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CDETB Curriculum Development Unit | Apps of the week
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Friday, 26th February 2021

 

Haiku desk – Presentations and Slideshows

Download and sign up. You need to provide your full name and email address for this.

The free version gives you 11 slides. Each has a default professional photograph, but you can change that by using your own or by searching the photo database. The submenu at the bottom of the picture helps you customise your presentation. Add text in different formats or change the layout. Another tab allows you to include private or public notes, which can link to other resources. If you want to add a video or download your creation, you need to get the pro version.

You can share it via social media or email. If you have an iPhone, you can control your presentation by synching your desk on both devices.

Help is available – simply click on the question mark symbol for a video and the support section.

Could be used for: professional presentations, a press release, or report.

What I liked about it: your Haiku can be shown in Google Classroom.

Watch out for: the app wants to access other apps on your device, so make sure you don’t allow it when you sign up.

Available from the App Store.

More information here: https://www.haikudeck.com/

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Friday, 19th February 2021

 

CollaNote: Notes and Whiteboard

A new app has arrived which helps with collaborative notetaking and recording, developed by a student at a university in Germany,

Simply download and open. If you want to collaborate with others, you need to sign in with your Gmail, Facebook or Apple account. If you are not logged in, you cannot edit any of the public notes. You can still create a new note, but keep in mind that it will be cleared after you close down the app. So, in order to be truly co-operative, it makes sense to sign in.

Creating a new note is easy. Different types of pens can be used to write and highlight text. Images, textboxes, stickers, emojis, speech bubbles, and audio recordings make your notes colourful. The developer recommends using the “audio recording feature that links what you write to what you record – and play it like karaoke.”

Users who work better with gridded or note lined paper can change to their preferred mode by clicking on the three bar icon in the top menu. Pdfs can also be imported.

You can invite other users to take notes together by looking them up by email or nickname. Then simply work on a project together in real time.

Could be used for: collaborative projects with a class.

What I liked about it: it doesn’t seem to collect any data about its users.

Watch out for: make sure you know the people you are working with in real life.

Available from the App Store.

More information here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/collanote-notes-whiteboard/id1540956268

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Friday, 12th February 2021

 

Strava

Walking, running and hiking are some of the means of keeping fit during the current travel restrictions. As recommended for use by Inchicore College this week, Strava is an app that helps you keep track of your fitness activities.

Download and sign in (Gmail, Facebook, or with another email account). Decide if you want notifications enabled which deliver monthly stats, new challenges, and other messages. Your profile is public by default, but you can change this. If you keep it open, people are able to find you.

Strava uses GPS, so you need to allow the use of your location. Choose a sport you want to participate in. The options range from running, bicycle riding, walking, hiking, to winter and water sport activities. You can now see a blue dot on a map. That’s you. Once you start moving this will move. Connect a heart rate sensor by connecting the app to the Bluetooth feature on your device.

You can now start recording. The app shows the time spent, your average speed, and the distance you have travelled. Add photos of your activity if you wish.

You can connect with friends, follow other athletes, and participate in challenges.

Could be used for: sharing the fun of a socially distanced walk.

What I like about it: easy to use.

Watch out for: don’t become overly competitive:)

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://www.strava.com/apps

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Friday, 5th February 2021

 

Biodiversity Data Capture App

 

From their website: “A new smartphone app has been developed that allows quick and easy recording of biodiversity in the field. Biodiversity Data Capture app, developed by Compass Informatics, allows recorders to capture details of any species they encounter in the field, and send the records directly to the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s national database. The app generates a co-ordinate automatically from a GPS, so recorders only need to select the identified species and some other additional information“.

Download and open. The design is pretty basic, but effective. The “help” button links to some documentation explaining how the app works. But the short introductory paragraph at the top of the screen also offers simple instructions.

Capturing a new sighting is easy. Allow the app to use your location so that it can add co-ordinates. Take a picture with your camera and add some information to your image: select a ‘species group’ (e.g. birds), a ‘species’ (e.g. Chaffinch), and a ‘habitat’. The ‘site’ field allows you to specify the location. You can include a comment. The app asks for your name and email address.

