Believe it or not, iPads are now as common as text books in primary school classrooms. Kids these days have moved on from the whiteboard and are learning in a whole new environment of images, text, sound, and animation: all under their control with the tap of a finger. We look at some of the popular educational apps in schools and tell you how they’re changing the way kids are learning.
The days of overhead projectors are long gone. Even PowerPoint is on its way out: kids are now using Keynote as their go-to tool for creating educational presentations. And it’s not just your average “spiral” or “zoom” effects with Comic Sans titles either– these kids have powerful tools at their fingertips, and they know how to use them From cinema-quality animations to interactive bubble charts, Keynote has proven itself popular amongst schools because of the interactive way in which children can plan and layout a presentation or project at the touch of a finger.
Budding writers can have a crack with this fun app for both adults and children alike. Book Creator allows users to not only create text-based books, but also to add sounds and animations, illustrations and annotations. They can even save their story as a movie if they like. The end-product can even be uploaded to iBooks: kids can literally become published authors!
An emotion diary in electronic form, this app aids children in acknowledging and observing their emotions and the people around them. Originally designed for autistic children, Emotionary can be a great tool for any child as it helps build social skills and empathy using reflective exercises. Kids can fill in daily entries and observe the feelings that come up throughout the day and how it effects their day-to-day activities.
Perfect for the visual learner, Proloquo2go provides children with symbol-supported vocabulary as a means to learn everyday words. Much like visual flash-cards but in iPad form, the app delivers an easy-to-use and visually stimulating experience for kids to associate images with words and help improve their communication and verbal skills.
Mad Math is another flash-card simulation, but with maths! Children can test their skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, with an option to see their progress and which areas need more work. They can even email this data to teachers and parents to let them know how they’re going. The paid version of this app also includes two extra games – Math Bingo and Bubble Math – allowing for more interactivity and creative learning methods.
The great thing about having apps in the classroom is the versatility of catering to all learning methods – whether a child responds well to images or retains information easily through audio, there’s an app to help them. It’s a truly unique and interactive way to encourage children to learn about themselves and the world around them, without succumbing to traditional (and at times tedious) forms of delivery. The world is a colourful, musical, stimulating place, and children are appreciating this through interactive learning.