The app is essentially 3 memory card/pairs game screens and 3 areas of focus.
Animal Matching Cards- for example a hippo and a hippo
Letter Sound matching Cards for example a “d” and a “d”
Animal and corresponding initial sound screen
My current test for whether an app is much cop is to give it to my boys and see whether they want to keep playing, and I also keep an ear out for any talk related learning too.
Well Funimal Pairs was certainly enjoyed by the boys, they were reluctant to stop playing and have asked to play the “animal cards game on Daddy’s Ipad” again and again.
It was very easy for them to pick up and they needed little, if any, intervention from me. That said there was challenge too. I really enjoyed watching Charlie think about which animal would accompany the “c” sound or what was the initial sound for parrot. For this foundation stage pupil who is still consolidating on his sounds and finalising his phonological knowledge I feel this app is ideal. As he played, the game threw up opportunities for talk between him and his brothers, between Dad and himself or just to himself. I would hear him rehearse sounds and compare them, for example d, b and p. He would also talk with me about the animals and discuss their initial sounds, but there was not too much of this as he was pretty in flow throughout the sessions.
I am adding this to the literacy folder on our school Ipads now that it has had a full release.
Furthermore, clips like these could lead to more than just a written piece, they offer opportunities for digital presentations and tribute animations themselves . Remember to embed videos in a blog or VLE, rather than asking children to visit Vimeo directly. All of these videos have been watched and though I deem them appropriate you may disagree. It is of course always essential to watch anything before you show it to your class!
This morning was an early start. I had to be at Apple Lakeside for one of their IPad in education events. It was a very interesting and a rewarding couple of hours, and well worth the mad dash down the A13. There were presentations from the Apple Staff on using and managing IPads for those who were new to the device, a look at some lesser known apps by 9ine consultancy and some words of wisdom from Elm Park School. Alongside all of this was some very valuable time to network with colleague in a similar position, which I found immensely valuable.
Here are some brief points and thoughts about the event.
Course facilitators take note, this was a very well run morning with good pace, a warm welcome and a good mix of workshops differentiated for abilities and needs. Staff were very friendly and never once did I feel sold at. And lets face it good coffee and cake in the morning is also always welcome.
The presentation from 9ine Consultancy was entertaining and my colleague and I were thrilled to see Nearpod in action. I had played with Nearpod a few weeks ago but to see it demoed properly really gave you a chance to see the potential of this app. In essence it allows you to share your presentation with your students and allows them to respond back to you via the means of quizzes, polls or drawing.
The process begins with the teacher creating a presentation, he/ she then shares a pin number with the pupils who can then access the presentation via that pin. The potential is huge here, because the lesson could be picked up by other learners outside of the physical room as well as your own class. It reminds me of a voting system but feels like so much more! I am going to give this app a try out next week when I have visitors to my class!
We also looked at Morfo Booth, which is a bit like Mad Lips, both tools to make pictures talk. Though I have to say Morfo looks visually far more exciting than Mad Lips or the old Crazy Talk for Windows. We were shown an example of an animated Egyptian King sharing his thoughts on the period, but of course an app like this could be used in lots of other history and speaking and listening contexts. It would also aid children with communication difficulties or those who are perhaps nervous about speaking out.
During the rest of the time at the store I listened intently to colleagues from Elm Park Primary, they shared lots of examples of how they had used IOS devices across the curriculum. I was struck by how far they had come with ICT and how down to earth and grounded they were too. Lovely people!
One thing that did strike me about the theme and direction of the morning was that the use of the term “ICT” which seemed to have altered and diminished somewhat. The applications we saw and heard about point to a new paradigm of ICT across the curriculum without the faffing about. Film, Podcasts, Comic, Poster, Ebook, Music, Art work, Map Analysis, Educational Game… Turn on the device find the appropriate content or creative app and bingo job done. But it niggles me that this is all summed up as ICT. It is closer to the terms digital artistry perhaps.
I still want my children to experience the rigour of testing, executing , refining and trying it all over again. I love my Ipad and our Ipad and having spent time after school tonight updating our apps I am rejuvenated and excited about using them in class. But I do worry that while these devices are seductive, fast and shiny, they do push the “duller aspects” or perhaps the harder to teach and contextualize ICT aspects to the side. Maybe an app will come along and we can all stop worrying, or maybe we still need a Windows device and a proper keyboard for some stuff after all.