Could be used for: developing citizen scientists of all ages – explore who lives in your neighbourhood during your socially distanced walk. Or make this into a treasure hunt.

What I like about it: great to be part of such an important study.

Watch out for: you need to have some idea of what type of animal or plant is in front of you, so you might need to consult other apps for that.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://www.biodiversityireland.ie/resources/apps/

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Friday, 29th January 2021

 

Jamboard – Digital Whiteboard

 

Jamboard is Google’s whiteboard solution. “Boost student collaboration and engagement with the Jamboard app — powered by Google Cloud. Student tablet users can access a suite of rich editing tools to collaborate with students or educators. You can even access it from a web browser too.”

Simply download and sign in your Gmail account.

Start a new project by clicking on the pen in the lower right hand corner.

You can now select your writing tool: different types of pens which come in several colours. You can add sticky notes and images, and take pictures with your camera.

For a new slide simply click on the slide bar on the top.

Share by adding people or groups to it, copy and forward it as a link, or change it into a pdf.

Your students can connect to a jamboard through the Bluetooth option on their device or through a code.

Could be used for: student presentations and collaborative work.

What I like about it: a minimalist design – very straightforward to use. Also, it has a number of assistive drawing tools.

Watch out for: as always, be careful with what you share.

Available from the App Store, Google Play, and online.

More information here: https://edu.google.com/products/jamboard/

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Friday, 22nd January 2021

 

Coursera: Learn new skills

 

Coursera runs only online courses, so they were well prepared for this new remote learning environment. As their website says: “Build skills with courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies.”

You need to log in with email or your Facebook account. The GDPR page has two boxes – you only need to agree to the terms and conditions (box 1).

Enrolling in courses is easy: explore all on offer – they range from Arts & Humanities, Business, Computer Science, Data Science, Information Technology, Health, Maths & Logic, Personal Development, Physical Science & Engineering, to Social Sciences and Language Learning.

The courses are at course, certificate and degree level. Each description gives you all the relevant information, including enrolment options. Many thousands are free, but if you want a recognised qualification you need to pay.

You can also get recommendations depending on your learning goal.

Could be used for: professional and personal development.

What I like about it: helps you get a qualification during a virus pandemic.

Watch out for: degrees can be quite costly – and, of course, no substitute to the real world experience.

Available from the App Store, Google Play, and online.

More information here: https://www.coursera.org/

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Friday, 15th January 2021

 

WikiHow

 

One of the disadvantages of the current pandemic is that is much harder to ask another human being for help. Learning from others as they show you how to do things is one aspect of our social lives that has suffered recently.

Here is an app that could help alleviate some of that stress. It thrives on sharing knowledge with others.

Simply download WikiHow – no need for logins.

Several solutions to your problem are being presented – starting with ‘quick fixes’. They are basically step-by-step descriptions which include photos and short videos.

‘Featured’ lists how-to-instructions of popular searches (e.g. how to thicken frosting).

The ‘random’ tap could throw up anything, but might be fun to explore.

The ‘survival kit’ lists tutorials that might just save your life, ranging from first aid advice to self-defence. These include videos. It might be a wise move to look at some of them before you find yourself in such a situation (e.g. Heimlich Manoeuvre)!

You can use the search engine – type in some keywords and select the entry closest to what you were looking for. I received a list of references and a quick summary, which I could then either bookmark or share with others via email or social media.

Could be used for: getting the hang of things quickly, e.g. how to clean something.
What I like about it: easy to understand instructions which use photos, pictograms and videos
Watch out for: as with any advice received from strangers over the Internet – be careful. Also little content for visually impaired users.

Available from the App Store, Google Play, and online. The website lists categories and has versions in other languages.

More information here: https://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page

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Friday, 8th January 2021

 

Get Ireland Walking

New year, new you. Walking is a great way of keeping fit, meeting new people, and having fun. For when we are allowed to travel beyond the 5km limits, here is an app that might come in handy. Download and open (you need to be over 16).

