APPy to help

29 Apr

During our MIEE (Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators) induction days in Reading, UK we were asked to peruse the Windows 8 App store for applications we could use in the classroom. You can see a summary of some of the free apps available for education via the Microsoft UK schools blog.

My contribution was the QR code creator, which I use to share my youtube videos when we are carrying out test feedback and review in class. Rather than going through the entire test from the front of the class I create video solutions for each question then the students can scan the QR code that takes them to the specific questions they need to review.

I struggled with this task as many of the tools I use in my current classroom (I am about to move to a Microsoft Partnership school) do not seem to be available in the Windows 8 app store. However, I have been asked to contribute some ideas for apps I would like to see in the store and this is what I have come up with so far:

Edublogs:

I have developed a class blog with one of my maths classes which we use it to:

  1. chronicle our lessons in order to help parents understand what we are doing day to day.
  2. help students revise
  3. share our maths journey with the world.

Sharing the journey has been very successful thanks to getting involved in a quadblog. This is where four class blogs from around the world are connected and the students view and comment on each other’s posts. We currently use wordpress to host the blog which does not have the safeguards that edublogs does but allows me to upload pictures to the blog easily during lessons. The advantage of edublogs is that each student can be allocated a login without asking them to use their email and it allows them to blog anywhere, anytime but the posts can only be published by the blog administrator (me).

So, I would love to have a Windows 8 App that allowed me to review and publish the student’s posts, upload pictures and other media and generally monitor the blog from my Windows 8 device, whether it be my pc, laptop or phone.

Myscript Calculator:

This is something I discovered recently for android devices. It is a simple calculator where you can write in the calculation you want to carry out and the app recognises your handwriting and converts to a sum… and calculates it.

So, were this to be available for students with touch screen Windows 8 devices then it would be a valuable tool for helping them understand the order of operations, investigate fraction notation and investigate number skills.

Hopefully some of these and other apps will make their way to Windows 8 app store soon.

Ben Rouse

 

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