Tag Archives: Resources

Book Creator – creating, sharing, learning⤴

from @ The Digital Revolution

One of the most powerful apps in education is Book Creator.  It is a paid app, however, at £4.99 it is truly worth it.  From sharing learning, to creating books and comics, to making videos and supporting children with ASN/EAL; book creator truly is the tool for the job.

Here is a quick PowerPoint presentation about how to create, read and share books in Book Creator:

Read to Me

Since November 2016 the ‘Read to Me’ tool has been one of the most powerful features (in my opinion) of this fantastic app.  When it was launched, I had a new EAL learner with an ASD who was struggling to settle into the class.  Her language barrier was a huge issue, and her ASD caused great anxiety in the mornings and after break/lunch.  She didn’t want to have to try and speak to anyone as she became very anxious that she wouldn’t understand or be able to respond.

Until the launch of ‘read to me’ on book creator, she had a system where she would come in and read one of her bilingual books or try to use worksheets with pictures to learn new words.  Whilst this worked to an extent, she did find it tricky as she couldn’t ‘hear’/pronounce some of the words.  With the launch of ‘Read to Me’ in book creator, though, I knew that we were on to a winner.  She built her own dictionary on book creator by drawing (with the pen tool) a picture of the word that she was learning, and typed the word that she chose from her worksheets, class work or dictionary.  E.g. if she had the word ‘tree’ she would draw a tree, type the word tree and then move on.  This would have been the same as what she had already been doing on paper, however, she couldn’t easily pronounce the words previously without myself or a member of support staff sitting with her and reading the words, and this was something that made her feel uncomfortable as she didn’t like that the children could hear her learning new words.  With the ‘Read to Me’ function, she was able to put on headphones and listen to all of her words each morning and after break/lunch.

This then became her routine – come into class before the line, get her designated iPad, put on her headphones, listen to the previous words and add new ones.

It worked!

She soon started writing small sentences that she wanted to use in class, like, ‘please may I go to the toilet?’ I remember the class getting so excited the first time she put up her hand and asked a question, and she was so proud.

I know this is a very specific example of a child with many needs, but, there are so many times in learning environments that book creator can be a hugely powerful tool.  I wish that I had the ‘read to me’ function in the year that I taught a non-verbal child, as I imagine it would have transformed the way that he could communicate with me and the other children.

One of my colleagues is currently using book creator with her class and said that the children are very good at using the ‘read to me’ function to check their learning. She noted comments such as “no, that doesn’t make sense” when they hear it being read back to them.

Design and layout

Creativity is a huge aspect of learning, and applications that are fairly static and don’t allow much creativity really don’t engage our learners as much as those that do.  Book creator allows children to design every page as they want; from the background colour, to the positioning and size of text boxes, to adding their own drawings, or inserting media it really is powerful, and children want to create their own books using it – I’m yet to find a child that hasn’t engaged with it.

The design and layout options are really simple to use and navigate between, and are noted in the Presentation at the top of this post.

Sharing

Children can save their work to their iPad’s book store, as a PDF for printing, or even as a video file that could be put onto the school twitter feed, saved to their Glow OneDrive or even emailed home.

Let me know!

Book Creator genuinely does excite me, and I’m looking forward to sharing its potential with my colleagues in a CPD training this week.  If you already use Book Creator, or will be starting to use it, please send me a tweet and let me know how you use it with your learners, as I love being inspired by the Twitter community!

 

iOS 12 – an update for education!⤴

from @ The Digital Revolution

It’s rare that I actually get excited about an iOS update.  Sure, performance is introduced, and new features are added – but it’s rare that those new features excite me.  iOS12 is the exception to that rule.  As an educator, it is a gift.  Of course, there is still so much more that can come – there always will be, but my lord this is a step in the right direction.  And not just for educators; for parents who want a little more control of their children’s use of tech and want to be able to monitor it more effectively, iOS12 really goes a long way in a very positive direction.