The ‘find a walk’ menu lists recommended organised walks by county. It outlines wheelchair and buggy accessibility and shows how many places are available for each time slot. You need to decide how many people you would like to register (children under 16 don’t need to be registered, but must be accompanied by an adult). Add your contact details. The walks are facilitated by local clubs, who will use your data to get in touch.

Mountaineering Ireland have designed this tool and they have plenty more ideas for people who want to explore Ireland’s beautiful walking ways: https://getirelandwalking.ie/walkways/

Could be used for: exploring your locality and getting some ideas for trips your class.

What I like about it: try the 21 days walking challenge.

Watch out for: many walks are on in the evening, so best wear appropriate clothing (think visibility).

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://www.getirelandwalking.ie/

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Happy new year!

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Friday, 18th December 2020

 Yummly 

Need some inspiration for Christmas dinner? Not sure what to do with leftovers? There is, unsurprisingly, an app to help you with that.

Yummly has a wide audience and the content reflects that. Simply download it. The dashboard lists popular recipes – different types of cuisines, special dietary tips, and seasonal foods. Fussy eaters should also find something that they like here. There are many articles that let you explore more food related ideas. ‘Seconds’ lists short videos for recipes which take under 15 minutes to make – complimented with nutritional information, written directions, and a list of ingredients. You can save those into your virtual shopping list, save the list for later use, or order online.

Use the search function to look up recipes by ingredient or simply scan an item with your camera. The app will send you suggestions to make with what you have – handy if you find that dodgy looking cucumber in the back of the fridge.

An interesting feature is ‘connected kitchen’, where you add appliances. A short tutorial introduces how to use the thermometer, which you can use to check on your cooking. It sends real-time temperature updates to your phone. If you choose this option you need to allow the app to use the Bluetooth setting on your device.

The pro version gives you access to step-by-step lessons and teaching videos from professional chefs. You can also create a profile to get personalised recipes by signing up with your email or Facebook credentials.

Could be used for: inspiration when cooking with the family – a lot of easy to follow recipes.

What I like about it: the videos are great!

Watch out for: don’t burn yourself:)

Available from the App Store, Google Play, and online.

More information here: https://www.yummly.com/

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Friday, 11th December 2020

 

Brainly – Homework Help

Need a bit of help with your homework? Try this app.

Download and open. You need to give your location in order to get connected to your language choice. You may choose to allow notifications.

There are two choices in the main menu: ‘ask’ and ‘answer’.

If you want to ask a question, you need to scan your first piece of document. At this stage you are being asked to sign in – create a new account or use your existing Facebook or Apple profile. I signed up as a student to see how the app performs for them.

Take a photo of the text/graph or type your query. A list of similar or same questions pops up and you can read through the answers given by other users. You can vote on how helpful any of them was for you.

If you are not happy with any of them, select ‘ask your question’ in the bottom menu. You need to add a subject area to your query.

The ‘answer’ menu lists answers by subject or school level. Check the scanned picture to see what the original question had been. You can also help someone else if you know the solution to their problem.

The app has moderators and the company warns: “Our Honor Code does not allow cheating, plagiarism, or other violations of academic integrity. Remember, plagiarism is taking credit for someone else’s work.”

Could be used for: as a first port of call if you are stuck with your homework.

What I like about it: the scanning facility helps students who might otherwise struggle with typing.

Watch out for: there is no way of knowing if answers are correct, so proceed with caution.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://brainly.ph/

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Friday, 4th December 2020

 

Gif Me! Camera Creator

 

From their website: “Gif Me! is the best way to create and share short video in animated GIF. It’s easy: capture a small moment with your built in camera, and share it on social networks. You can apply an image filter too.”

Download and open the app. You can record an animation or else import photos or videos from your device. You need to allow access to your photos and camera. Simply point your camera and start recording. Change the focus and amount of frames per second by selecting the ‘settings’ button. Add text and stickers to your video, frame it, alter its speed, brightness, or select a filter. When you are finished, you can save this as an MP4 file or a GIF. Then upload it to social media, share by email, or save it.

Could be used for: adding branded information to your website or social media account – or for a creative competition involving your students.

