Over the summer it’s time for us teachers to prepare for our new class and the year ahead. Over the next few weeks I’m going to put spotlights on particular topics or themes, highlighting some apps which can support learning. This year the AppStore team have selected the best interactive stories, games and knowledge apps for a collection called ‘Dinosaurs’. Their collections are always interesting and pick out great apps to use for lessons in the classroom. Take a look at this featured collection here.
I’ve taken a quick walk through this latest collection and picked out a few apps which look like good fun for early years and ones which can develop knowledge and understanding in this topic.
Make a Scene: Dinosaurs
Here is a real simple dinosaur scene creation app. Simply a sticker app to engage those children who are less likely to visit your art area but are enticed by technology. It’s a steal at 79p and has the potential to bring out lots of language.
This is great mix and match app where children can pin together pieces of the favourite dinosaurs and create new species. It’s a real good talking point and a good starting point for any design and make process! Take the plan and go ahead to build the real model afterwards!
This app is an interactive digging game where you piece together your bone finds and learn facts about the dinosaurs and fossils along the way. It’s a great way to engage those learners who prefer not to go out and get muddy or messy in the sand. Here they can still join in with the play along their peers, keeping their hands clean but leading the learning with facts they have unearthed. On the other hand, it’s just a great guided reading activity which brings prehistoric non-fiction reading back to life!
These are just 3 apps from this featured collection, and are stand-alone activities that can be part of provision. It’s always worth thinking about enhancement when using apps. How is the technology enhancing the learning? Try to build in opportunities for children to record what they have made and reflect on their work. You could save the scenes from Make a Scene: Dinosaurs and put those backgrounds in Puppet Pals to tell a dinosaur story. Children could apply their learning from the Archaeologist app by authoring a non-fiction book in Book Creator, using their own drawings or screen shots from the app. By using these two apps, children will move from consuming information to creating content on the iPads.