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The Digital Pencilcase: Apps to Support and Enhance Learning Across the Curriculum

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Monday, June 24, 4:30–5:30 pm
Location: 115B

Amelia Archer  
Learn how to use devices to enhance learning rather than distract form it and facilitate meaningful and collaborative learning opportunities with minimal or no cost. Let's inspire students to become creators and collaborators instead of just consumers.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook
Tablet: Android, iOS
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Online tools, apps and resources
Grade level: 3-5
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Related exhibitors: pi-top

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

To inspire and support educators utilising digital devices in the classroom with cost-free apps
Open-ended learning opportunities utilising a variety of apps and app-smashes
Networking opportunities to link educators with global schools seeking to utilise digital technology to facilitate global collaboration.


10 Minutes
Introduction: engage participants and introduce some of the collaborative potential to be unlocked within digital devices in the classroom. Discuss the notion that computing does not need to be a discreet subject, reserved for timetabled access only, but rather that computing prowess can empower learning across the curriculum.

10 Minutes
Whistle-stop tour of some of the collaborative projects completed by our students across a variety of different platforms.
Audio picture books
Avatar school tours
Interactive advent calendar
Purley Punctuation Police and the League of Literacy
Collaborative book recommendation website with embedded video commentaries

5 Minutes
An introduction to (or for some, consolidation and deeper understanding of) great apps for facilitating collaborative open-ended problem solving: thinglink, padlet, adobe spark, imovie, google apps for education.

20 Minutes
Hands-on introduction to each of the apps, followed by support for delegates as they create a relevant open-ended project to run with their school class next term.
Although many delegates may have experience with these apps, we would like to create a forum in which ideas can be shared about how best to utilise the apps to facilitate exceptional collaborative engagement and learning.
Interactive image
Delegates will be supported in creating an interactive image project with Thinglink. We will also consider the benefits of app smashing with pic collage.
 An interactive tour of students’ schools
 An interactive advent calendar
 An interactive explanation of a national custom
 An interactive image of something current, relevant or in vogue
Collaborative research or presentation
Delegates will be supported in creating a project which builds a collaborative bank of research or a presentation using padlet.
 Research for a collaborative project
 Presenting partners – a photo of each child but their global partner adds the commentary (this is a great initial project which works so much more effectively than students doing their own commentary as it means partners have to find out enough about each other to create the commentary).
Telling a story
Delegates will be supported in creating a project in which students can present a story or a national custom with imovie.
Collaborative web-site building
Delegates will be supported in creating projects which utilise google sites. We will cover sharing permissions and privacy so that delegates can create opportunities for students to publish their sites to the relevant audiences.
Plenary (bringing everything together)

10 Minutes
Discussion forum in which delegates can contribute thoughts/reflections on successful collaboration.

5 Minutes
Resource Bank
A collaborative resource bank of apps and ideas will be created for delegates to contribute to, and take from, in order to create great collaborative learning opportunities for students.

Supporting research

The concept of collaborative learning is rooted in Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory which views learning as inherently a social process (Dillenbourg 1999) but intuitive educationalists have been aware of the benefit of collaborative learning long before the phrase was coined by Dillenbourg. Many comparisons and research studies have been made between individualistic and cooperative learning and it is well documented that collaborative efforts result in higher achievement and greater productivity; more caring and supportive relationships and greater social competence and self-esteem.
As the technological revolution continues to radically transform the way we learn and work and live, educationalists must be pioneering in ensuring we utilise the extraordinary opportunities afforded to enhance collaborative learning. Digital collaboration allows for broader teamwork, for the celebration of diversity and offers all students (even the shy), opportunities to be confident contributors.
Whilst skilled teachers have always encouraged collaboration within the classroom, the technological revolution facilitates an exponential increase in opportunities to broaden these learning connections. No longer restricted to the classroom, collaboration has immeasurable potential and we hope to inspire delegates to seek out international opportunities and to support them as they build meaningful opportunities for interacting with students across the world.
Through classroom, national and global collaboration our students are embracing, experiencing and having a deeper understanding of shared histories, experiences and perspectives among global peers
Through classroom, national and global collaboration, our students are learning to celebrate diversity
Through classroom, national and global collaboration, our students are empowered to be creative, independent and co-dependent in their learning
Through classroom, national and global collaboration, our students are learning to utilise technology to facilitate meaningful communication and project building.
Through classroom, national and global collaboration, our students are experiencing the opening of virtual windows to a real world and their minds are broadened and enlightened
Through global collaboration, our students are forging meaningful friendships in a digital world – and although they have never met face to face, many of their friendships are as real and meaningful as friendships within the class.
It is my hope to share this passion with delegates, to inspire and to equip those who wish to build collaborative communities within and across classrooms.

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Amelia Archer, Purley Church of England Primary School

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