Five apps that are taking my classroom by storm

Amy Kingsley

Since qualifying as a primary school teacher in 2009, I have taught across KS1 and 2 at three schools in the Manchester area. After studying English and Hispanic Studies at Sheffield University, I went on to complete a PGCE Primary in Spanish at Manchester Metropolitan University. I'm passionate about making English lessons exciting and engaging through the use of ICT. I was thrilled to join Russell Scott Primary School earlier this year and I'm loving my role developing the teaching of literacy through the use of iPads.

Follow @MissKingsley85

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This article was previously published in the innovate my school magazine. This article was previously published in the innovate my school magazine.

Explain Everything: Without a doubt my signature app, I have used Explain Everything in a number of ways. It is ideal for editing and improving pupils’ written work. By simply taking a photo of the child’s work, I record myself reading it out, using the cursor tool to encourage children to read along with me, and the pen and shape tool to annotate positive features of their work.

In Year 1, I have used Explain Everything to support children with rereading their writing. Below is an example of where one of my pupils has used the voice recorder to reread her work and, as an extension activity, picked out the exclamation marks used.

YouTube link

"Pupils can easily create their own iBooks by adding photos, videos, text, audio recordings and editing the layout of their books."

I often use Explain Everything to set independent tasks for pupils. There’s a letter formation tutorial for example, which models how to form each letter before inviting children to practise. The end result can be saved as evidence for assessment purposes.

The computing curriculum requires children to learn how to manipulate and edit images. During our topic on WW1, my pupils used the picture cropping tool within Explain Everything to create their own Cottingley Fairy style images.

iMovie: This is free for iPad and iPhone, and is a fantastic app for creating professional movie trailers and longer movies. The app offers a variety of movie trailer genres to choose from and enables you to add photos, short videos and text. KS2 pupils enjoy using the app to create their own movie trailers. Below is an example of what a Year 5 pupil achieved.

YouTube link

I have also used the app to produce many lesson ‘hooks’.

The full movie option is both KS1 and KS2 friendly. My Year 1 pupils are able to add photos from the camera roll and, in supported groups, record themselves retelling stories.

Book Creator: Recently voted Best Educational App in the Bett awards, Book Creator lends itself to KS1 and 2 pupils alike. Pupils can easily create their own iBooks by adding photos, videos, text, audio recordings and editing the layout of their books. The audio tool is perfect for younger pupils to consolidate their learning and the books can be exported as an iBook or as a video for publishing to YouTube and class blogs.

My Year 5 pupils used Book Creator as part of their Romeo and Juliet topic, adding descriptive language using the text tool and short Lego animations made previously using the free iMotion app.

Tellagami: This is a fun app, enabling children to style a character and record short videos using their own voices or adding text and choosing from a bank of character voices. The background can be changed so your character can be anywhere in the world. In the following video, I used Tellagami to introduce Year 1 to a theme day on Brazil during last year’s World Cup. Tellagami only allows you to create short clips, so I recorded a number of videos and sequenced them using iMovie, as shown here.

YouTube link

Unsurprisingly, children love using the app to create their own ‘gami’.

Morfo Booth: Morfo is a hilarious app, perfect for bringing characters (animal or human, fictional or real) to life! Simply upload a photo from the camera roll, set the position of the facial features and record your message. The pitch of your voice can be changed in order to hide your real identity! Nobody suspected a thing when I informed my Year 1 class that, following a break in and porridge theft at school, Goldilocks had been arrested and interviewed by police! I created the following video using Morfo and used iMovie to sequence the clips, adding CCTV footage, voiceovers, music and text.

YouTube link

I hope you can have as much fun integrating these apps into your lessons as I do with mine.

Have you used any of these apps? Share your experiences below!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"