This post is a little different; but as a teacher in Glasgow, where children are receiving iPads on a 1-1 basis as part of our digital transformation, it is something that I really want to look at.  For parents of children with iPads, I think aspects of this blog will also be really helpful.

Let’s look at some of the features that have been introduced and can have a really positive impact in the classroom:

Screen time

This is mostly beneficial for parents, but for schools would be a great thing to share with parents and implement, especially if we are encouraging children to use devices at home.

This is a huge move in the battle to cut down on ‘screen time’ for our younger users – but to fully appreciate this, we need to think about what ‘screen time’ actually is.  Screen time can be both a positive and negative experience.  Negative screen time, is time where children are not interacting or engaging with cognitive benefits – for example, playing games that have no depth of learning behind them.  There are many games that can be beneficial – ones that encourage problem solving and critical thinking for example, but in excess even these can be addictive.  For younger children especially, excessive individual screen time should be discouraged, but time with parents using a screen for play, learning or reading (in my opinion) can be just as positive an experience as reading a book or playing a board game as it is the collaborative aspect in these scenarios that is the beneficial experience.

The ‘screen time’ controls that come as part of the iOS update monitor usage in this way, and can even be programmed to limit it.  Let’s look more closely at them:

 

‘Screen time’ can be found in the settings menu on your iOS 12 enabled device.  Once activated, it automatically tracks usage and categorises it into ‘types’ of screen time – e.g. productivity, creativity, games, social media etc.  In the image below, I had only just enabled screen time for the purpose of this blog, so it is showing my screen time in seconds and uncategorised, but you will find many examples of more active screen time online.  Frankly, I have mine turned off as I know that I spend far too much time on Twitter and don’t want to see just how much!

 

 

 

Below the daily usage bar, there are four controls that can be activated.  In setting up screen time, you are asked if this is your device or your child’s.  If you select that it’s your child’s you will be automatically taken through each of these controls by default.

Downtime is just what you would imagine.  You get to choose times that the user is away from the screen.  The only things that the user will be able to use during this time are apps that you have set as being ‘always allowed’ e.g. the phone (in case of emergency for example) or the alarm/clock.  All other apps would be disabled during this time.

App limits even during enabled screen time, you can set a limit to apps.  If there’s a category of apps, for example games or social media, that you feel your child uses far to much, you can limit it to a set amount of time per day.  For example, I might feel that as I use twitter and facebook too much, I need to set a limit of one hour per day on social media.  If there are apps within the category that you don’t feel should be included in the limit, or you’d like to add other apps, simply click ‘edit apps’ after choosing and adding the category.  Here you can select and deselect the apps that you want/don’t want to include in the time limit.  This is such a powerful way of restricting access to apps that you want to limit.

Always allowed as noted previously, there are some apps that you may wish to always allow.  For example, you might always want to allow your child to make a phone call if they need to, or to access the camera or clock.  You can select/deselect these apps within this menu.

Content and Privacy Restrictions previously called ‘restrictions’ this section allows you to determine which apps and settings the user can change and edit.  Maybe you don’t want them having the ability to purchase apps – you can block that on here.  You can add content restrictions, e.g. no films aged 15 or 18, no explicit books.  As with all web filters, it is not perfect and there may be occasions where your child will come across inappropriate material.  This will always be the case so we do need to teach children to be good digital citizens, and how to deal with that if it does occur (by reporting it).  Again though, this full tool is a very powerful way to restrict and monitor screen time, and make the iPad a versatile tool for learning and entertainment, but not one that ‘takes over’ a child’s life.

Additional features you do also have the option to add a screen time passcode to secure all of these settings so that your child can’t change them.  The passcode can also be used to extend time if, say, for a reward one day you want to allow your child an extra 15 minutes on their games.  You can also share all of these features across all devices (associated with the apple ID) to save having to input the same data on each of your child(ren)’s devices.  You can also set it up for your family if your children have different apple IDs.

