The use of iPads is becoming almost common place in classrooms across the country. Their intuitive interface and their presence in many of the households the children live in mean they can be easily used, even by children in nursery classes. One teaching assistant told me the story of taking a reception class into a computer room and watching many of the children touch the monitors, expecting them to work just like iPads. The new curriculum throws many challenges at teachers, including the need to teach computer programming as part of the ICT curriculum. So the more confident the teachers become with ICT, the better they can achieve this. In the next few weeks we will be publishing a blog post on the best apps for teachers, ways to use an iPad to streamline your workload and enhance your planning, teaching and assessment. But for now, let’s focus on how the children in your classes use them.
An iPad offers the chance for an interactive and immersive learning experience, bringing books to life and offering games to help with every conceivable subject area. But with so many apps out there, where do you start? This list of apps should help you enhance of the learning experience of your students while they use iPads.
Bugs and Numbers (£1.99) This is a great app for teaching basic maths for reception and upwards, covering everything from counting to fractions. It also has a little sister – Bugs and Buttons – for EYFS. It is very visually appealing, so children will love it.
Squeebles (£1.49) This series of apps rewards children with games and new characters to collect as they progress through the tasks They are highly motivating and cover a variety of Maths and spelling topics.
Explain Everything (£199) An excellent presentation app to assist speaking and listening activities. You can create a presentation that includes text, pictures, websites and arrows you can record yourself explaining whatever you are presenting. This allows all children to produce highly interactive presentations, but also allows them to listen back and self-assess their own performance.
Puppet Pals (£2.99 or free with in game purchases) This app allows children as young as reception age to bring stories to life either as a final product or a prompt for writing. They can import their own photos, or use the characters and backdrops included in the app and record sound and animation to watch again and again. It really brings writing to life and can also be used for some history projects, due to the characters available.
The Human Body By Tinybop (£1.99) Making the human body interactive this app allows children to see how organs interact, how different systems work and even uses the camera of the iPad to explore eyesight. It is highly engaging and would work well as an illustration for any human biology topic.
If you have any other apps you have used and know are effective, then post them on the Facebook page – we’d love to gather the results together to share with everyone.