to a local school to attend a teach meet concerning all things iPad – it was a most excellent evening organised by Mr Skinny boy Evans. At the moment I only use my own iPad in class and was really looking forward to hearing how other schools had approached putting these into schools – the results that they had found and useful apps for across the curriculum.
The first presentation was from Stephen Hawke who spoke about an app called Figure – the idea behind it was to make relevant music for the children and ability to see instant results. It has 3 musical parts – drum, bass and lead and all work by touching and placing fingers on the screen. You are able to layer up different versions and put different beats in – it also uses the musical terminology such as tempo, key and rhythm. Figure is an iPhone app and is 69p to download. I have already downloaded this and have to say – it is very intuitive and is my sons current favourite app!
Next up were Laura and Neree form Elm Park Primary – they spoke about and showed their journey of implementing first of all iPod touches and then iPads into their school and curriculum – they showed a video which really highlighted the impact and progress that has been enabled across all levels of learning. You can also follow them on twitter @EPPS_ICT where they also tweet about the excellent work that goes on. For me it was really interesting to see the route they went down, looking at integrating apple alongside laptops using a range of tools where they are best suited for the curriculum.
Steve Bunce appeared via video – included were the following apps – coach’s eye and huntzz – a great app that could be used to set treasure trails around the school and local environment – this app has amazing potential! You can watch the video here
Mike McSharry shared e paper with us – a great app that is a drawing tool that enables children to create their own picture books I think this would be really useful for a project within a class with each child creating a page within the book.
Andy Knill – showed a range of great apps for use in the Geography classroom – he started off with the camera and stressing the importance of taking and using your own photographs in the classroom. Other apps that he mentioned include: Globe 3d a free app that brings the world to your fingertips, Earth Buzz – there is a free version for this and also a paid version, what this does is correlates all weather data and displays in real time graphics and Statetris - Tetris with counties and states!
Teachable shared their research in iPads in school – you can read this here
John D’Abro shared Todaysmeet this is an amazing back channel that enables you to communicate with people in the room in real time. He used it to ask people in the room to name their favourite app – there were quite a few mentioned including: keynote, rover flash for iPad, pic collage, explain everything, pinnacle studio, survey pro, make a martian, Hokusai to name a few!
Myles Pilling as ever shared some fantastic resources the first was Cloudon - this enable you to access the full word package as long as you are connected to the internet, he also mentioned the great resources from Toca Boca especially for writing – getting children to look at expressions of the characters – one of my favourite apps from them is Helicopter Taxi. Next was Bebot a lovely musical effect app, this was filed by Discovr a way of searching for apps that you may have forgotten the name of or are like ones that you already have.
Nic Hughes – showed two great little apps the first is Doceri which enables you to show your iPad on the IWB by downloading doceri to your computer as well as having the app – a great little tool that I will be trialling next week. Next was edcanvas.com this enables you to create a page of websites and videos that the children can use for research purposes within the classroom – again another gem.
For me the evening was fantastic! It was great to met up with tweeps as well as meeting new ones and also finding out more about apps that can be used within the classroom – as you can see there were a few! Many thanks must go to Mr Evans for hosting such a great evening and pulling it all together. It was the first teach meet that I have attended that had a specific focus and it worked. In the current climate where CPD budgets are being cut the chance to see what works and how it is implemented is really valuable