What I like about it: it is really simple to create funky GIFs.

Watch out for: as always ask for permission before you film other people.

Available from the App Store, on Google Play and for Windows.

More information here: http://www.gifmecam.com/

 

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Friday, 27th November 2020

 

Daily Random Facts – Learn new interesting trivia

Download and get started – set the amount and time of day for your daily reminders. Then select the topics you like. Choose between ‘science’, ‘society’, ‘nature’, and ‘history’. You can pick as many as you want.

You will get facts in the form of simple statements which you can rate (like/dislike) and add to your own collection. This option, however, is only available in the paid Facts Premium version. If you want to learn more, you can click on the info icon, which links to websites which seem to be somewhat scientific. More free categories and different types of background wallpaper are available at the bottom menu. Widgets can also be customised to fit your screen.

There is no clear indication of how these ‘facts’ are being chosen, so they are truly random.

 

Could be used for: online pub quizzes during the Christmas period or just for fun!

What I liked about it: fun to scroll through.

Watch out for: it is easy to incidentally sign up to the paid version.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://www.randomfacts.app/

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Friday, 20th November 2020

 

SnapType

If you have students in your classroom who struggle with their handwriting when filling in a worksheet, SnapType could be a useful aid.

Download the app. Some explanatory slides outline how it works. Simply use the camera of your device to take a picture or else upload a worksheet from email.

You can now manipulate this by tapping into it and then adding a textbox. You can type into this and drag the box around if you wish. Change the background colour to make it fit. Deleting text is easy – simply tap and hold for 2 seconds. Zoom into your creation to make it easier to read.

If you click on ‘markup’ (go to ‘pdf’ in the ‘share’ menu), you can draw on images by tapping the pencil button and add your signature. The ‘done’ button is in the upper left hand corner (difficult to see on my device).

Your student shares their creation by emailing it to you, by uploading it, or by printing it off.

Could be used for: people whose handwriting is illegible (*mine!* says the librarian:)) – or perhaps students with dyslexia.

What I liked about it: helps you with filling in any kind of form, including written assessments.

Watch out for: you might want to use the paid for version, which allows for more storage and has a whiteboard feature that makes the document look like paper.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: http://www.snaptypeapp.com/

 

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Friday, 13th November 2020

 

EthiCart – Sustainability made simple

Achieving sustainability is one of the key policies of many countries. Two students from Trinity College Dublin came up with the idea for “… a user-friendly app that gives quick, accessible and easy to understand information around food products sustainability and ethical standards. If you want to shop more sustainably but lack time to research and a find place to get the information you need, EthiCart enables and empowers you to buy products that align with your values.”

Simply download it. A short tutorial explains how the app works. You can scan a product or use the search function. Or browse the food categories, e.g. ‘hot beverages’ or ‘cereals’. A product’s sustainability profile – and more sustainable alternatives (‘top pick’) – will be displayed. The profile contains information on production, packaging, and the company behind it. Rating factors are explained, together with information on recycling and plenty of other tips. You can also request a new product to be added.

Could be used for: teaching about sustainability, supply chains and climate change.

What I liked about it: once rolled out nationwide, this could really be a game changer. Also, it is a superb example of an app developed by students.

Watch out for: unfortunately, as it is a pilot version, it is currently only working with the food outlets on TCD’s campus.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://ethicart.ie/

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Friday, 6th November 2020

 

Microsoft Teams

One of the side effects of the pandemic is the rise in the uptake of online working. As teams are dispersed across several sites, new ways of connecting need to be found. Many CDETB staff members are currently working from home. Microsoft Teams was chosen as the platform for teamwork. It is part of Microsoft 365 for Education.

Download the app to your device. Sign in with your .cdetb.ie email address – if you don’t have one, please contact IT in Head Office.

Creating a new team is simple: click on ‘create team’ on the dashboard and decide what kind of community you would like to start: ‘class’, ‘professional learning community’, ‘staff’, or ‘other’. Give it a name and a description (which will help other people identify what it is for). Decide on whether this is a private or public group. Most teams within CDETB are probably private ones as they are relating to a specific centre or task. Start inviting others to join.

