Tuesday, 28 February 2017

App Review - Coding for the Youngest with Code-a-Pillar by Fisher-Price

Bring Coding and Logic into your classroom or take it home! This app is just what you need to introduce basic concepts and logic to your youngest learners.
Not only will they learn tons of important skills, they will love doing it and ask for more learning!

Find out all about the app in our video.

You can download the app for free here:
Code-a-Pillar by Fisher Price.

Here is a simple list of some of this app's key features.

  • Graphical Editor - Visual Coding blocks 
  • Logic and Motion, no syntax
  • Easy to follow, narration throughout the entire game
  • Colourful and Fun
  • Short bursts of information
  • Commands are introduced 1 at a time
  • Mini games on number recognition at the end of each level.
  • Orientation of the Caterpillar changes throughout the levels.
  • The turn block rotate on screen after being places so students can check and 'debug' their code.
  • Free and advertisement free App

  • Visual Coding blocks (non-syntax based programming environment)
  • iOS only
You can download the app for free here:
Code-a-Pillar by Fisher Price.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Bee Bot App - iPad Coding and Computing Apps reviewed

Here's a video from a while back on the Bee-Bot app for iOS which never made it to our blog.

Ever wondered if you too can introduce programming and robotics into an Early Years classroom? Don't have access to Bee-Bot Robots but still want to introduce Computing at a young age? 

This video is a quick review and demonstration of the Bee-Bot App. 

Download the Bee-Bot App here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bee-bot/id500131639?mt=8&at=1000lrDg

And the Bee-Bot Pyramid App here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bee-bot-pyramid/id509207211?mt=8

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Safer Internet Day 2017

It's that time of the year again! Safer Internet Day 2017.
As every year, many classes and schools will be putting on activities for this day and forget all about Internet Safety tomorrow. A missed chance.

I am convinced that it is not the one day activities that are going to make a change. It is all of us, all the time. Educators like us, often pride themselves on the fact that we 'know' about curriculum and how we enable a 'transfer' of knowledge.

Given that fact a lot of us will think; E safety? I know what I'm doing and run activities such as; sharing a post with the world, seeing how far and fast a message can be shared across Social media.
Some teachers will look at how email is a 'new' form of communication and how chatting with strangers can be dangerous.

However, we are talking about digital natives here! These children, tweens and teens grew up with Technology. A Year One student was born in the same year that the iPhone 4 came out! (Feeling old yet?) Activities such as the ones mentioned above can be fun, but will have very little impact on our students lives.

That's the reality in which we are living. Social media is not something some of us choose to use, it is something all of us use. Schools and students are online, files and data are stored in the cloud, students are using smartphones and smartwatches. Connectivity is everywhere and I've spotted a  lot of smart watches aimed at children in our local Shopping Center for about 90 Pounds or 110 Dollars.

Now, learning to cope with this changed reality and dealing with potential problems online, is still not as ingrained into our school curriculum and practice as it should be. Often we, teachers and parents, don't know what we are doing, are out of touch with the latest trends and/or apps, or simply cannot operate the equipment.

That's where this Day comes in. To hopefully create more awareness about Digital Citizenship and E safety alongside sharing some useful resources with carers and parents.

As a Common Sense Certified Educator, I advocate constant integrated E-safety and e-etiquette throughout all lessons and activity rather than stand alone lessons.

If you too would like to have a look at some of the resources I use, you can follow the links below for more information...

Common sense Media: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Stay Safe Online: https://staysafeonline.org

EduCare UK: Educare UK