Some Great iPad Apps – Computing,Literacy, Numeracy and creativity across whole curriculum.
Computing Apps (replacing old ICT Curriculum)
SCRATCH on the iPad http://scratch.mit.edu/
Bee Bots App
A wonderful modern interpretation of the classic Bee Bots that have taught many of us the basics of control (programming by another name!?) This app sets a challenge for pupils to program the Bee Bot to make it to the flower – programming for a desired outcome!
Daisy the Dinosaur
A simple to use programming environment in which pupils can drag and drop command blocks to write a program for Dairy to execute. There are even input blocks for ‘shake’ and ‘touch’ making use of the iPads gyro and touch sensitive screen. It’s ace, give it a try.
An important skill in learning to code is learning to code efficiently. Programs may appear the same from an external perspective when they achieve identical outcomes, but behind the scene in the nitty gritty of the code they may vary greatly in terms of the efficiently of their architecture. This app introduces this concept by challenging the user to write the shortest code possible to complete a set task (the rearrangement of coloured crates using the cargo arm). Shortening code is accomplished by using ‘loops’ which in themselves are a key feature of coding that pupils need to grasp. This is a tricky app which we are thinking of using with older students and it is quite addictive!
Logo (Logo Draw and i-Logo)
Both these apps provide pupils with experience programming using the Logo language. In the Computing curriculum you will see pupils start with Logo Draw since it uses a drag and drop coding block style environment before moving on to i-logo which requires pupils to type code.
MOVE THE TURTLE iPhone/iPad – £1.99. Can five-year-olds start learning to program? They can with this app, which aims to teach the basics of computer programming by planning tasks – all presented by a friendly turtle character to spark their imagination.
Here are some suggestions for literacy apps to try with your children. If you have any other suggestions for other apps that you’ve used add them in the comments below.
BookCreator – one of the most versatile apps available for your class to make fiction/non-fiction books using text/sound/video. Links well with iMovie.
ArtofGlow – highly visual app for early/emergent writing.
First Letters – Match the letters and listen to the song. Teaches the youngest children phonics
ABC Alphabet Phonics – A simple game where children locate the correct letter
Story Ideas – Can you guess what this one does? A slick new app.
Comic Touch – Make your photos go all cartoony warping images and adding speech bubbles
Toontastic – A great little app that allows children to create characters, settings and their own cartoons
Chicktionary – As the blurb says ‘Unscramble a roost of letters and create as many words as possible’.
Puppetpals HD – Create your own puppet shows with animation and audio in real time
Hangman – An oldie, but a goodie!
Word Search Kids – Again, no prizes for originality here, but still lots of fun
StoryKit – Create your own electronic storybook
Adventure Books – Trying to encourage your boys to read? Who could resist an exciting adventure?
Storyrobe – Create and share digital stories
Verses – Poetry, Poems and Poets – Fridge magnets with a 21st century twist!
Sparklefish – Another iPad version of an old favourite, complete a story in turns then see what you get.
Sock Puppets – Create and share your own lip synced videos
Alphabet Tracing – A fun series of animations to help children learn to form letters
Pocketphonics – A highly rated phonics app that covers letter sounds, letter writing and first words. Great to use in EYFS and beyond.
Bluster – A vocabulary building game from McGraw-Hill
Learn to Spell – Reception – A nice looking app that does exactly what it says on the tin
Sentence Builder – Designed to help young children build gramatically correct sentences
FUNIMAL PHONICS iPhone/iPad – £0.69. Children and parents are well-used to phonics alphabet-learning now, and this stylish flash-cards app gives the discipline a friendly animal face. It’s also notable for its inclusion of both US and UK English accents when speaking sounds.
MY A-Z iPhone/iPad – £1.49. There are lots of alphabetical flash-card apps for iPhone, but this one stands out for its personalisation. Children can add their own photos and sounds for letters – a picture of their dog and its bark for “D”, and so on.
THE SINGING ALPHABET iPhone/iPad – £0.69. A stylish app that does what it says on the tin: letters that sing. Specifically, they sing their own phonetic sounds, and can be combined to make harmonies and tunes. Given five minutes, your child will be singing along too.
FARM 123 – STORYTOYS JR iPhone/iPad – £1.49. Farm 123 aims to be a digital version of pop-up books, based on a character called Farmer Jo and his animals. It’s aimed at pre-school-age children, teaching them to count from one to 10 with cows, pigs and eggs.
LITTLE DIGITS iPad – £1.49. This marvellous numbers app gets your child to count by placing fingers on the iPad’s touchscreen, with cute cartoon numbers appearing, depending on how many fingers are pressed. Simple maths tasks give it an educational angle too.
NUMBERLYS iPhone/iPad – £3.99. Despite the name, this beautiful app is more about letters than numbers. It’s a mixture of games and storytelling to explain the origins of the alphabet, with a visual style influenced by films likeMetropolis and the original King Kong.
TIMES TABLES: SQUEEBLES MULTIPLICATIONiPhone/iPad/Android – £0.69. This UK-developed app is aimed at 5- to 11-year-olds, providing a series of multiplication questions to earn stars and rescue cutesy characters from a nefarious Maths Monster. Up to four children can save their progress on one device.
COUNTING WITH THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLARiPhone/iPad – £1.99. Eric Carle’s famous book about a fruit-munching caterpillar has been turned into a fun educational game with a mathematical skew. Your child identifies, counts and adds the foods over five levels, ensuring it appeals to a range of ages.
AROUND THE CLOCK iPhone/iPad – £1.49. This time-focused app wears its educational spurs lightly. It’s a collection of 24 mini-games, one for each hour of the day, from toothbrushing to pancake making. The idea is to familiarise children with the clock.
CHANGE4LIFE FUN GENERATOR iPhone/iPad/Android – Free. Part of a wider Department of Health initiative to get families out and about, this app suggests more than 100 activities for children, filtering them by indoors/outdoors and the number of participants. A summer-holiday lifesaver for parents.
COOPER’S PACK: LONDON CHILDREN’S TRAVEL GUIDE iPhone/iPad – £1.49. For parents taking their children to London as a tourist, what better guide than a stuffed dog named Cooper? This travel app is a story-based guide to London’s history and attractions, with plenty of interactivity to keep children reading.
FAMIGO SANDBOX Android – Free. If you’re handing over an Android device to a child, Famigo Sandbox is invaluable. It filters the apps on your phone to only show those suitable for children, locks off other features, and recommends new apps they might like.
THE HAPPY FACE iPhone/iPad – £0.69. Most parents have used a reward chart for their children at some point. This turns the idea into an app for use while out and about, moving children’s photos onto a happy or sad face according to their behaviour.
BAREFOOT WORLD ATLAS iPad – £2.99. If you have a child who is just becoming interested in geography, this is an essential buy. It’s a digital globe with music and animation, drawing kids in to the meat of its text and photographic entries on countries, people and nature.
YOUR FANTASTIC ELASTIC BRAIN iPad – £1.99. Aimed at five-year-olds and up, this is a book app all about brains, using illustration and animation to explain some complex science, while throwing in “brain workout” games to help children stretch their grey cells.
Here’s a really good Prezi showing ones school’s journey in their use of iPads across the curriculum.