Give it a try – our pick of the best apps and tools, part 10

Each week in our newsletter we highlight a favourite free or low-cost app/tool/resource/piece of software that we think might be useful or fun in your classroom or school. Every few weeks 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 part 2, part 3 part 4, part 5, part 6part 7, part 8 and part 9.

Don’t want to wait for the roundup? Sign up to our newsletter to get a new ‘give it a try’ in your inbox every Thursday lunchtime.

One of Hour of Code’s new backgrounds, designed by Amy Zhou – find out more below.

Stay Focusd
Use Chrome? Easily distracted? Stay Focusd is a free Chrome extension that will shut down specified time suck sites, such as Twitter or Facebook, after a set time and not allow you back on. It also has a nuclear option…

Storyboarding PDFs for iMovie trailers
Why would I want to create an iMovie trailer, I hear you ask? Well, they can be a fun way to show learning, explain vocabulary, document experiments and summarise things.  iMovie for iOS has 14 trailer templates, each with its own musical score and graphics, and to make your own trailer, you simply choose a template, insert your text and fill each shot with a video or photo. iMovie offers its own outline and storyboard for each template but Tony Vincent found them limiting so, brilliantly, he’s created his own set of fillable PDFs for each template and shared them.

Children one of our Tate Exchange projects – find out more about Tate’s digital Art Parts below.

Art Parts
We’re proud to partner with Tate on its Tate Exchange programme (earlier this year we worked with 170 pupils from 20 schools to deliver our Making Moves workshop at the gallery) and really like its fun Arts Parts game which encourages children to fill in the gaps (digitally!) on some of its famous artworks.

Poets in action
Why not bring inspiration into the classroom with some great films of poets in action, including Julia Donaldson, John Hegley and Roger McGough, or this series especially for KS1 and KS2 with the wonderful Joseph Coelho explaining how poetry is relatable, fun, and achievable.

Can you spot when you’re being phished?
Phishing attacks – when fraudsters send you emails pretending to be from someone you know in the hope that you’ll share sensitive information or click links in fake websites  – are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Could you be taken in, putting yourself or your school at risk? Take the test and find out…

Does your school’s internet filtering make the grade?
This great little tool from the UK Safer Internet Centre is incredibly simple to use and tests how appropriate your school’s internet filtering is and if it adheres to SWGFL’s filtering guidelines.

Family link
Google has introduced a new app allowing parents to manage their children’s screen time. Available on both iOS and Android, it enables parents to “set digital ground rules”, approve or block apps, manage in-app purchases and set device bedtimes. Could be worth sharing with parents.

Is your school making the most of digital technologies for teaching and learning? SELFIE (Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering the use of Innovative Educational Technologies) is an EU-funded tool designed to help schools embed digital technologies into teaching, learning and student assessment. It claims to highlight what’s working well, where improvement is needed and what the priorities should be.

Hour of Code Dance Party 2019
For this year’s Hour of Code the HofC team relaunched one of their most popular activities, Dance Party, with new backgrounds, new coding blocks, and new music. Find out more and give it your best moves!

Get doodling!

Quick, draw!
Can AI recognise your doodle? Help teach a neural network by adding your drawings to the world’s largest doodling dataset, shared publicly to help with machine learning research.

A bit of fun – can you sing like Freddie Mercury? Sing along and a neural net will tell you…

Chatterpix Kids
Hat tip to @ICTEvangelist Mark Anderson and his Appvent Calendar for this one. Bring a photo or character to life. Load the free app (for IoS or Android), add in your photo, draw a line over where you want to animate the mouth movement then hit the record button and you have 30 seconds to deliver your speech. Take a look at Mark’s post for lots of great ideas for using this in class.

Plague Inc – fake news
Misinformation spreads like the plague – infect the world with the plague of false information in a new game from fact checking charity Full Fact and Ndemic Creations. It’s a fake news version of the bestselling game Plague Inc, which challenges players to infect the world with a deadly plague. In this new scenario, players spread false information across the globe, trying to deceive everyone before fact checkers can thoroughly debunk them and save the world from chaos and confusion. Partly based on Full Fact’s experiences, and that of its fellow international fact checkers, the game is a heightened view into the extremes of misinformation and the serious consequences it can have for our democracies, health and society. Currently iOS only with PC and Android versions coming soon. Play now.

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