You can phone or video call your contact by simply clicking on the ‘receiver’ icon beside their name. This person does not have to be part of any of your teams. Find other CDETB staff members by clicking on ‘add contact’. ‘Activity’ shows you who has posted new information in your team. You can chat with your members. Upload files and share them with others. Videos can also be added.

The calendar pulls in the information from your Outlook email calendar, so you can check when a meeting is scheduled to take place.

There are many other apps that connect to Teams, which you might want to use with your groups, e.g. OneNote.

Could be used for: connecting with staff who are working from home and for meetings with remote teams.

What I liked about it: as it is part of CDETB’s suite of work tools, IT support is at hand if you have any problems. And it is really easy to use.

Watch out for: being part of too many teams might make it hard to manage your time.

Available from the App Store, on Google Play, and for download for desktop use.

More information here: https://teams.microsoft.com/uswe-01/downloads

 

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Friday, 30th October 2020

 

Dublin Discovery Trails

 

With the Halloween holidays upon us, but restricted as we are to staying local, why not try out an app that lets you explore Dublin by foot?

Simply download Dublin Discovery Trails and allow/don’t allow notifications.

An orientation route, called ‘Dubline’, connects many of the city’s main attractions. It follows the ‘great journey’ that runs from the east to the west across Ireland. Different ‘experiences’ show you slices of Dublin’s history: Rebellion focusses on Dublin Castle and O’Connell Street; Story of Dublin runs mainly along Dame Street and Temple Bar; Empire encompasses the Liberties and City Hall, Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and St. Stephen’s Green; and Echoes of War features the historic buildings between Heuston Station and Kilmainham. Three more focus on Dublin’s North side and well-known characters of the city. You can download all of this content from the main page. The files include both audio files and photos The image gallery contains photos and other images of famous places and people related to each tour.

The map function uses your location to point you to nearby points of interest. There is not much interaction with this app – but the recordings are done well.

Could be used for: You can build your own itinerary by clicking the ‘star’ icon, which could be a fun thing to do with children.

What I liked about it: The recordings are available in Irish, English, German and French.

Watch out for: The map didn’t load on my device.

Available from the App Store and on the Google Play.

More information here: https://www.visitdublin.com/see-do/dublin-discovery-trails

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Friday, 23rd October 2020

 

Collect by WeTransfer

When you come across interesting images or videos, songs or other audio file, articles or email attachments, you might download them to your device. Why not share them with your students? Collect helps you organise content through simple visual boards.

Download the app and sign up. You can start collecting straight away. Add single items for later use. Alternatively, create a new board and add items with a few clicks: video files, pictures, notes, other files, or bits you have found on the Internet. There is a scan function with uses your camera. You can edit and review that scan. Give your board a title and a description.

If you are ready to share, decide on whether you want to allow others to edit your board or not. The app then creates a link which you can pass on via social media, by email, by creating a QR code, or through your video messaging app (which means you can add it to your Zoom or Teams meeting)

Could be used for: sharing ideas with students and for project work.

What I liked about it: it is dead easy to use.

Watch out for: as always be careful what you download from the Internet.

Available from the App Store, on Google Play, and for your PC or MAC.

More information here: collect.bywetransfer.com

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Friday, 16th October 2020

 

Quizizz: Play to Learn

Download and open the app. The usual reminder of notifications appears. Decide whether you are using this app for school or work, or neither.

When you choose ‘school’, you can immediately join a specific game (you need a code for that) or one of the free ones available in many school subject areas: Maths, Social Studies, Languages, Science, Computer, Creative Arts, and Career and Technical Education. There is a ‘practice’ level and you can also challenge your friends. Questions are usually timed. The grade level is indicated on the right hand side.

As a teacher you need to create an account on the website for which you can use your college email or Gmail. A short tutorial explains the main features. You can search the quizzes library for any topic or create your own. Give it a name and chose your subject area. You can now add your questions or simply clone them over from the resource bank. The quiz editor has many options: multiple choice, check box, ‘fill in the blank’, polls, open-ended, or slides. Add images, a grade level, and time restrictions. You will get a report on how each students performed on each question.

