Each week in our newsletter we highlight a favourite free or low-cost app/tool/resource/piece of software and give a brief rundown of how you might use it in the classroom. Every month or so we round them up here on the blog. We’d love to hear what you think about them if you give them a go, and any others you’d like to share – leave a comment in the box below. Catch up with all the tools in Give it a try, part 1 and part 2.
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This is a fun – and useful – new tool from Google. The latest in its attempt to use artificial intelligence in cultural applications, Art Palette analyses thousands of artworks and distils them down to their essential colours. Find connections between paintings from different eras and cultures or upload your own image and make visual connections. Addictive!
Quizzes in Google Forms
We use Google forms all the time – to collect ideas, get feedback from teachers and for quizzes with students. Google has created six new features in ‘Quizzes in Google Forms‘. Try it out with your class and let us know what you think.
We’ve become big fans of Spiral having tried out the Team Up feature in a recent team day. It lets pupils join a virtual class, working together to build a presentation as a slideshow and then present from their devices to the whiteboard with the rest of the class posting questions and feedback as they present.
Get arty with Scratch scripts
Teachers often ask us how they can support their pupils’ progression and creativity in Scratch programming. One great way is to give children the opportunity to get artistic with their Scratch scripts. Check out these arty example projects. Each one shows off a different feature which your pupils can use to piece together their own Scratch masterpiece.
Kids Invent Stuff
Fun YouTube channel Kids Invent Stuff is where 5-11 year olds have the chance to get their invention ideas built by real engineers and engage with real engineering projects. Each month a challenge is announced, ideas can be submitted as drawings or videos, the most creative are showcased on the site and then one of them is built. A new video is released every Saturday at 6pm and previous inventions include a slime cannon, wearable technology and a cyborg pumpkin.
A fun way to learn about ciphers, Codemoji is a tool for encoding messages with emoji and teaching the basics of encryption.
Computer Literacy Project archive
Some computer history fun this week – the BBC has released the Computer Literacy Project archive. In the 1980s the Computer Literacy Project led to the introduction of the BBC Micro alongside programmes which introduced viewers to the principles of computing. It was a huge development at the time. According to Hermann Hauser, co-founder of Acorn Computers, “the BBC Computer Literacy Project made Britain the most computer-literate nation on earth at the time and, with the BBC computer, created a generation of UK programmers who have become leaders in their field.” Now you can not only watch any of the 267 programmes but also run 166 BBC Micro programs that were used on-screen.
We came across some intriguing ideas about how to use Chatterpix in the classroom at last month’s CAS conference (read our blog post for other highlights). Chatterpix can make photos talk – just add a line to give it a mouth and record your voice with a message. Possible cross-curricula applications include using it in personal and social development where a child can project their own feelings onto a drawing and as an impetus for experiments in science.
At last month’s Computing at School (CAS) conference(read our blog post for highlights), Quiver was singled out as a great tool for mark making and developing fine motor skills and language. Download colouring-in pages, get creative then bring the page to life using the app. Find more tips from the conference in our highlights blogpost.
Google has a fun new AI experiment – Move Mirror. It maps your joint movements and creates a personalised GIF to show how you move. Give it a try (if you are happy to give Google permission to access your webcam)!
Thanks to Mark from Danesfield Manor School for sharing how successful Flipgrid has been for encouraging feedback from pupils and engaging parents. Got a suggestion for a great app or resource? Let us know!
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