Twenty years ago, most pupils’ early experiences of IT in the classroom were limited to tapping out sentences on a stuttering old Acorn computer, or trying to draw wobbly pictures on Microsoft Paint with a computer mouse. Today, however, there is barely a classroom which doesn’t have a sleek display of iPads lined up at the side of the classroom, ready to assist with the day’s lesson. With Daydream now offering learning apps as well as our conveniently-sized pocket posters, why are more schools turning to digital tools to support their learning?
Learning: anytime, anywhere.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, more than 80% of the youth population are online in 104 countries.
Online apps have made life more convenient for millions of users, and have granted access to a wealth of resources at the touch of a button. A study by the National Literacy Trust revealed that as many as 9 out of 10 children own a mobile device, and while it may not always be convenient to haul a rucksack full of heavy textbooks around 24/7, apps allow pupils to instantly access a wealth of learning material at school, at home, and on the go.
Apps for active learning
Too much screen time is often portrayed as a barrier to effective learning; the media often blames smartphones or tablets as a cause of lowered concentration and engagement with study. However, whilst too much time spent on social media or recreational games may hamper efforts to learn new information, the technological revolution has also created a whole new learning platform which is able to support a whole spectrum of different learning styles.
Apps not only improve pupils’ IT skills, but encourage children to actively engage with and apply their classroom learning; for some pupils, this has made revision a whole lot easier if they struggle with passively reading information. With bright colours, sound, video and interactive quizzes, apps remove some of the main barriers of traditional ‘textbook’ learning.
Targeting problem areas
No doubt one of the biggest benefits of educational apps is the seamless interaction between pupils and teachers for tracking learning progress. In a class of 30 pupils, it may be difficult for a teacher to individually gauge pupils’ understanding of a topic, and any weaker areas may go unnoticed until a pupil either asks for help or struggles with related questions in an assessment setting.
Apps can help teachers and pupils to identify early on which topic areas are in need of a little more work. For example, Daydream’s learning apps give teachers and pupils the opportunity to instantly track progress of key topic areas through the easy-to-use Reporting portal, making it easy for teachers to identify strengths and take note of any topics that need revisiting.
A wealth of assessment questions
There are only so many assessment questions that can go into a book, and getting plenty of assessment practice traditionally meant multiple expensive textbook purchases or photocopying. However, apps provide a wealth of assessment questions ready and available for download in just a few easy clicks.
Daydream offers over 1,000 assessment questions per subject, meaning pupils will never be short of ways to challenge themselves and broaden their knowledge of key topics.
Whilst textbooks will always have their place as a staple of the classroom and as a home revision tool, the added benefits of digital apps have certainly helped to pave the way to a more accessible, interactive and engaging future of blended learning.
To try Daydream’s apps for free, please visit apps.daydreameducation.com or enter the unique product code found inside each of our Pocket Poster books to sign up and gain full access to all 1,000 topic assessment questions and resources.