Recently, we have had the privilege of speaking to one of the co-designers and co-facilitators of 'Digital Literacy Wales' - Karen Workman. We are excited about the potential of this new project, how it will grow in the next few months and what it will mean for practice across all education sectors in Wales.
The 'Digital Literacy Wales' Facebook page is now active and the first two practitioner sessions have taken place. This project is currently funded for work in the college sector. We will post updates as more information becomes available.
There are so many apps out there it can sometimes seem an insurmountable task to find the hidden gems. It is so tempting to just download as many as possible, but the danger of the iPad becoming the 'digital babysitter' can suddenly become the reality.
A few apps that have been recommended by other professionals are below. Everyone has their own preferences but these are the way that I have been using them:
iMovie - this is a free download on the newer iPads.
Great to capture evidence, record reflections and display photos. Can also be used with some of the Apps listed below. In the National Numeracy Framework (Wales) measuring time to one tenth of a second can be taught by using the trimming function on iMovies. Film clips can be edited with data imported into Numbers to generate and interpret graphs. All this can be done using topics chosen by the learners that are relevant and motivating.
Aurasma - Augmented Reality App that brings displays and student work to life. Use with Morfo Booth or Puppet Pals to animate work. An exciting way to get families working together on a project.
Flight Radar 24 - use the augmented reality function to see how many planes are in the sky above you at any moment. The map function with information boxes are crying out to be made into Top Trump cards. The links to numeracy and geography are explicit, but many other challenge based ideas could be sparked from using this App.
Animate It - stop frame animation is another great project for families to play and learn together. Planning, creating, story telling, editing and reflecting are just a few benefits of using this App well.
As with all Apps, it is the way they are used that makes all the difference. Any App can become defunct if the time to plan, play and explore possibilities is not taken.
Karen Workman (Neath Port Talbot Family Learning Coordinator) has a passion for learning, technology, empowering children and their families…and anything Maths!
A tweet arrives from @nelkcarps - Gary is in town!
We arrange to meet Gary in our usual spot for a coffee catch-up. It's becoming a regular occurrence…and one we look forward to immensely.Superb graphic from @nelkcarps.
It could more accurately be described as a play-date. A term we had not heard until recently. Basically, us big kids, arrange to meet up using the grown up 'coffee catch-up' as an excuse….but head to a play-date that is full of laughter, exploring various apps, playing on iPads, scribbling great works of art on serviettes and trying to remain blissfully unaware of the glances thrown our way from 'real grown-ups' as we become increasingly more animated and excited. We do drink coffee though. And, to be fair, the sight of an iPad being thrown on the floor to demonstrate the 'toughness' of the kid-proof case, is probably not something that is seen every day in this particular coffee shop.
The conversation jumps between edtech, learning, eat all you can buffets, IPACA, twitter, trains, apps, risk-taking, education, ribs, packing a car, more apps, lego, photography, more apps, awards, teaching, kids, 3D printing, school trips, more apps, the possibility of 4D printing, spray paint that makes anything waterproof….and the House of Lords.
The 'chit-chat' never stops…and in the middle of that we are trying out new apps and attempting to make a video and import it into the 'aurasma' app (or Lynne is, badly!).
Andrew sighs at the sight of me (Lynne) jumping between apps…with Gary quickly demonstrating his skill of operating an iPad upside down (the iPad was upside down, not him). It must be a transferable 'teacher' skill - reading a book aloud to a class, at the same time as holding it up so illustrations can be seen, requires the skill of 'upside down, reverse reading'. Only this is the 21st century version!
Andrew's sigh is related to the fact that I am likely to continue excitement at these apps way past our coffee catch up…and, with heading to Scotland for most of August, we are not needing distractions whilst in the midst of preparations. So I've promised not to play with the apps yet…but if anyone else has an iPad/iPhone and wants to try them out, search for 'Aurasma', 'Morfo' and 'colAR Mix' in the app store. You won't be disappointed.
Thanks, Gary, for a great couple of hours - we look forward to the next 'coffee catch-up'…and a trip to see you in IPACA.
An unexpected 'meet-up' with Karen Workman led to much laughter and learning today. Karen had recently attended an 'Apple Teacher Institute' and was keen to share her experience. We ended up in 'app' heaven! Anyone with access to an iPad who wants a great way to create and publish comic strips…try out 'Strip Design' from the app store.
Simple to use, lots of templates to choose from…great for all ages.