All in all, this change is very powerful and truly excellent.  I think it will help a lot of families control the ‘addiction’ that some people report their children as having.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has been with us for some time now, and can be experienced well through a whole host of applications such as Goggle Expeditions and Quiver.  I was actually using AR with P4 this week to let them look at aspects of Ancient Rome in more detail:

AR is continually getting better and better.  iOS 12 promises to integrate AR into many new apps and really build its profile.  It truly can be used well in education too.  Twinkl have recently released a free coding app for teaching basic coding skills.  The app is different to the many others as it uses AR for the game place – the game comes to life in front of you!  I have only just started using it and look forward to trying it out with the Tech Team to see what they think of it.

See my short clip about it in my tweet below:

 

AR ‘Measure’ app

I think that this application excited me more than any other part of the iOS12 update when I first saw it.  I had seen adverts for AR measuring apps on TV but hadn’t got round to purchasing one – fortunately, I now no longer need to as we have an AR measure app built in to our iOS12 devices!

Here’s a very quick clip of how it works:

In an educational context, measure is often something that can be tricky to teach, but this app can be very useful.  I would encourage a diversity of tools for teaching measure though and am not suggesting to ditch traditional measuring tools, such as rulers, as using and reading these is a skill.  The way I would see this tool being used would be for comparisons and gathering data quickly.  I also think it would be great to ‘test how good the app is’ by asking children to use the app to measure a surface, and then using a ruler to measure it and compare the results.

 

Voice memos

Voice memos have been around for a long time on iPhones, but until this update were clunky and you couldn’t really do anything with them.  That has all changed now.  Firstly, voice memos are no longer restricted to iPhones – you can access and create them on iPads and macs.  Secondly, it is so much easier to use and share your memos – even directly into apps such as notes.  Here’s a quick demonstration:

Whilst I used the app ‘notes’ in this tutorial, it works with loads of apps, including book creator!  Simply share your audio to book creator instead of notes, then, in book creator click on the + symbol within the book that you want to add the media, and select ‘shared’.  Choose the audio file that you want and then select whether you want it to appear as a button (clickable) or soundtrack (plays in the background).

I hope that this has been helpful and has given you an insight into some of the features within iOS12.  Please do also share with parents as I think it is vital that we equip parents with the tools to better protect their children online and monitor/limit non-beneficial screen time.

Have a great week!

 

 

Boosting young people’s employability through LifeSkills⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

‘LifeSkills created with Barclays’ is a free employability programme for 11-24 year olds and we’re thrilled that, to date, we’ve had 5 million young people participate in the programme. Now we’re excited to announce two new initiatives that celebrate the achievements of young people, schools and colleges in their bids to boost career prospects.

What is LifeSkills?
Back in 2013, LifeSkills was launched to support educators address the growing skills gap amongst their students and face the youth employability challenge head on. Developed with educators across all four nations, LifeSkills strives to support educators develop young people’s employability skills through free, curriculum linked education content.
Through lesson plans, interactive challenges, videos and quick-fire activities, as well as student work placements opportunities and sending Barclays volunteers into the classroom, we want to help to bring  career education to life.

What does LifeSkills deliver?                                                                                    LifeSkills covers a range of different themes that all support young people get the skills they need to move forward from education into the 21st century workplace, including building resilience, learning to be a problem solving pro, becoming an expert communicator and mastering money management.

LifeSkills and the Career Education Standard
To make teachers’ lives as easy as possible, we ensure our content is aligned with the Career Education Standard’s goal of improving ‘young people’s ability to make informed decisions about future pathways’.   In particular, throughout the resources we look at how we can fulfil the following criteria highlighted within the standard:

• engage young people in meaningful discussion about their skills development
• develop their understanding of the responsibilities and duties placed on employers and employees
• facilitate young people’s learning and their ability to engage with a rapidly developing landscape of work/career and learning opportunities

Greg Leighton, an employability support officer in Glasgow and member of the LifeSkills Educator Advisory Council is passionate about the programme, stating ‘It’s no longer just about qualifications. Young people now, more than ever, need softer skills like confidence and communication, alongside relevant experience, to meet the demands of a changing world of work. LifeSkills resources are comprehensive, easy to use and essential in helping young people to realise and fulfil their true potential.’
But it doesn’t end there. Now we’re taking the programme to the next level.

