Chandni Dudhaiya

At the start of January – almost as though it was overnight(!), remote learning again became a key part of our education system. In a future blog we’ll discuss our thoughts on what this could mean for teaching and learning in a post-lockdown world, but for now we’ve scoured the edtech landscape looking for great online products that are already out there, supporting students (and teachers and parents) right now.

In truth, there’s a lot of great stuff out there, and we’re not offering or claiming an exhaustive list (far from it!).

But, in no particular order, here’s 10 we’ve come across and think are pretty great!

Learning with Parents

Website

https://learningwithparents.com

What do they do?

Learning with Parents provides tools and resources to support their children’s learning at home. There’s an online portal where teachers can pick topics and activities for students to do at home with their parents.

Launched in 2016 by Tom Harbour, it’s now a registered charity supporting over 10,000 parents across 100+ schools.

Having expanded from Maths to Early Years in 2019, Learning with Parents is due to grow even further as English with Parents is on its way in 2021!

Why do we love it?

We’re super-fans of Learning with Parents, because they keep the need to support disadvantage families at the core of their work.

What’s cool is they’ve thought about ways to remove barriers to learning. The activities are open-ended and can mostly be done offline, which is great for those families that have limited internet access. For example, exploring maths around the home using everyday objects.

So, who wants to play shop?!

How much does it cost?

Support for a full year is £90 per class.

Learning Ladders

Website

https://www.learningladders.info

What do they do?

Learning Ladders motto is ‘beyond tracking’, so whilst assessment and tracking are a big part of what it does, it’s also offers a lot more.

At its core, it enables teachers to identify gaps in their student’s attainment and use this information to plan for targeted intervention to help support progress and development. There’s a bank of curriculum objectives and content built in that then make it easier for teachers to accurately assess against.

It also brings together homework setting, termly reporting, and parental engagement (the bit we really love!).

Why do we love it?

Learning Ladders is a cracking platform that schools can build their curriculum around.

For us, it’s the focus on parental engagement that we love – they go beyond just informing parents about progress, to actually explaining how they can be involved and support learning at home. And that’s where all the good stuff happens!

How much does it cost?

£1000 annual per school (on average for primary schools in England).

Pobble

Website

https://my.pobble.com

What do they do?

Pobble is a creative writing platform, designed by teachers to help improve children’s writing ability.

Students create a portfolio of their work online, with support from teachers and peers at every step in the writing process – from finding an engaging topic, to drafting and redrafting with input from peers and their teachers, to finally publishing it for the world to see!

Why do we love it?

Pobble does a great job of making writing feel cool (we know it is cool, but some students occasionally need a bit of convincing…!).

It’s got a brilliant publishing feature that means students all over the world can connect, see and comment on each other’s work. And there’s a nifty tool which makes it easier to moderate work with other schools and saves the trouble of carrying books from one place to another – a) those books get heavy and b) one book always seems to get lost in transit!

Best of all? It’s shown to improve pupils’ speed, confidence and enjoyment of writing, all whilst reducing teacher workload!

How much does it cost?

Pobble is free for every teacher which includes lesson content and the Pobble Writing Bank, as well as a free trial of ‘Pobble for My Class’. There are also other payable options available, which can be found here.

Carousel Learning

Website

https://www.carousel-learning.com

What do they do?

Carousel helps students embed knowledge in their long-term memory by creating customised quizzes that are revisited regularly over time.

Teachers login to create classes, manage question banks and assign quizzes to students. The questions are then surfaced – and resurfaced, to students at regular intervals (like a Carousel!) to help embed knowledge over time.

It’s new and gaining great traction. Since September over 6,000 teachers have signed up, and over 1.5 million questions have been answered by students! Very impressive.

Why do we love it?

Firstly, who doesn’t love a good quiz?

Secondly, the whole concept is based on scientific evidence that we learn better if we revisit content over and over again, over time. Carousel makes that simple – automatic, in fact.

Plus, it’s got a cool auto-marking feature that saves teachers tons of time and highlights gaps in each student’s knowledge.

How much does it cost?

Carousel is free for individual teachers! We’re told a paid version will be coming soon for premium features, as well as department/school-wide accounts.

DoodleMaths

Website

https://www.doodlemaths.com

What do they do?

DoodleMaths uses interactive quizzes to build Maths confidence in children ages 4 – 14. Their app offers a programme of resources and questions that’s tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of every child, and is fully aligned to the national curriculum.

Teachers can personalise resources and questions, and monitor student’s answers and progress. There’s also a login for parents as well.

Why do we love it?

Finished with today’s Math lesson but want to continue their learning through educational Maths games? Think DoodleMaths!

It does a great job of making learning maths fun! The app has been designed to make children get excited about Maths, whilst building their confidence, and the activities and games they’ve developed make it really accessible.

