Choosing the right app

I love using Explain Everything for my teaching as it gives rich interactive-whiteboard-like functionality using an iPad instead of a clunky and often unaligned ‘smart’board.

However, today I discovered it’s not always the best tool to use with kids. In my music lesson we were listening to different sounds, and I wanted an app that could just be written on, much like a drywipe mini whiteboard. You can do that with Explain Everything, but it’s just a bit too complex for using with Year 2 kids as you can easily have the pen unselected and then end up moving all the items on the screen around instead.

As an alternative, I quickly downloaded Educreations (which is free!). This app offers a stripped down set of features and allows you to just use your finger to draw with on the screen. This worked much better.

I also had a go at using Socrative to do a class quiz. You have to set up a teacher account (which you can do online) and then you just give your room number for children to log onto your quiz. Children then answer the questions and get immediate feedback.

I’m realising more the power of the App Store in education. It can take a bit of thinking to discover the best app, or combinations of apps for a job, but once you do it leads you to all sorts of interesting places.

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