LifeSkills Champions
Launched in October, LifeSkills Champions offers young people the chance to gain valuable recognition for boosting their own and their peers’ employability skills through LifeSkills. If you work in education, you can nominate anyone aged 14-19 to become a LifeSkills Champion.
Once nominated, young people are tasked with delivering a series of LifeSkills sessions to their peers. From CV writing to interview preparation, networking best practice and more, the sessions cover core skills and competencies that are essential to employers. What’s more, they’ll be supported along the way with a toolkit, packed full of tips and videos from LifeSkills Ambassadors. When their designated activities have been completed and approved, they’ll receive a ‘LifeSkills created with Barclays’ digital badge to help demonstrate to prospective employers that they’ve got the skills to take on new challenges, act as a leader and motivate others.

The LifeSkills Award
Going hand in hand with LifeSkills Champions is the LifeSkills Award. This recognises schools and colleges which are going above and beyond to support their students to gain the skills they need for better futures using LifeSkills. We know there are so many schools and colleges out there doing amazing work to set their students up for success by embedding LifeSkills across their whole institution, and we want to make sure they’re getting the recognition they deserve. Successful applicants will receive certification that demonstrates their institution’s commitment to championing young people’s employability locally and nationally, as well as to regulators and parents.
You can find out more about these two initiatives, alongside a wealth of free employability skills resources, at barclayslifeskills.com/teachers.

New Road Safety Resources⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Road Safety Scotland have developed a suite of free road safety learning resources for specific age groups from 3-18 years, with a view to developing responsible road use among young people. All their resources link to Curriculum for Excellence, incorporating experiences and outcomes in health and wellbeing; literacy and English; maths and numeracy, and many other subject areas.

The resources offer different learning styles to engage teachers and learners, and make the learning appropriate, relevant and challenging at every level, and may also help maintain the important link between school and home, allowing key road safety messages to be shared throughout the wider community. You can now access the online resources through the App Library available in Glow.

Resources for science – Sound⤴

from

By: adzla

After teaching a unit of work on light, I taught a unit of work on sound. Here are the links and resources I used.

 

Idea for creating a educational programme about sound – quite a nice idea. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7O6aW7yE47bdkZnVENUOFF2T0U

 

Covers a lot of sound stuff Teachers TV: Primary Science: Sound and Hearing

 

 

 

 

How Your Ears Work

 

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/a-speeding-toy-train-plays-the-william-tell-overture-on-bottles

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/opera-singers-sing-during-real-time-mri-scans

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/the-wintergatan-marble-machine-music-made-from-2000-marbles

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/the-inverted-glass-harp

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/43232464676

 

Bill Nye https://vimeo.com/111148958

 

BBC Sound Clips http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zgffr82/videos/1

Resources for science – light.⤴

from

My new headteacher introduced me to Onenote and after having a look at it, I realised that it would be a good way to collate resources for different subjects and topics in school.

In a few months I’ve built up lots of pages of links with brief descriptions of what the link is.

I’m going to share these resources I’ve collated and used on my blog space here.

I hope you find them useful.

I’m going to start with some links I used for our science topic on Light.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zbssgk7/videos/1 class clips

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/pattern-distortions-seen-through-a-glass-of-water

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/79356632627  Reversing arrow experiment

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/52798138998 Optical cloaking

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/71224654988 T-rex

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/60505868597 Can you trust your eyes?

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-do-animals-see-in-the-dark-color-ted-ed How do animals see (and humans for that matter)

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-do-glasses-help-us-see-ted-ed Human eyes and glasses.

 

http://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/how-do-your-eyes-see-color-physics-girl How do your eyes see colour?

 

http://www.color-blindness.com/color-blindness-tests/ Colour vision tests

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks2/science/physical_processes/light/read/1/ Bitesize Light.