Could be used for: formative assessment during periods of remote teaching.

What I liked about it: the ‘read aloud’ option could be used for students with visual impairments.

Watch out for: students cannot input, so this is more appropriate for fact recalling.

Available from the App Store, on Google Play, and online.

More information here: https://quizizz.com/

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Friday, 9th October 2020

 

PowToon

 

 

Short promotional videos are all the rage at the moment. Jump on that train by signing up to PowToon. Log in is via Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, or by signing up on the website (where you can use your Office 365 account). You can decide what kind of notifications you want to receive.

A PowToon consists of slides which you can manipulate and which play as a video. Importing a PowerPoint presentation is currently in the beta version.

There are categories of free templates available and they are clearly reflecting current times: ‘remote & office’, ‘remote learning’, ‘explainer video’, ‘marketing video’, and ‘presentation’. These are easy to customise – simply replace images and text by selecting from a wide range of options. This might be a good start for someone who has never used this software before. Your ‘workspace’ records your creations, so you can always go back and change things around. If you are feeling more creative, PowToon gives you a selection of ‘looks’, which should get you started.

PowToon Connect is the app version of PowToon, which allows you to upload media (photo, video) and record a voiceover for your video. Create a PowToon on the website first.

You can export your video to social media channels or download it as a pdf or PowerPoint presentation. If you want to save it as a video you need the paid version.

For a very simple example check out this one created years ago: http://cdetbcdu.ie/e-library/the-cdu-library/

Could be used for: short, snappy videos or infographics.

What I liked about it: really easy to use as it is quite self-explanatory.

Watch out for: for more sophisticated videos and removal of the PowToon logo you might want to go pro (paid version).

Available from the App Store, on Google Play and online.

More information here: https://www.powtoon.com/

 

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Friday, 2nd October 2020

 

GooseChase: scavenger hunt

With a new school year come new challenges, no less so during a pandemic. Your students might still only be on campus occasionally, so why not have a little scavenger hunt to make them feel welcome or let people explore their own neighbourhood?

As a teacher you need to sign up with a new account on the website below. A short video explains how GooseChase works.

Creating a new game, which can be branded and timed, is straightforward: add a picture, name, description – and location (the app uses GPS) if you want it to be found by others. You can also password protect it, which would make sense in an educational setting. Each game consists of missions which attract points, basically activities you want your users to do. You can also select missions created by others from the mission bank. These range from taking a picture of two black cars side by side to looking up definitions in a dictionary. ‘Game script’ is about the sequence of events to take place and you can include automatic messages. Check the submissions of your participants on the dashboard.

Students can now play as a guest using the app – you need to provide them with a game code. They can join missions either as part of a team or individually.

Enabling your location lets you see what other games are currently active in your area.

Could be used for: orientation week, field trips, or team building exercises.

What I liked about it: this could also be done online and socially distanced.

Watch out for: using activities that invite strangers to get involved.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://www.goosechase.com/ and https://www.goosechase.com/edu/game-library/

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Friday, 25th September 2020

 

FreshGrade Connect: Remote learning portfolios

 

Download and approve/disapprove of notifications. Teachers need to sign up first.

Create a class first by naming it, selecting your grade (American system, but it includes ‘Vocational training’) and teaching subjects (includes ‘library literacy’, yay!). The option to include standard documents can only be ticked for US, Canada and Australia. Adding your students is easy: you can copy and paste from an existing list or simply type in names.

There are three submenus available. ‘Class feed’ allows you to get in touch with your students. Students’ works are available under ‘portfolios’. They can upload audio files, videos or photos. ‘Assessments’ gives you two models you can adapt: score-based, which appraise activities based on one or more criteria to calculate overall grades, or standards-based, which uses learning standards with an overall grade per standard. You can organise your assessments by date, group unit, or group term. There are preinstalled test scales, but you can also create your own.

Parents can also get connected so that they can monitor their child’s progress. This app allows for integration with Google Drive and OneDrive.

Could be used for: assessment for remote classes.

What I liked about it: seems to be very straightforward.

