The new United Arab Emirates Design & Technology Curriculum is well under way with STEM themed app making projects and fabulous learning happening in schools such as this leading girls’ school.
The attention to detail in these apps is very noticeable, as is the thought that has gone into the preparation for the learning, supported and emphasised in the new MoE created teacher & student handbooks.
Here are some images of the girls’ activity and work from the classroom where students are seen presenting to peers the key features, content and design considerations. It’s good to also see the creative use of Google Forms in a number of the apps – you can see this in a screenshot of one of the apps lower down this article.
Considering that the UAE only began using Blippit in mid-January 2018 we’re impressed with the rate of progress. Congratulations to everyone involved.
For years we’ve kept the app writer as a completely open ended tool so that people aren’t immediately channeled in to predictable and boring pathways like trying to create a restaurant app.
The result is has been that teachers are able to, for example, focus on their own curriculum subject areas like vikings to extend, consolidate and publish the children’s learning to the whole world with a literacy focus.
A few weeks ago one teacher we worked with (year 4 & 5) told us about a reluctant writer of hers and the impact that writing in Blippit’s App Maker had on him. You can listen to her here…
Here’s a quick view of the apps once they were published to our App Store on Planet Blippit.
The last literacy-focused app publishing lesson with Year 2 happened last week. Both during and after the lesson we learned a lot about how the writing process was affected, even in more reluctant writers, by the addition of app publishing.
Though the focus was so clearly writing improvement, when the children were asked, the prospect of Mummy or Daddy having the app on their phones was also featuring large in their minds.
Listen now to part 2 with Assistant Head & Literacy Leader Mrs Emma Smallshaw, from Salesbury Primary in Lancashire, in action with her Year 2 class and reflecting afterwards with John Bidder from Blippit about the process as a whole and next steps.
We’ve been focusing on how the process of improving non-chronological report writing could combine with publishing a mobile app using Blippit’s App Maker.
One of the most striking factors was the effect of telling the children that their app would be seen by the world; this would include mum & dad on their mobile phones too. We’ve always believed in the positive effect of having an authentic audience and what was clear was that these children, at such a young age, were highly motivated at the thought.
What you’ll get a sense of in the video is the absolute focus on literacy and writing improvement. What was less easy to capture was the willingness of the children to ‘fix’ their writing to make it better. This is the ‘norm’ for these children it seems and dealing with being told that there’s ‘a problem with’ some part of their writing was not a problem for them. You can get the Viking App Template from Blippit Academy.
Listen to Assistant Head & Literacy Leader Mrs Emma Smallshaw, from Salesbury Primary in Lancashire, in action with her class and reflecting afterwards about the process so far.
Yesterday I took Blippit to the National Museum of Computing – immediate neighbour of Bletchley Park. To be invited as part of their Bytes Festival and work directly with their visiting families surrounded by such history was not half-bad.
Out of school you get such an insight into how parents relate to their children and learning as a whole. They share insights with you quite openly and comment on your limitless patience with their child who frankly drives them nuts most of the time.
There’s noone marking, setting targets or observing when it’s just you and a family which makes for some very natural and easy steps forwards. One young man (Year 3) made an app and learned what HTML 5 markup language was as he worked with me on the side and his mum making encouraging comments as he progressed. To say he was ‘off his seat’ with excitement when he saw his app on mum’s phone (she downloaded a QR code reader to get it) is an understatement.
Another young man’s Dad regaled me with stories of his son’s disengagement at school contrasting with his persistence, resilience and immersion in his favoured world of technology. It’s not an unusual story and we all know children like this but seeing how he learned was interesting. Essentially it was broadly like this
“listen to the expert”
“grab the basics”
“build and try out”
“go over bits as needed with expert again”
“build towards a result”
“improve on published app”
I’ve been lucky (no doubt about that) to teach in many different schools and environments over the years sometimes as a ‘regular’ teacher, sometimes as an ‘advisory’ teacher and more recently as the ‘Blippit Man’.
The ‘Blippit Man’ tag does generate extra attention and effort from children no doubt at all so my reflections are mindful of how children respond to people they view as ‘experts’ from the ‘real’ world.
This bit of shine from an external expert isn’t sustainable and so it makes what teachers and children achieve together, day in day out, all the more remarkable.
Have you taken a look at blippit.academy yet? Try our self-paced teacher CPD course for app making.
Holgate Academy’s Year 7 Scheme for Blippit’s App Maker was in today’s collection of Google results! It’s a very thoroughly prepared few weeks of work that’d we recommend you take a look at if you’re looking for ideas certainly.
Here’s the Year 7 Scheme of work on App making with Blippit
We also like to read blogs where an educator as taken time to reflect or share on their work. Here’s one that came from Woodmansterne in Lambeth where you’ll get a great overview of the apps they’ve been making with the original Blippit App Maker not Blippit IO
Year 4 have been getting busy with the original and out-going Blippit app maker in Maths
Lastly we’ve updated our Year 6 planning units too so do take up our invitation to download, adapt & adopt as you see fit. They have links to videos and real examples now included that weren’t in before
Also take a look at the talented Apprentice candidates at Abbey Community Primary School.
If you have any school stories to share where you’ve been using Blippit we’d love to hear about them and profile them here!
In half a day the teams were well underway with creating apps to support families with learning at home. Huge ideas as you’d expect.
Interestingly, the teams were very adept I thought at moving across platforms in creating their apps. For example:
They used the Makewav.es app to record video, sound and other things
Then then brought the content straight in to Blippit via our Blippit Makewav.es Widget
Next was a little impromptu HTML coding via the fabulous www.w3schools.com – no sweat.
Currently the apps they made, still evolving, are on the school’s website and the teams are seeking the votes of their peers – the equivalent of Nick & Anne! Good luck to whoever makes it through to the next round!
there’s a missing question mark in the video – it’ll get fixed.