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 teacher & student handbooks.
Here are some images of the girls’ work from the classroom where students are seen presenting to peers the key features, content and design considerations. It’s nice to also see the creative use of Google Forms in a number of the apps (screenshot of one app below showing use of Google Forms).
Considering that the UAE only began using Blippit in mid-January 2018 we’re even more 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.
Last week we pruned Blippit Academy right back to basics. What we’ve got now is a stripped back site that we’re aiming to build up again with the help of teachers using particularly Blippit App Maker.
We’re really excited what’s happening in literacy via our App Maker templates. We’ve a couple of case studies under way in Year 6 & Year 2 that we’ll be sharing soon so that you can find your bearings a little more quickly when you’re teaching.
Can you help?
Have you made a scaffolded app for the children to use? Would you like to to share it with a growing community of other teachers via Blippit Academy with full credit given? Visit Blippit Academy to check out what’s involved and to also try existing ready-to-go app templates which are ready to be uploaded into your Blippit account.
Refer-to-Pharmacy allows hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to refer people directly to their community pharmacist for free NHS services such as the New Medicine Service or a Discharge Medication Review.
We’ve been working with Alistair Gray, Clinical Services Lead Pharmacist at East Lancashire Health Trust, on an idea to help spread of the word about Refer-to-Pharmacy. After an initial chat, Alistair quickly saw the potential of having an app, that he had complete control over, to aggregate sources of news, project updates, video, talks/events and so on for anyone wanting to know more about the project.
With an hour’s training he very quickly made a really convincing job of the first ever ‘Refer to Pharmacy’ app and incredibly within 24 hours a QR Code and link were added to the latest print run design of the new R2P brochure. We feel confident that having an eye for detail, Alistair’s app will continue to evolve – in fact it’s at version 11 at time of writing!
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Blippit is really happy and proud to support awareness raising of such a great project with it’s roots firmly in the NHS. The fact that Refer-To-Pharmacy is being picked up internationally now too is a really positive sign.
Refer-to-Pharmacy is a Patient Safety Award winning initiative; being the recipient of the Best Emerging Technology or IT award at the 2016 Patient Safety Congress.
Does your organisation have a project?
We’re in talks about a few other projects supporting the strategic goals of large organisations just now and we’ll hopefully be able to share more in time. If you are from a large organisation, such as the NHS, and have strategic goals that could be supported in a similar way please contact us via email@example.com with your idea. If your organisation has established links to education already and would like to discuss an app making project or competition concept for schools we’d be happy to talk.
We are starting to talk with organisations outside of school to explore collaborative projects that unlock knowledge and skills in the work place to build bridges with schools.
The projects that we’re most keen on just now have a clear learning legacy in the form of reusable digital app & code project templates that will continue to benefit schools after a project formally comes to an end.
We see a big opportunity for willing organisations to create, amongst other things, their own collection of project app templates that would be downloaded/uploaded & remixed/developed by students from the company website, Planet Blippit or wherever works best.
Wrapped around these projects are some other nice ideas such as beaming expertise into the classroom using Blippit’s school network friendly secure video conferencing tool ‘Spotlight’. We want to put learning truly in the Spotlight and let children benefit from having a professional and critical audience from beyond their usual environment.
If your organisation would like to talk about an education project idea do get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org with initial ideas/questions.
Say goodbye to a blank app project starting point! New features to support faster, smoother and easier lesson starts, assessment and collaborative working are now live for all schools.
Here’s what you can now do
Save a great project starter app as a project template and share it out directly within Blippit to target year groups/classes or individuals for any subject or colleague to use.
Save time year on year with planning and preparation
save, store and re-cycle templates
make templates to support different abilities and share to targeted students with differing levels of scaffolding in place within the app template
All users can now download an app at any stage of development. This is useful for assessment purposes in that you can have different versions of the app saved to show how it has developed over time
Download an app from Planet Blippit (see how in this video) and upload it to your own account for re-mixing before you share it out to targeted class groups
Teams of students working collaboratively can plan and develop an app project together then download the basic app and share an exact copy to each member of the team to develop different versions based on that design. This is done with the new app template upload/ download feature available to all users.
As you can see every app made by a student or teacher user now has an extra link so that others can download and remix the app if they want to using their own Blippit App Maker account. No other tool can open a Blippit App to remix and develop it further. All apps are teacher approved and all apps carry an audit trail in their About section to show the origins of the app project.