A big win for teachers is that everything is automatically marked, and the feedback makes it a cinch to spot gaps in knowledge!

How much does it cost?

An annual licence per user is £6. This includes access to DoodleMaths and DoodleTables, the Teacher Dashboard, and the Parent Connect app for parents.

Oak National Academy

Website

https://www.thenational.academy

What do they do?

Oak National Academy was set up during the first lockdown in April 2020, with the aim of supporting teachers and students by providing interactive, hour-long lessons that can be completed independently.

It contains online lessons in around 15 different subjects from Early Years to Key Stage 4. Each lesson feature a teacher-led video and quizzes to assess progress.

Why do we love it?

Their lessons are engaging, accessible, and created by teachers still in the profession. We love that it caters for all pupils, with captions on all lessons and the ‘specialist classroom’ for those with additional needs.

And it turns out, we’re not alone in thinking it’s great – it’s now practically a household name (in the truest sense of the word)! Over 4.1 million pupils have engaged with it since January alone. And the best part – it’s all free, and there’s no accounts or passwords required to get started!

How much does it cost?

Lessons are completely free for teachers and pupils, and the website provides free access to a support network of teachers as they get to grips with online teaching.

Twinkl

Website

https://www.twinkl.co.uk

What do they do?

Twinkl provides instant access to a complete range of teaching, planning and assessment materials to support learning across the National Curriculum from Early Years to KS4.

Their resources are created by teachers and can be used by anyone, anywhere in the world – including lesson plans, schemes of work, assessments, interactive activities, resource packs, PowerPoints and teaching ideas to support both inside and outside the classroom.

Why do we love it?

Twinkl allows content to be targeted, which makes it easy to create material to suit the need of all learners. A big win for personalised learning.

We’re also fans of their CPD for teachers – particularly the stuff on the move to remote teaching!

How much does it cost?

It’s free to create a Twinkl account, and this gives you access to 40,000 free resources. There are also paid membership options available, which give access to 500,000+ resources.

ScratchJR

Website

http://www.scratchjr.org

What do they do?

ScratchJr is an app that enables young people (ages 5 and up) to create their own interactive stories and games whilst learning the basics of coding.

It’s got tools for creating characters, adding their own voices and sounds, and even inserting photos. Children then use programming ‘blocks’ to make their characters come to life. Pretty cool!

Why do we love it?

Coding is the new literacy!

When I think of coding, I tend to think of a black and white screen filled with letters, numbers and shapes – like something out of the Matrix, which makes little or no sense to me! Well, if you’re at all like me, I have good news – ScratchJr can make coders out of anyone! It’s incredibly user friendly and easy to use.

And because there’s a gaming element to it, it’s loads of fun – children can play individually, or get parents, siblings or teachers involved to play together!

How much does it cost?

More good news – ScratchJr is available for free.

Avaz Lite

Website

https://avazapp.com/covid-19-resources

What do they do?

Avaz Lite is a free speech app that provides assistance for children with autism who struggle in interacting with others. It’s designed to help children increase their communication skills, and allows parents to keep track of their child’s progress.

Avaz – meaning ‘Voice’ in Hindi, was invented by a small group from the Indian Institute of Technology to bring augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to India. Since then, it’s seen huge adoption amongst special educators and therapists working with autism and cerebral palsy.

It provides a range of products to support speech and language, including a feature that allows users to create a Picture Exchange Communication System book, that’s used as a reference when communicating.

Why do we love it?

The resources on Avaz are simple, effective and super fit-for-purpose.

COVID-19 has caused disruptions to the daily routines of people across the world, and we know this can be especially difficult for people living with autism. That’s why Avaz has put together a bank of resources to help children and adults cope with the pandemic, and find a neat way to process and communicate their feelings about it. Big thumbs up!

How much does it cost?

The Avaz app is free with over 2500+ resources available. There’s also a free trial for paid upgrades, and discounts on licences purchased in bulk.

BBC Bitesize

Website

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

What do they do?

OK, I’m guessing you know about BBC Bitesize, but we couldn’t do a piece on online resources without giving it a mention!

For anyone who hasn’t seen it, get yourself over there – it’s jam-packed full of resources that cover everything from Early Years through to GCSE and post-16.

And it’s had a good overhaul recently, so the content is bang up to date!

Why do we love it?

What’s not to love?

It’s safe to say pretty much all of us have used BBC Bitesize at some point, and if you haven’t it’s highly recommended.

Beyond curriculum resources, there’s some useful stuff on support for job applications, CVs and interviews, as well as advice on the world of work, apprenticeships, college and university.

How much does it cost?

All the resources available on BBC Bitesize are free!

 

And that’s a wrap! I hope it’s useful, and if you’ve got any suggestions for other great resources, ping us a tweet @parenthub_uk, and we’ll give them a look!

Take care and stay safe.

Chan x

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