Watch out for: as always encourage students to be vigilant when online.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://freshgrade.com/ and here: https://learning.freshgrade.com/courses

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Friday, 18th September 2020

 

 Zigazoo Classrooms

 

Hailed as a ‘TikTok for Kids’ by its creator, Zigazoo aims to give “families and classrooms the ability to share video-based responses to projects built by leading museums, zoos, educators, children’s musicians, and education organizations.”

Download the app. You can join the global community or a specific classroom or pod. For the second option you need a code – this will be of interest to teachers.

If you continue without a classroom, you need to log in through Facebook, Gmail, or your Apple account (if you are using an Apple product). Select ‘notifications’ if you want to get these. You can start by choosing channels, which include some of the company’s own education resources.

The big red camera button allows you to create your own responses. You can also flag videos if you think the content is inappropriate.

Could be used for: short video-based exercises that students can answer through video and share responses with their classmates.

What I liked about it: restricted classrooms will engage your students: https://www.zigazoo.com/classrooms

Watch out for: younger or more vulnerable students should not be allowed to post videos to the open channel videos.

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://www.zigazoo.com/

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Friday, 11th September 2020

 

Lumosity – Brain Training

Your brain is probably getting a good workout at the moment, but in case you need to get these little cells into shape, here is an app that you might enjoy. All exercises are scientifically designed. You can set yourself a reminder on when to train.
Download and open it. You need to create an account or sign up with a Gmail, Facebook, or Apple account.
It asks you for your birthdate in order to match you with the right age group. Just click on ‘next’ if you don’t want to divulge your gender and other information.
There is a free 10-minute fit test to check where you are at: memory, speed, attention, problem solving, flexibility, math, and language. Your baseline will be tested in three cognitive games, which will then be compared to other members. A short tutorial introduces each game. The score after each shows how you fair in relation to others in your age cohort.

The games are short and fun to do. They are deceptively easy… You can go back and try again:)

With a premium subscription you get a personalised daily workout and more detailed reports.

Could be used for: keeping our brains active. Students could hold a competition to see who scores higher.

What I liked about it: fun.

Watch out for: if you don’t want to pay, you are limited in your choice of exercises.

Available from the App Store, on Google Play or online.

More information here: https://www.lumosity.com/en/

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Friday, 4th September 2020

 

 

Moodle

 

In this new remote working environment, most CDETB colleges and centres are now using Moodle for their teaching.

The CDU Moodle site is a repository of learning and teaching resources. If you don’t have access yet and you are a CDETB staff member, please email Eva with your “.cdetb.ie” email address and you will get a new account. Thanks to an upgrading process that all CDETB Moodle sites underwent in late summer, we can now offer access through the Moodle app.

Download the app from the store and open. You can decide whether or not you want to allow notifications. Type in the Moodle site you are interested in, e.g. curriculum.etbonline.ie. Enter your username and password as you would using a browser on your PC.

You should now see your personal dashboard. When you click on your profile, you should see your details. That action opens up the CDU Moodle website in your browser, so you might have to open the app again to see the other areas.  When you click on any of the courses you are enrolled in, you can access all content. See all the other participants – you can directly message them.

You can upload files and photos as well as audio and video recordings to your app when you select the “box” icon on the right hand side.

The course categories are hidden under the ‘site home’ tap, beside the ‘dashboard’.

The CDU professional development calendar is cloned into the calendar section on the app, so you should be able to see all events organised by PD co-ordinator Carrie Archer.

If you used this app with your own college Moodle, you could try out the grading and site blog features.

Log out by navigating to the “three dashes” symbol to find the ‘log out’ option.

Could be used for: not only for accessing teaching aids on the CDU site, but as a teaching and assessment tool with your own students if your college has the app version enabled.

What I liked about it: clean interface. Lots of documentation on how to use Moodle

Watch out for: You can see the courses you are enrolled in by clicking on “all courses”, but it is not as obvious as it is in the PC version what is a category and what is a course, so navigation is a bit more difficult.

 

Available from the App Store and on Google Play.

More information here: https://download.moodle.org/mobile

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