Edtech Starter Kit for Parents
Primary School Edition
Wondering where to start as a parent? As the Digital Computing lead for Islington, Katy Potts has helped hundreds of parents take their first steps into the world of Edtech. Here are the coding, literacy & maths tools she suggests for parents new to Edtech. These are all available either for free or at low cost online and can have a huge impact on learning from the get-go.
Busy Things is a highly engaging tool covering the whole primary curriculum, from maths to literacy to science. It can be easily be used to supplement a child’s learning or simply as a fun thing for you to sit and enjoy with your child.
CBeebies Playtime Island
This highly regarded app from the BBC’s CBeebies is a collection of mini educational cross-curricular games, recommended for ages 2+. There are a variety of games to address a range of learning objectives. Parents comment that they feel as confident & safe leaving their child with the CBeebies app as they do leaving them to watch CBeebies.
Kahoot! is an easy to use learning tool for all ages. It is a free game based learning platform that is used in schools, clubs and at even home. Its’ learning games, better known as “Kahoots” by its players, are multiple-choice quizzes either created by users or played via the community portal.
Children use the Book Creator app to create their own e-books. It is one of the most popular digital publishing tools, with over 20 million books already made. Book Creator makes creating ebooks simple is on iPads, Chromebooks, and on the web. The idea behind this is that it will give children much more sense of pride knowing that their work is being made into a book instead of it ending up in a pile of graded papers.
Teach your Monster to Read
Teach your Monster to Read is an award-winning platform with a series of games that develop children literacy skills. Play for free on their website or download the app. It helps children learn to read in all aspects, starting with letter sound recognition, blending, segmenting and pronouncing tricky words, and ending with reading sentences and small books.
Free website (app costs £4.99)
Toontastic is an easy way for your child to quickly make fun 3D animated films and learn the art of storytelling. Narration and story arcs are a core part of understanding the structure of literature and this tool encourages them to learn these skills through creating and telling their own stories.
Prodigy is a free, adaptive math game for grades 1-7 that integrates math into a role-playing game using a Pokemon-style wizardry theme. Students are placed in different math levels based upon completing an invisible math placement assessment while they are playing and their profile.
Sumdog engages students through adaptive learning for K-8 math. Sumdog’s learning engine adapts questions for each individual. Best of all, it’s aligned with the curriculum that the students are learning in class
Doodlemaths has been hailed as an engaging way to keep kids interested in learning maths. Children are introduced to new concepts in such a way that they retain their confidnce, even when they are challenging. The belief that this gives children in their confidnence helps them to close the gaps with their peers, or push more able students to challenge themselves.
TTS Group created The Bee-Bot App based on their award-winning Bee-Bot floor robot. The app uses Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children of ages 4 and up to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.
Daisy the Dinosaur App
The drag and drop interface allows kids to quickly grasp how different combinations and sequences of blocks affect how Daisy dances and behaves. This is an ideal app to encourage the early development of computational logic in children.
J2code from Just2easy
J2code is a free, easy to use tool that enables users to exceed the programming elements of the Computing Curriculum for key stage one and two. Created using HTML5, J2Code allows users to access the tools from any modern device including iPads any time, any where via a web browser.
ScratchJr was designed for children ages 5 to 7 to introduce them to the world of coding. It is an introductory visual programming language that enables young children to create their own interactive stories and games through their App. Creating projects in ScratchJr enables children to think creatively and systematically without even being able to read.